The 2017 Excellent Research Awards to Kirsten Sandvig, Johannes Espolin Roksund Hov and Tor Paaske Utheim

Three scientists received awards for their outstanding research at a ceremony taking place at Oslo University Hospital May 5th.

The major prize - the "Excellent Researcher Award" - went to professor Kirsten Sandvig.
Johannes Espolin Roksund Hov and Tor Paaske Utheim both received the "Early Career Award".

The prize money - 300.000 and 150.000 NOK respectively - is earmarked for research activities. This prize is distributed anually in order to honour excellent scientific work.

The awarding process is organized by the hospital's research committee (Forskningsutvalget), while an external Scientific Advisory Board has evaluated the candidates. 

From left:  Johannes Espolin Roksund Hov, Kirsten Sandvig and Tor Paaske Utheim. 


About this year's award winners:

Excellent Research Award

Kirsten Sandvig:

Kirsten Sandvig is professor and group leader at the Department of Molecular Cell Biology at the Institute for Cancer Research, Division of Cancer, Oslo University Hospita, and professor II at the Department of Biosciences, The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, UiO.

Committee statement:
The seminal discovery by Kirsten Sandvig, in the 1980s, that the active component of diphtheria toxin enters the cytosol from endosomes opened up a scientific area on protein toxins and how they are transported into cells. Professor Sandvigs contributions in the field continued to be at the top level, with important implications in cancer therapy and cell biology. In addition, her findings of recirculation of internalized molecules have today become of pharmacological importance. In her recent research, Kirsten Sandvig has made significant contributions related to exosomes and biomarkers for early detection of cancer. Her expertise on protein toxins is also a significant part of the basic patent behind a successful company, PCI Biotech. With publications in the best journals, frequent citations and continued interesting and innovative research Kirsten Sandvig is, indeed, an outstanding scientist in the field of cell biology and medicine.

Home page of Kirsten Sandvig's group - Intracellular transport

Early Career Awards:

Johannes Espolin Roksund Hov

Johannes Espolin Roksund Hov works as researcher at the Faculty of Medicine, University og Oslo and as doctor in specialization at OUS. As a researcher he is asscociated with the Division of Surgery, Inflammatory Medicine and Transplantation, the Research Institute of Internal Medicine and the Norwegian Centre for Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis. As doctor in specialization training he works at the Medical Cliniic at OUS.

Committe statement:
Johannes Espolin Roksund Hov defended his PhD thesis in 2011 and has been most productive in the immediate post-doc period, with high profile publications. Currently he has a 50/50 position of clinical training and research. His field of research is gut microbiota in human disease. He has established a research group within the field that has produced several scientific papers and the first PhD student defended his thesis in 2016. Dr. Hov is driving and developing the field of the gut microbiome and has excellent communication skills that he uses to spread knowledge of the area.

Home page, Johannes Hov's group - Genomics and Metagenomics in Inflammatory Disorders

Tor Paaske Utheim

Tor Paaske Utheim is head of the Unitiy for Tissue Culture at the Department of Medical Biochemistry at the Division of Laboratory Medicine. He is also researcher and part-time head for the innovation activites at the Division of Head, Neck and Reconstructive Surgery. He has an additional post as professor II at the Faculty of Dentistry, UiO.

Committe statement:
Tor Paaske Utheim’s research is within the fields of genetics and stem cells with focus on ophthalmological diseases. He has published well and is responsible for an active PhD program. He has a well-established collaboration/exchange program with Harvard Medical School. He has been able to build a successful research group with activities in a variety of scientific fields. Dr. Utheim is a stimulating mentor and several of his research students have been able to take advantage of his extensive and fruitful international collaborations.

Utheim's publications

News article from, where the award winners answer questions about their current research and how their findings may be of benefit for patients (text in Norwegian):

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