OUS Researcher Awards 2023 Excellent researcher awards to Halvorsen, Kryeziu and Skjerven

Three Oslo University Hospital scientists received prestigous awards for their outstanding research on Friday June 9th.

The major prize - the "Excellent Researcher Award" - went to Bente Halvorsen. Kushtrim Kryeziu and Håvard O. Skjerven both received the "Early Career Award".

The prize money - 300.000 and 150.000 NOK respectively - is earmarked for research activities.

The awards are distributed anually in order to honour excellent scientific work. The awarding process is organized by the hospital's research committee, while an external Scientific Advisory Board has evaluated the candidates. 

The 2023 award winners during the ceremony. From left: Kushtrim Kryeziu, Bente Halvorsen and Håvard Ole Skjerven. Photo: Lillian Kramer-Johansen.

About this year's award winners:

Excellent Researcher Award

Bente Halvorsen:

Bente Halvorsen is head of the Research Institute of Internal Medicine (RIIM), Division of Surgery, Inflammatory Diseases and Transplantation, and professor at the Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo.

Committee statement:

Halvorsen is a professor at the Institute of Clinical Medicine at the University of Oslo and the Head of the Research Institute of Internal Medicine (RIIM) at Oslo University Hospital. She is an authority in the field of atherosclerosis research. She has developed a wide range of methods and models, and combines mouse models with clinical studies in large patient populations. In addition, she masters advanced cell and molecular biology methods. Notably, she has identified a role of the NAD generation pathway in inflammation and metabolism in
relation to myocardial infarction, as well as a role for cholesterol crystals in atherogenesis. She has also elucidated important roles of the cytokines CCL19 and CCL21 as inflammatory mediators in clinical and experimental atherosclerosis, and has clarified the mechanisms for the beneficial effects of inhibition of IL-6 in patients with myocardial infarction, with important clinical implications. Recently, Dr Halvorsen has studied the effect of Covid-19 on the epitranscriptome regulation in atherosclerosis and has characterized the immune response to Covid-19 vaccines.

Halvorsen has developed RIIM into a world leading translational research institute with extensive collaborations and unique biobanks and been very effective in promoting the careers for young researchers. She is very successful in obtaining research grants for her studies. The publication record is excellent with more than 300 research papers (29 as first author and 44 as last author). Several of the papers report significant findings and are found in journals of high impact. Professor Bente Halvorsen is an excellent scientist with impressive leadership skills. She has contributed, and continues to contribute, in a profound manner to the research environment at Oslo University Hospital and is a most suitable candidate for the Excellence Researcher Award 2023 at Oslo University Hospital.

Bente Halvorsen
The Immune regulation in atherosclerosis and other cardiometabolic diseases research group
The Research Institute of Internal Medicine (RIIM)

Early Career Awards:

Kushtrim Kryeziu

Kushtrim Kryeziu is a researcher in the Lothe lab at the Department of Molecular Oncology at the Institute for Cancer Research, the Division of Cancer Medicine.

Committe statement:

Kushtrim Kryeziu defended his thesis in molecular cell biology at the Medical University of Vienna in 2016. He was the same year recruited as postdoctoral fellow to the University of Oslo, Department of Molecular Oncology. Since 2018 he is a researcher at the Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital, where he has been very successful in developing a platform for functional oncology of solid tumors. In this, important work has been performed in preclinical drug development in different experimental models. This includes work in cancer organoid models that is well on its way to be implemented in drug selection for cancer treatment. Indeed, this work has already been shown to be beneficial in selected patients for reducing disease burden. Importantly, unnecessary side effects of non-effective treatment can be avoided by the drug screening procedures. Kryeziu has published his work in highly renowned journals since his start at Oslo University Hospital and the planned research is of major interest and importance in his research field.

Kushtrim Kryeziu
Home page of The Genetics group, headed by Ragnhild A. Lothe
Department of Molecular Oncology
Institute for Cancer Research

Håvard O. Skjerven

Håvard O. Skjerven is senior scientist forsker and consultant at Oslo Research group of Asthma and Allergy in Children, the Lung and Environment, Division of Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine

Committe statement:

Håvard Ove Skjerven obtained his PhD at University of Oslo in 2016 and now holds a position as senior paediatric consultant and senior researcher in the Division of Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine. He has an impressive carrier of running randomized clinical trials, is currently PI in several international and national multicenter pharmaceutical trials associated with an excellent publication list. His PhD work based on the bronchiolitis trial was published in New England Journal of Medicine and led to altered international guidelines of acute bronchiolitis treatment in infants. He was co-PI in the international prospective multicenter cohort study of pregnant women and their newborns and was first author on two key papers from this study in the Lancet. The finding of a significant reduction in risk of food allergy by introducing allergenic food items early in life, may have important implications for infant feeding guidelines. He is now PI in an important Norwegian multicenter trial on antibiotics in childhood pneumonia, close to be completed. Skjerven has shown dedication and extraordinary skills in designing and conducting important large clinical trials relevant for putative changes in clinical practice.

Håvard Ole Skjerven
ORAACLE - Oslo Research group of Asthma and Allergy in Children, the Lung and Environment
Department of Paediatric Medicine

News article from the main home page of Oslo University Hospital, where the award winners answer questions about their current research and how their findings may be of benefit for patients (text mostly in Norwegian):
Priser til fremragende forskere ved Oslo universitetssykehus 2023 (from www.oslo-universitetssykehus.no)

Previous award winners:
(click on year to read more)

Excellent Researcher Award
Early Career Award (alphabetically listed)
Håvard Danielsen
Silje Fjellgård Jørgensen
Geir Ringstad.
Ragnhild A. Lothe
Marina Vietri
Lasse Pihlstrøm
Michael Bretthauer
Anna Hoffmann-Vold
Olav Kristianslund
Ole A. Andreassen
Mette Kalager
Anita Sveen
Arne Klungland
Kristina H. Haugaa
Lars Tjelta Westlye
Kirsten Sandvig
Johannes Espolin Roksund Hov
Tor Paaske Utheim
Pål Aukrust
Espen Melum
Therese Seierstad
Anne-Lise Børresen-Dale
Jan Terje Andersen
John Arne Dahl
Ludvig M. Sollid
Kyrre Eeg Emblem
Edward Leithe
Harald Stenmark
Guro Lind
Tom Hemming Karlsen
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