Professor Kjetil Taskén awarded King Olav V’s Cancer Research Prize
Professor Kjetil Taskén at the Faculty of Medicine has received the 2016 cancer research prize for his work with immunotherapy. – This is great acknowledgement of our work, says a humble Taskén.
Professor Kjetil Taskén, director of the Norwegian Centre for Molecular Medicine and the Biotechnology Centre. Photo: UiO/Terje Heiestad
– I feel so honoured. It is great recognition of the work we have done. When you look at the previous recipients of this prize, you feel very humble, says Kjetil Taskén, director of the Norwegian Centre for Molecular Medicine and the Biotechnology Centre
King Olav V's Cancer Research prize is awarded by the Norwegian Cancer Society to researchers who have advanced Norwegian cancer research.
The reason given was that "He has made a major contribution to the understanding of immuno-oncology, work that will become even more relevant in the development of next-generation immunotherapy".
The prize is NOK 1 million.
– The money will be a great help, and gives us greater latitude in terms of our research, says Taskén.
At present, the prize-winner and his research team are mostly preoccupied with two things:
– First, why cancer cells get the immune system to turn off the ability to recognize and kill cancerous tumours and how to jump-start the body to fight cancer itself using the immune system.
– Second, how we can organize chemical biological screening methods using existing medication to deliver data that can provide input to the clinical decision-making process for personalized cancer therapy, says Taskén.
He believes that the support he has received from the Norwegian Cancer Association over the years has been invaluable to the work of his research group.
– We award this prize every year in order to honour researchers. It is acknowledgement that they have performed extraordinary work in Norway and abroad, says Secretary General Anne Lise Ryel of the Norwegian Cancer Association, in a press release.
Ryel says that the Association is particularly pleased to award the prize to a researcher who works with immunotherapy, which many people believe to be the cancer treatment of the future.
– Immunotherapy can lead to treatment that is tougher on cancer, but kinder to the patient. The results of the treatment, where the immune system itself is activated to attack cancer, are promising, says Ryel.
– The Faculty is very proud that Kjetil Taskén has received this prize. He is an excellent researcher with an illustrious reputation. It is well-deserved!, says Dean Frode Vartdal at the Faculty of Medicine.
King Olav V's Cancer Research Fund was established in memory of King Olav V in 1992.
Since then the prize has been awarded every year to researchers who have distinguished themselves by working for several years to improve the lives of many people.
More funding and prizes to Faculty researchers recently:
Professor Per Grøttum received the Olav Thon Foundation's award for excellence in education.
Professors in clinical medicine Tone Tønjum and Ole A. Andreassen received funding for research on diseases of the brain from the Olav Thon Foundation.
Erlend Nagelhus, Professor at IMB received funding from the Olav Thon Foundation.