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Prestigious award of EUR 2.5 million for cancer research

Professor Harald Stenmark from the University of Oslo (UiO) is to receive an ERC Advanced Grant for his research on cancer. Two other people in Norway have previously received ERC Advanced Grants on two occasions.

Professor Harald Stenmark. Photo: Øystein Horgmo, UiO

Once again Professor Harald Stenmark is to receive an ERC Advanced Grant for his research on cancer. His research project, entitled “Coincidence detection of proteins and lipids in regulation fo cellular membrane dynamics (CODE)”, will run for five years and has been granted EUR 2.5 million.

The project is designed to reveal “codes” which the cells in our bodies use for turning on special processes in the right place inside the cells. This is important for cancer research because we know that errors in such “codes” can result in uncontrolled cell division and the development of cancer. If we know which “codes” the cells use, we can also make biotechnological use of them, and part of the project is designed to develop artificial “codes” which can be used in biosensors.

An exclusive club

Professor Stenmark is now a member of an exclusive club. Only two other Norwegian researchers, Professor Edvard Moser (NTNU) and Professor Kenneth Hugdahl (UiB), have been granted an ERC Advanced Grant on two occasions during the course of their careers.

Receiving an ERC grant is not something that happens every day. Nevertheless this is the second year in a row that researchers at the Faculty have been successful. Professor Jukka Corander (UiO) received an ERC Advanced Grant last year, and Associate Professor Ruth Prince (UiO) received an ERC Starting Grant at the same time.

Cancer breakthrough

Professor Stenmark, who is now also involved in establishing his second Centre of Excellence, CanCell – Centre for Cancer Cell Reprogramming, is a researcher who will be worth following in the future. 

“Now that he has his second ERC grant, Professor Stenmark is consolidating his position as an excellent researcher in his field, conducting breakthrough research on a European and global level,” says Per Magnus Kommandantvold, the Research Council of Norway’s national contact for ERC grants. They are sending their most hearty congratulations.

Pride of the Institute and Faculty

Dean Frode Vartdal, Research Dean Hilde Nebb, Head of Department Ivar Prydz Gladhaug and the Institute of Clinical Medicine are incredibly proud of the fact that one of the Institute’s professors has not just set up two Centres of Excellence in a row, but is now receiving his second ERC Advanced Grant.

“For many years Professor Stenmark has been one of our most outstanding researchers and he has now become clearly established in the definitive international elite division,” says Professor Gladhaug.

He continues: “He is also the UiO’s most prominent researcher at the Institute for Cancer Research at the Radium Hospital which is definitely the most important cancer research environment in Norway.”

By Silje M. Kile Rosseland
Published Apr. 12, 2018 2:05 PM - Last modified Apr. 12, 2018 3:02 PM