In memoriam: Erlend A. Nagelhus, 1966-2020

NCMM was deeply saddened to receive the news that our friend and former colleague Professor Erlend A. Nagelhus passed away whilst on a skiing trip in Sørkedalen on January 10th 2020. 

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Professor Erlend A. Nagelhus.
Photo: private.

Erlend was an important part of NCMM’s history, as well as a current Board member and mentor for staff within the Centre.

Our thoughts and sympathies go to his family and we would like to extend our sincere condolences at this difficult time. 

Erlend was an MD with training as a neurologist, and completed his PhD at the University of Oslo. He then spent several years at Rochester University, New York, but returned to Norway when he was recruited to NCMM in 2009. He was one of the very first group leaders appointed at NCMM, and led a highly successful group performing cutting-edge research in the field of neuroscience and the function of glial cells. 

In recognition of his many achievements in research, Erlend was appointed as a Professor of Medicine at the University of Oslo in 2013. He therefore rotated out of his group leader position at NCMM at the conclusion of his five-year position in 2014.

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Professor Nagelhus at the Nordic EMBL Partnership network meeting hosted by NCMM in 2013. Photo: Jean Ståle Lorentzen

He maintained a strong connection to NCMM thereafter, becoming an NCMM Associate Investigator (2014), and member of the NCMM Board (2019). He was also the mentor to current NCMM group leader and Head of the Chemical Neuroscience research group, Camila Esguerra.

Widely recognized as a leader in his research field, Erlend made many important discoveries during an established career. While at NCMM, he set-up the GliaLab, with a focus on astrocyte function in health and neurological disease. He was also Head of the Letten Centre at the University of Oslo, which hosted the GliaLab and served as a microscopy facility for real-time brain imaging. Within these roles, Erlend was an important and influential colleague to a great number of researchers and students. 

Professor Kjetil Taskén was Director of NCMM when Dr Nagelhus was recruited in 2009. Sharing his memories of Erlend, Kjetil said:

"I was deeply shocked and saddened to learn that Erlend Nagelhus had suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. He was one of the two first group leaders recruited when we started NCMM and a great addition to the environment. He went on to pursue a fantastic career at IMB while continuing to be a true friend of NCMM. He was always willing to help, mentor younger colleagues, and also gave very wise input. His passing away is a great loss for the Faculty of Medicine and the wider research environment."

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Professor Nagelhus and group member Wannan Tang during their time as members of NCMM. Photo: John Hughes. 

For those fortunate enough to work with him at NCMM, Erlend will be remembered as a kind, supportive and very popular colleague. He had an infectious positivity and would always go out of his way to help where possible. We would like to extend our sincere condolences to all those affected by Erlend’s death, both within the scientific community and beyond. He will be sorely missed. 


Published Jan. 27, 2020 9:06 AM - Last modified Jan. 27, 2020 11:09 AM