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Talented life science researchers honored in Norway

Kyrre Eeg Emblem Photo Ram Gupta

Two of the Research Council of Norway’s three Awards for Young Outstanding Researchers have been awarded this year to cancer researcher Kyrre Eeg Emblem and nanotechnologist Øivind Wilhelmsen.

The winners each receive a cash prize of NOK 500 000 an the awards will be presented on 1 March.

“These prizes honor three researchers who have already achieved impressive careers at a young age. It is important to reward the enormous effort young researchers invest in their work. We need more young research heroes. We hope that this year’s recipients will be a source of inspiration for other young researchers and for young people considering a career in research,” says John-Arne Røttingen, Chief Executive of the Research Council.

Benefits cancer patients

Kyrre Eeg Emblem has received the Award for Young Outstanding Researchers in the category Medicine, health sciences and biology. Emblem, 37, is a trained biophysicist. He is a research group leader at the Department of Diagnostic Physics at Oslo University Hospital’s (OUS) Division of Radiology & Nuclear Medicine.

In its statement, the jury highlighted his ability to work across research groups: “Dr Emblem has an interdisciplinary background that he uses in an innovative, multidisciplinary approach to medical problems. He is highly recognized internationally and works together actively with world-leading groups in his field,” the jury writes.

Emblem’s research directly benefits cancer patients. Using MRI technology, it is possible to determine beforehand how different cancer treatments will work on human patients. The goal is to generate insight into how a treatment affects the disease panorama and consequently predict which patients will respond to that specific cancer treatment.

What lies on the surface

Øivind Wilhelmsen has received the Award for Young Outstanding Researchers in the category of Mathematics, natural science and technology for his groundbreaking contributions to research in thermodynamics and hydrogen technology. “Øivind Wilhelmsen’s research has led to new, original ideas and contributed to an advanced, deeper understanding of the formation of bubbles/droplets at the nano-scale. His research has great potential for applications within materials technology and biological systems,” the jury writes.

Wilhelmsen, 32, is a research scientist at SINTEF Energy Research and Professor II at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Wilhelmsen’s research focuses particularly on what takes place on the outermost surface of objects, and how insight into surface properties can be applied in current and future technologies. Wilhelmsen has headed several large research projects and built up his own research group at NTNU. He is also very committed to active popular science and scholarly dissemination, and his research has received considerable attention in the national and international media.

Photo of Kyrre Eeg Emblem: Ram Gupta/OUS