Letten Prize Day 2023

The Letten Prize Day will be on September 7th, 2023.

The day will consist of the Letten seminar, the Letten Prize Award Ceremony and a celebratory dinner. More information will follow.

Time: September 7th, 2023
Place: The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters,
Drammensveien 78, 0271 Oslo

The Letten Seminar: Tackling Global Health Threats – From Parasites to Pandemics

The Letten Prize Seminar is in honor of the 2021 Letten Prize Winner Meta Roestenberg.

Time: September 7th, 2023, 09:00- 16:00 (CET)
Place: The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters,
Drammensveien 78, 0271 Oslo
Reception: There will be a reception immediately after the Letten Seminar. Everyone attending the seminar is welcome.

Registration: Register for the event.
Or attend the live stream on our YouTube-Channel.

Join us for an enlightening symposium bringing together experts in the field of infectious diseases, pandemics, and global health. This event offers an exploration of subjects ranging from parasites and bacteria to preventative strategies and pandemics, providing you with the latest insights in these critical areas.

The day begins with a dive into parasites, with a special focus on malaria, schistosomiasis and leishmaniasis. Learn more about the prevalence of malaria in India and gain insights into the challenges of schistosomiasis and leishmaniasis.

Following this, we turn our attention to bacterias, specifically tuberculosis and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) focusing on the situation in the south and in war.

Post lunch, we discuss the prevention of infectious diseases, covering prevention of infectious diseases including the development of new vaccines.

The symposium concludes with a look at pandemics and global health, covering pandemics’ historical context, international research collaboration experiences from Covid-19, and the unique perspective of “One health,” a holistic view of people, animals, and nature.

Lastly, a distinguished panel will address gaps in knowledge, research financing, prioritization, and organization, before wrapping up the symposium with a reception in the Gobelin Hall.

Registration: Register for the event.
Or attend the live stream on our YouTube-Channel.

Detailed program

Parasite session09:00-11:00Meta RoestenbergMalaria
Kristine MørchMalaria in India
Solrun SøftelandFemale Genital Schistosomiasis
Hanne BrekkeLeishmaniasis – Global health threats of a neglected tropical disease
Bacteria – AMR & TB11:15 – 12:15Bjørn BlombergAMR in the South
Kristian TonbyMultidrug resistant bacterial infections in patients evacuated from the Ukrainian war – experiences from a hospital in Norway
Anne Ma Dyrhol RiisePersonalized Medicine 
in Tuberculosis
Prevention of (viral) infectious diseases13:15 – 14:25Atle FretheimInfection control in pandemics – what works?
Gunnveig GrødelandVaccination against future coronaviral and influenza pandemics
Gunnstein NorheimNTD-vaccines
Asgeir JohannessenHepatitis B elimination in Africa – from clinical care to policy
Pandemics, global health and research collaboration14:45 – 15:40Svenn-Erik MamelundPandemics
Marius TrøseidInternational research collaboration – experience from covid-19 and the Solidact platform
Lucy RobertsonOne Health – the importance of looking at people, animals, and the environment together
Panel discussion15:40-16:05John Arne Røttingen, Ambassador for Global Health at Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Øyunn Holen, Doctors without Borders
Gunstein Norheim – Nykode Therapeutics, an Oslo-based biopharmaceutical company
Meta Roestenberg, Letten Prize Laureate from 2021
Reception16:05 – 17:00In the Gobelin hall
Registration: Register for the event.
Or attend the live stream on our YouTube-Channel.

About the speakers

Kristine Mørch is head of National senter for tropical infectious diseases at Haukeland university hospital in Bergen. She is a consultant in infectious diseases at Haukeland university hospital and associate professor at University of Bergen. Her main research interests are within the field of acute tropical infectious diseases, malaria and giardiasis.

Solrun Søfteland is a physician and a PhD-candidate at the University of Oslo and Department of Global Health, Oslo University Hospital. Her PhD is part of a multinational interdisciplinary project (DUALSAVE-FGS and BRIGHT Academy) working on the neglected tropical disease Female Genital Schistosomiasis. The group is currently planning a clinical diagnostic study in South Africa, Eswatini and Mozambique together with local partners. 

Hanne Brekke is a specialist in internal medicine and medical microbiology. She works as a specialist at the department of medical microbiology at Oslo University Hospital. Her main topic of interest is one health medicine and global medicine, in particular in parasitology and mycobacteriology. She is doing research on leishmaniasis, developing a highly sensitive and specific point of care field test for use in diagnosis of leishmaniasis and as a test of cure. She is also involved in other one health parasitology research, international parasitology groups, and is part of a WHO working group on neglected tropical diseases.

Bjorn Blomberg is medical doctor, specialist in infectious diseases and associate professor working at Haukeland University Hospital and the University of Bergen. His main research interests are antimicrobial resistance and tropical infections including malaria, typhoid, Ebola, TB and HIV.  

Kristian Tonby is a specialist in infectious diseases at the Department of Infectious Diseases at OUH and Associate Professor at Institute of Clinical Medicine (UiO). His research has focused on immune responses in TB, covid-19 and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). He is previous leader of the Antibiotics Stewardship Team at OUH, and has been working with treatment of multidrug resistant infections in patients with war injuries evacuated from Ukrainian hospitals.    

Anne Ma Dyrhol-Riise is professor, head of research and senior consultant in Infectious diseases, at the Dept. of Infectious Diseases, OUS and Institute for Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo where she is leading the Chronic Infectious Diseases Research group. Her main interest is HIV, tuberculosis and Covid-19 with focus on translational research on immune mechanisms, biomarkers and host-directed therapy. She has been principal investigator for several studies including clinical intervention trials.

Atle Fretheim heads the Centre for Epidemic Interventions Research at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and holds an adjunct professorship at Oslo Metropolitan University. He has been doing – or tried to do – research on the effectiveness of health- and policy-interventions for well over 20 years.

Gunnveig Grødeland is leading her research group “influenza and adaptive immunity” at the University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital. The major theme of her group is identification of the immune type most relevant for protection of a particular population group against disease. She has also developed several novel vaccine strategies against influenza and coronaviruses.

Gunnstein Norheim is a vaccine scientist from University of Oslo who has studied meningococcal disease, tuberculosis and viral infections, and developed vaccines for the African meningitis belt. He has worked on projects with Cuba and West Africa, did a post doc at Oxford Vaccine Group and was part of the 2014 Guinea Ebola trial. He was part of establishing CEPI in 2016 and led the Vaccine Science for about 3 years. He is now Director and Head of Infectious Disease Research Area in Nykode Therapeutics. On the symposium he is representing himself, as NTD vaccines after all are not high on the profit scale but still on top of his interest scale.

Asgeir Johannessen is deputy director at Centre for Global Health, University of Oslo and senior consultant at Department of Infectious Diseases, Vestfold Hospital. Over the past decade his research interest has been mainly hepatitis B. He leads several large research programs in Ethiopia, focusing on simplification and scaling-up hepatitis B treatment in resource-limited settings. He is the coordinator and co-founder of HEPSANET, a scientific network of hepatitis B cohorts in Africa. 

Svenn-Erik Mamelund is professor in pandemic studies and the founder and head of Centre for Pandemics & Society (PANSOC) at the University of OsloMet. Mamelund is a specialist in research on social risk factors and consequences of historical pandemics, in particular the Spanish flu of 1918-20.

Marius Trøseid is a clinician with a strong track-record of translational research within infectious diseases, particularly focusing on inflammation, innate and adaptive immunity, as well as the gut microbiota, as potential targets for personalized medicine. He has been actively involved in COVID-19 and pandemic research, as chief investigator for EU SolidAct, a pan-European adaptive platform trial for antiviral and immunomodulating drugs, and as member of the WHO Europe Clinical Expert group on COVID-19 and Mpox.

Lucy Robertson is professor in Parasitology at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Norwegian University of Life Sciences. She also currently serves as a member of the WHO Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group. Zoonotic parasitic diseases, particularly those transmitted via food and water, have been a long-standing research interest, as well as interventions for tackling transmission.

The Letten Prize Ceremony and the Celebratory dinner

The Letten Prize Ceremony and the Celebratory dinner is hosted in honor of the 2023 Letten Prize Winner Paula Moraga. This event is by invitation only.

Time: September 7th, 2023, 18:00-24:00
Place: The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters,
Drammensveien 78, 0271 Oslo
Dress code: Formal
Master of Ceremony: Asta Busingye Lydersen