Research School

The Neuro-SysMed Research School in Translational Neuroscience

The Neuro-SysMed Research School in Translational Neuroscience (RSTN) was established in March 2021 and is part of the neuro-scientific research environment at Neuro-SysMed, relating to the disciplines represented at Neuro-SysMed: Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Amyotrofic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson`s disease, dementia, cell models, metabolomics, biomarkers, informatics, drug screening, registry and epidemiology, care, scientific theory and suffering. The research School offers education for PhD candidates and other students, and the aim is to provide them with insights into groundbreaking translational neuro-science, and being an important supplement to the established educational program in research at the Medical faculty, University of Bergen. Our main vision is to provide sustainable networks of researchers and support in order to encourage young researchers to expand their promising career beyond accomplished doctoral thesis. The RSTN is directed by Associate Professor Nina Grytten Torkildsen in collaboration with Professor Kjell-Morten Myhr, director, and Professor Charalompos Tzoulis, co-director at Neuro-Sysmed.

An interdisciplinary collaboration with cancer researchers at Centre for Cancer Biomarkers – CCBIO, has made opportunities for the establishment of joint PhD courses, which can be seen below as CCBIONEUR-courses.

The RSNT aims at providing PhD candidates with relevant courses to fulfill obligatory credit points for the PhD training program at the University of Bergen. Another important objective for the research school is to provide an inspiring and ambitious environment for the stimulation of future research among junior scientists as well as the established seniors.

Main goals are:

  • Offer education in groundbreaking translational neuro-science, and in issues related to accomplish a PhD
  • Offer inspiring networks to provide enthusiasm for doing research into translational neuroscience, and interdisciplinary research collaboration.
  • Provide opportunities for interaction in networks of scientist, and exchange of ideas in a stimulating and aspiring scientific environment.

All current RSNT activities are listed in the UiB calendar: Upcoming events for Neuro-SysMed | University of Bergen (uib.no)

Established courses and seminars

NEUROSYSM910 Neuro-SysMed Junior Scientist Symposium

The objective of the symposium series is to provide the PhD candidates with valuable skills in oral presentation techniques while presenting their own research as well as dissemination of the research of others, provide opportunities to engage in scientific discussions, and to take advantage of peer reviews and comments to strengthen the scientific quality of own research and scientific thinking. A main ambition is also to strengthen the scientific networks and to encourage candidates to establish relations to scientists. The symposia are organized 4 times annually, twice every semester. Each symposium is organized with a keynote lecture initially (45 min), followed by 4 PhD candidates/postdoctoral researchers who present their work (25 min each including the oral presentation and discussion). Subsequently, there will be final discussions. The presentations will be of own research with special attention to presentation techniques and quality. The symposia are chaired by coordinators recruited from postdocs and PhD candidates within Neuro-SysMed. The first Junior Scientist Symposium has its kick-off January 18, 2023. Attendance provides 3 ECTS if the candidate has participated in minimum 4 symposia, written and submitted 4 scientific reports of scientific presentations at the symposia, and presented own research at one of the symposia. See coming symposia in the Neuro-SysMed calendar.

NEUROSYSM920 Neuro-SysMed seminars and symposium

The objective of the seminars at the Neuro-SysMed Research School for Translational Neuroscience is to provide knowledge into the research disciplines at Neuro-SysMed and treatment strategies for patients with MS, PD, ALS and dementia. The seminars are organized in monthly meetings and include an annual 2-day symposium. Members of Neuro-SysMed as well as invited local, national and international speakers will present during the seminars and symposium.  The symposium has a scientific program, and the PhD candidates are required present their research and participate at the scheduled sessions. The seminars and symposium also offer additional time for live discussions between faculty and participants at the end of the sessions. “Meet the Experts” will be a part of the scientific program at the symposium. Participation at the seminars and symposium will be registered and credited as membership of The Neuro-SysMed Research School of Translational Neuroscience. NEUROSYSM920 provides 3 ECTS following certain criteria. See coming seminars in the Neuro-SysMed calendar.

NEUROSYSM930 Applied bioinformatics and data analysis in medical research

The main objective of this course is to provide the candidates with the knowledge central for successful application of bioinformatics and data analysis in clinical research on human tissue. The course focuses on practical aspects and methodological considerations that need to be taken into account when dealing with human derived data, such as data sensitivity, limited sample sizes, sample misclassification, choice of appropriate statistical models, covariates, and tissue heterogeneity. The course is composed of seminars, lectures, and hands-on tutorials given by clinicians and researchers based on real-life scenarios. The course provides an inspiring environment, promoting networking between trainees and researchers s well as career development, and encouraging future collaborations. The course is highly beneficial for all with an interest in bioinformatics, biology, medicine, or clinical research in general. This is a 3 ECTS course which took place for the first time in November 2022.

NEUROSYSM940 The nature of disease and suffering and the goals of precision medicine

Precision Medicine (PM) has emerged as a prominent paradigm poised to transform medical research and clinical practice. Through a broad scope of literature, seminars, and cases brought from participants’ own research projects, the aim of this course is to facilitate reflection and deliberation on central philosophical and normative issues in the social organization and practices of PM. Key concepts will be utilized to open up the PM paradigm for philosophical criticism and reflection, thus contributing to a knowledge culture of PM where central philosophical, societal, and ethical issues, dilemmas, ambiguities, and controversies can be addressed. Course participants’ own background and research questions will actively be used as a point of departure for deliberations and reflections. This is a 2 ECTS course which was first run in 2023.

CCBIONEUR910 Patient and Public Involvement in Medical and Health Research

The course aims to inspire increased user participation in research trials and will present methods on how to involve user representatives. This is highly relevant to all biomedical research fields, and Patient and Public Involvement is documented to positively impact the relevance and efficacy in medical research. The main objective of the course is to develop the participants’ capacity to assess and convey the value of patient and public involvement in general, as well as promoting productive user involvement in their own research projects. The course spans over 3 days, was held for the first time November 3-5, 2021, provides 2 ECTS and combines plenary discussions and group sessions involving user representatives and patient organizations, with presentations from national and international lecturers.

CCBIONEUR911 Clinical Trials

The completed program qualifies for a Good Clinical Practice (GCP) certificate and covers several aspects of clinical trials – from design planning to execution – with learning examples from cancer research and neurological research alike. The course go through topics such as study design, the pharmaceutical company perspective, the patient’s perspective, ethics, GCP overview and concepts, practical running of a clinical trial, formalities and regulations, writing a protocol, applications and funding, contracts, translational research protocols, clinical trials as part of normal clinical operations, success factors and clinical trials in the future. In addition to being one of the few GCP courses that is taught in English in Norway, it is also providing 2 ECTS for UiB students.

CCBIONEUR912 Health Innovation

The course aims to teach PhD candidates and other researchers how to recognize the close connection between research findings and innovation potential. The course uses examples from our own research environments as well as internationally, to showcase the practical route from idea to patent – and beyond. The overall aim of this course is to encourage and enable our PhD students and young researchers to identify and evaluate the innovation potential in their own research projects, and provide them with the knowledge needed to be able to do this. The course provides inspiration and practical knowledge on alternative ways to realize the innovation potential from research projects. The very first course was held November/December 2021. It provides 4 ECTS for students at the University of Bergen.

Who can participate in The Neuro-SysMed Research School in Translational Neuroscience?

The courses are open to researchers, postdocs, students (PhD, master, students in the Medical Student Research Program) and others who are interested, nationally and internationally. The research school is aiming at being inclusive and open also for PhD candidates who are not associated to the University of Bergen.

An objective for the research school is also to provide the candidates an identity and a long- term benefit of being involved in Neuro-SysMed. A formal enrollment at the research school will strengthen networking and interactional skills in a scientific environment – being out most important for future research careers.

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