BioInsights - Taking the initiative to advance precision medicine: a perspective from Norway

Taking the initiative to advance precision medicine: a perspective from Norway

Immuno-Oncology Insights 2022; 3(7), 349–355

DOI: 10.18609/ioi.2022.036

Published: 16 July 2022
Kjetil Taskén

What does the practical implementation of precision medicine in oncology look like, and how can key public and private stakeholders be brought to the table? We spoke to Kjetil Taskén to find out how Norway is driving precision medicine in cancer through three nationwide initiatives, and to discuss his own work on functional precision medicine and tumor immune evasion mechanisms.

Kjetil Taskén (born 1965, MD, PhD) was appointed Professor of Medicine at University of Oslo (UiO) in 2001 and has since 2018 served as Head of the Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital (OUH) where he is also Group Leader for the Cell Signaling and Immune Regulation Group (approx. 20 people) in the Dept. of Cancer Immunology. He was the Director of the Biotechnology Centre of Oslo, UiO from 2003 to 2016 and the founding Director of Centre for Molecular Medicine Norway (NCMM), Nordic EMBL Partnership, UiO where he served from 2008 to 2018. He established and directed the national infrastructure for academic chemical biology and drug screening (Nor-Openscreen, coupled to EU-Openscreen) and was the national director for EATRIS (translational medicine). More recently he has been key in building the national cancer precision medicine initiative for Norway (InPreD molecular diagnostics infrastructure, IMPRESS-Norway national clinical trial and CONNECT public-private partnership) and is Director of the OUH Centre for Precision Cancer Medicine. He is a partner in the K.G. Jebsen Centre for B Cell Malignancies. He has served or serves on a number of evaluation panels, SABs and Editorial Boards, including ERC StG panel LS3 (2014-20), the IMI Scientific Committee (2017-22), and Cancer Research UK New agents committee (2019-). Taskén received the Anders Jahre Medical Prize for younger scientists in 2002 (Nordic award), and won the King Olav V’s Prize for Cancer Research (national life-achievement award) in 2016. He was elected to the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in 2005. Taskén is author of >290 publications and inventor > 20 patents (>14,000 citations, h-index =62). Current research is in tumor immune evasion mechanisms and immune regulation and in functional precision medicine and drug screening for different solid and blood cancers.