Professor Ole Petter Ottersen is President of Karolinska Institutet (2017- ). He served eight years (2009-2017) as President of the University of Oslo (UiO).
His research interest is in the field of neuroscience, with a particular focus on synaptic structure and function and on the molecular mechanisms underlying edema formation and water transport in brain. From 2002 to 2009 Ottersen served as Director of Centre for Molecular Biology and Neuroscience – one of Norway’s Centres of Excellence. He also chaired a Nordic Centre of Excellence in Molecular Medicine, funded by NordForsk. In recent years he has been engaged in global health, much inspired by his experiences gained as Chair of The Lancet-University of Oslo Commission on Global Governance for Health (2014).
Ottersen was Chief Editor of Neuroscience (2006-2009) – the official journal of the International brain research organization (IBRO) – and served as panel leader in the European research Council (ERC Advanced Grants) from the start to 2012. He is now panel leader in ERC Synergy Grants. Ottersen was Founding Chair (2016-2017) of a European network of Research Intensive Universities (The Guild).
Ottersen has chaired several prize award committees, including the Jahre Prize Committee, the Thon Prize Committee, and the Kavli Prize Committee in Neuroscience.
Ottersen has received a number of national and international awards including the Jahre Prize and the Lundbeck Prize (shared with Jon Storm-Mathisen). He holds Honorary Doctorates at several institutions including École Normale Supérieure, Lyon.