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Kicked off International Collaboration

Last week around 30 researchers from Brazil, the USA and the University of Oslo kicked off the international collaboration «Resispart» in the US. Lead by Fernanda Petersen from the Institute of Oral Biology, the project group is already seeing partnership, fruitful atmosphere and high expectations.  

group picture of about 30 researchers lined up in a spiral staircase

«Resispart» gathered almost 30 researchers from all levels at the first out of three meetings, with antimicrobial resistance at the top of the agenda. Here is the whole group in the DNA-staircase at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Foto: Hilde Zwaig Kolstad, OD/UiO. 

The purpose of the project is to underline antimicrobial resistance by connecting education and research. A significant part of the project is to create a groundwork for education funded on research about this highly relevant topic, most apparent in the threat Antibiotic resistance poses global health.

 – «Resispart» is a uniqe opportunity to unite strong research groups to develop our scientific understanding. It is just as much project that will help ensure that the younger generations access updated, quality-education, funded on the latest research within the field, presented in an interactive and engaging way, says Petersen. She is very satisfied with the first meeting, hosted by her colleagues at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

– Research is team work. To be able to perform as well as possible, and reach as far as we aspire, we need to get to know each other and understand in which areas we are all focusing our research, get the overview over which methods are in use and which facilities we have at our disposal, altogether. This meeting has been very successful – it lay the grounds for better understanding of all of these points, and has been a good inspiration to continue our work, she explains.

Open, Digital Educational Resources

A specific result of «Resispart» is going to be the establishing of an open digital educational program about antimicrobial resistance, a socalled «MOOC» (Massive Open Online Course). The course will contribute to engaging instruction with high quality for several groups. Firstly, it will be offered to the students of the four collaborating institutions: Unicamp in Brazil, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and Forsyth Institute, US, and the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Oslo (UiO). The course shall be relevant and accessible to other groups as well, however, for instance medical students, health personell and other professionals.

At the kick-off meeting in Chicago, Petersen carried out a brainstorming session where the participants discussed specific topics the MOOC courses can address, what they should entail and how they should be formed.

– It was exciting to hear everyone present their thoughts out loud and freely, and develop each others’ ideas. We actually got a few steps further in developing some specific topics for a MOOC. But we will bring this into our continuing work now and see what we choose to prioritize, says Petersen.

Three Year Collaboration

Around 15 researchers gathered around a table inside
Fernanda Petersen together with her Norwegian co workers and some of the other participants from Brazil and the US, at Windy River in Denver. Photo: Pedro Ricomini, Unicamp.

The meetings in Denver and Chicago was the backdrop for a one week kick off with participants from all four institutions. The whole Resispart group, consisting of around 30 Ph.d.- and post.doc candidates, and senior researchers, participated at the Wind River conference in Denver. The junior researchers all held poster- and oral presentations.

After that, a summer hot Chicago was the backdrop for two days of presentations and discussion at the University of Illinois. «Resispart» is specifically going to promote exchange and research visits across the institutions. Part of the program included social events, enabling the participants to get to know each other, and each others’ home cities and schools better. Roger Junges, Rabia Khan, Gabriela Salvadori da Silva, Kjersti Sturød, Heidi Aarø Åmdal, and Petersen herself participated from the Institute of Oral Biology at UiO.

The Chicago meeting and the rest of the research project is being financed by the Norwegian Research Council and the Center for Internationalization of Education’s (SIU) INTPART-grant and runs for three years. Each year there will be a joint meeting. Next year, Unicamp in Brazil will host one week of courses, lectures and joint sessions. The Faculty of Dentistry at the UiO will host the meeting in 2020.

«Resispart» is one out of several ongoing projects on antimicrobial resistance lead by Petersen. The coming fall her research group is expanded with two Ph.d.- and one Post doc candidates.

Read more about Petersen's group:

By Hilde Zwaig Kolstad
Published June 27, 2018 1:49 PM - Last modified June 27, 2018 4:21 PM