Last week we had the autumns retreat with head of departments. These retreats represent excellent opportunities to exchange information and to discuss topics of general interest to all of us. I presented the status of the KI managements activities following the Heckscher investigation. On October 10th the KI Board supported the action plan that I presented and asked me to further develop the plan and the actions taking into consideration points raised at the board meeting. I was also asked to, at the board meeting December 5th present a concise and time specified project plan based on the action plan.

The action plan builds on Strategy 2018 and activities already initiated by the previous vice-chancellor, to improve our internal culture, to implement a comprehensive quality system and to review the KI organization. It will also be important to further strengthen our core values and to improve communication to make sure that our environment that invites ideas and opinions. The plan includes precise actions to all recommendations proposed by Heckscher as well as the recommendations proposed by the KI internal auditors following an internal audit of the CLINTEC department. We are now focusing on detailing aspects of the plan as well as to build a project organization before it will be broadly communicated.

VIsit by MInister Gabriel Wikström

On Friday, the Minister for Public Health, Health Care and Sports, Gabriel Wikström, visited Karolinska Institutet. Karolinska Institutet’s vision is to make a significant contribution to the improvement of human health. This includes preventing and treating disease and in this it is highly relevant to have regular discussions with the responsible minister. KI scientists are also active as regards the effects of physical training for health so the minister’s responsibility also for sports provides an excellent frame work to discuss physical activity and its importance for maintained health. We met the minister at Widerströmska Huset where he was meeting student from the Masters program in global health, a visit hosted by Göran Tomson and Johan von Schreeb. We then made a visit to SciLifeLab, where Lars Engstrand and Valtteri Wirta showed the Clinical Genomics facility where whole genome sequencing is applied in diagnosis of monogenic diseases. Later on Anna Wedell, the responsible scientist and medical doctor, presented more about her work on applying genomics in the diagnosis of monogenic metabolic disorders, a truly ground breaking work. Miia Kivipelto presented her very important work how dementia can be prevented. Her studies provide hope for patients and relatives in showing that (progression of) dementia can be prevented by physical and mental training. Daniel Berglind presented his work focusing on physical activity in children, and how this has changed ie with the introduction of digital toys and associated consequences on child health. What can be more important than the health of children, the future! He suggests that parents have an important contribution in supporting physical activity in children. Something for us all to think about.

We also discussed in more general terms including the responsibility of KI to deliver well training personnel for the health care sector and how we should interact with the sector to make sure that research findings are implemented in clinical practice and that challenges in clinical practice are identified and subject to research and development activities.

We are looking forward to hosting another visit by the minister and for this he has already announced that he likes to meet more students.

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