The ACREDIT Network met at Losby Gods on 9th-10th January for their annual meeting. This year, the focus was on creating a new landscape for research within the network, and on the experience of patients.
On the first day, researchers worked on various tasks related to creation of a new ideas for collaborative research. Participants were encouraged to think of their best “blue sky idea”, and then to develop that into a potential idea for research. In the end, we were able to identify several new lines of enquiry that we can undertake, which will now be developed into new research proposals.
On day two, the ACREDIT patient representatives gave a presentation about what they would like researchers to know, their experiences and their ideas for inclusivity. Researchers were able to ask questions of the panel, who gave well-considered and thoughtful answers to questions posed. The participants were able to get a better understanding of what it was like to be involved in research from the patient’s perspective.
Researchers, especially those working mainly in the lab, often do not get the chance to speak to patients face to face and so ACREDIT was very grateful to the user group members for their time and candid replies. We would like to thank Agnethe Selander, Eirik Bjelland, Leif Haugen, Leiv Halvor Hebnes, Natalia Boyle and Ola Korsmo for taking time out of their busy schedules to come and speak to us. We all learned a lot!
We were also very lucky to have several inspiring and educational speakers attend our event. On the first day, Prof. Anne Spurkland from the University of Oslo gave a very interesting talk about how the immune system works, and the potential for the body to be primed to help its own fight cancer. Anne has literally written the book on the body’s immune system!
On the second day, following our interesting discussion with the patient representatives, Dr. Signe Danielsen from St Olav’s Hospital in Trondheim gave a talk on the inclusion of patient groups in the research environment. Following this, we had a very inspiring and amusing talk on obtaining funding for research from Assoc. Prof. Evandro Fei Fang from Akershus University Hospital and the University of Oslo, who also said a few words on his own research into aging, and gave us some useful tips for slowing our own aging! We thank all the speakers for giving these wonderful and inspiring talks!