10 May 2022

From Clinical Observation to New Mechanistic Insights

Networking Event

On a beautiful spring night, the dermatology society across the Nordic countries gathered at the LEO Foundation Skin Immunology Research Center at UCPH to enjoy a networking event as part of the 35th Nordic Congress of Dermatology and Venereology in Copenhagen.

View from the top of the Maersk Tower

The LEO Foundation Skin Immunology Research Center Director, Professor Liv Eidsmo, welcomed everybody to the Mærsk Tower and introduced Director Ken Arnold from the Medical Museion, UCPH, for his inspiration keynote talk Curiosity, communication and collaboration within and beyond medical research.

At the top of the Tower - with the best view of Copenhagen - the event brought together both established and early-career scientists in translational dermatology to discuss topics that are vital in promoting high-quality scientific output and productive interdisciplinary collaborations.

Around the tables, three main questions were discussed:

  • How do we pave the roads from clinical observations to impactful science?
  • How do we build successful and sustainable career paths for researching dermatologists?
  • How do we form dynamic bonds between dermatologists and preclinical research groups?


Three PhD students – Thomas Emmanuel - Jennifer Astrup - Pernille Lindsø Andersen - summarized the interesting discussions, and you can read some of the main points here:


Time, and especially time for immersion, is a scarce resource. Therefore, shared positions between clinical work and research should be supported to a greater extent. However, shared positions carry the risk of having too many tasks at once, ultimately decreasing efficiency and creativity. Therefore, we suggest that shared positions could be organized in a semester-based model. This model could serve as a potentially more efficient and satisfying alternative to the usual shared-positions dividing the weekdays into the various functions.

Team work

Team work should be supported to take advantage of the researcher’s individual talents, interests, and competences. Currently, too many researchers have to perform the various disciplines from funding to publication to dissemination, themselves. Instead, research teams organized like corporate units, where funding, data analysis, writing, project management, and dissemination are allocated to different individuals will strengthen individual competences and interests for the benefit of the unit. Team work might contribute with a sense of community in contrast to individual competition as experienced by the individual researchers. Teams are furthermore ideal to support the semester-based model for shared positions.

How do we form dynamic bonds between dermatologists and preclinical research groups?

  1. Dermatologists and preclinical research groups need to have a basic understanding in plain language of what the other group is doing. The groups must know of each other's existence and how they can synergize.
  2. In addition to funding excellent facilities, hospital leadership needs to also prioritize research between dermatologists and clinician groups, with an emphasis on research with potential for momentum. Research also needs to be funded for longer periods at a time.
  3. Clinicians very often want to do research but are often inhibited by a lack of time, money, and a place to do so. Clinicians want more help, preferably from a dedicated department, regarding how to acquire more time, money, or a place where dynamic bonds between preclinical research groups can be created.

Thank you to all participants, the Nordic Congress of Dermatology & Venereology and our Organizing Committee members Beatrice Dyring-Andersen and Claus Johansen for making this an inspirational, informative and memorable evening!