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Pizza binds the Department of Biomedicine together

Spend twenty minutes listening to what your colleagues are working on – and digest research results with the help of a slice of pizza and a beer. That is the recipe for a new series of meetings at the Department of Biomedicine. The lecture series has already resulted in increased knowledge across both departmental and faculty boundaries.

2016.05.25 | Mette Louise Ohana


The meetings combine academic knowledge, socialising and something to eat.

At a large department with 450 employees located at six different addresses it can be difficult to know what your colleagues actually do. Not least for a department that has been through a big merger.

So the management at the Department of Biomedicine and some of the younger employees therefore took the initiative and started network meetings to increase the cohesion at the department.

"We still feel that it is important to get to know one another and to work together in different constellations. Our monthly department seminars, where a new researcher talks about his or her research, are already a success. So we have now added network meetings, which are also open to interested parties from other departments, as we also collaborate across departments. The idea is for the meetings to provide both professional insight and a chance to socialise with colleagues," says Department Head Thomas G. Jensen.

Young researchers become more visible

To start with, some of the department’s young non-tenured researchers will present their research at the network meetings. Each researcher is given around twenty minutes, and the researchers have welcomed the initiative. Before the network meetings were established a group of junior researchers had already started to tell each other about their research in a forum reserved for them only.

"I think it is important to communicate what kind of research you are doing to the department as a whole. It also strengthens the network when you talk about the forms of cooperation you could imagine participating in later. So I think that these meetings are extremely positive," says Associate Professor Ditte Demontis, who talked about her genetic research into ADHD at the most recent meeting on 29 April.

Knowledge sharing led to new research collaboration

Ditte Demontis and another associate professor at the department, Line Reinert, have recently begun to collaborate after hearing about one another's research.

"Ditte has access to data from human material from her studies, while I carry out studies on mice. By combining our knowledge and different working methods we have the opportunity to publish in journals with greater impact than if we both worked alone. Even though I have been here for eight years, I did not know about her research before now. While we work in the same building, we are on different floors, which also shows how little we know about the people who you do not work together with on a daily basis," says Associate Professor Line Reinert, who has held a presentation about her research into the herpes virus.

She also emphasises that the network meetings are somewhere where you also have the opportunity to exchange experiences with colleagues working within the same areas. In this way, there is an opportunity to help each other.

The meetings are held roughly every six weeks, always on a Friday afternoon where there is also pizza, cake, coffee and an end of the week beer for the participants. Collaborative partners and other interested parties from other departments are welcome. The meetings are announced by email and in the calendar on the Department of Biomedicine's website.

Further information

Department Head Thomas G. Jensen
Aarhus University, Department of Biomedicine
Mobile: (+45) 2778 2805

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