Nobel prize winner Professor Michael Morris Rosbash visits Örebro University

SI News hears from NFGL Local Network Örebro member Loureen Oduor about her experience meeting the Nobel Laureate in Physiology and Medicine when he visited Örebro University.

Nobel prize winner Professor Michael Morris Rosbash visits Örebro University
MA student Loureen Oduor meets Nobel prize winners Michael Rosbash and Michael Young.

Life in Sweden has been exciting. It’s a whole new world for me, a world I am loving and appreciating more each day, from the very cold winters to the supportive classmates and faculty staff at the university. 

But my most remarkable experience has been meeting the 2017 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology and Medicine, Professor Michael Morris Rosbash from Brandeis University and Michael Warren Young from the Rockefeller University, at Örebro University.

The Nobel Prize is given annually in recognition of outstanding findings in fields of life sciences and medicine.

They gave presentations on the discovery of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm which, together with Professor Jeffrey Cannor Hall of Brandeis University, won them the 2017 Nobel Prize. 

Every researcher strives to undertake a study which could improve health and the quality of life of every human being. Hence, it was a great opportunity for me, as an upcoming researcher pursuing a master’s degree in Innate Immunity in Health and Disease, to meet, interview and interact with such accomplished researchers.

When I asked Professor Michael Rosbash what advice he had for younger researchers seeking inspiration, he said to me: “Do what you love, nobody can guarantee an impact, but there is a lot of luck involved along the way when you give your best doing what you love.”



Lagom: The best way to achieve social health?

Ronoh Philip, who is studying for his masters degree in Infectious Disease Control at Södertörn University, explains why he thinks the Swedish concept of 'lagom' is the best way to achieve good social health.

Lagom: The best way to achieve social health?

During my one week orientation program on August 2019 at Södertörn University, we were presented with many aspects of Swedish culture and practices. One of the new aspects that I learnt was the “lagom culture”, As I quote one of the presenters about applying lagom to our studies, he said: ”Lagom will reduce your stressful burdens of hectic lecture schedules and ensure that you spend equal time of working and socializing in the university.”

So being a student with a background in public health and society, I got interested and searched for the deeper meaning of lagom, and how it can  apply to society and health. I found out that it is a Swedish way of life, it is a concept which means not too much and not too little, just enough. I learnt that it came from a Viking tradition laget om which means 'around the group' and was allegedly used to describe just how much mead or soup one should drink when passing the bowl around in the group.

If this concept is applied to achieve social health goals, it would really fit well. So, what is social health at first? Social health is how you interact with other people and adapt in different situations, it deals with how people in society deal with each other. It is important to note that there is a close link between good social health and improvement of the other aspects of human health, this can lead to the achievement of SDG goal of good health and wellbeing. It also leads to self-satisfaction and happiness; no wonder Sweden is ranked as one the happiest countries in the world. It is ranked 7th in 2019, according to world happiness report. I believe lagom has a big role in this achievement.

In the country where I come from, Kenya, one of the greatest challenges we face in our society, is the ability for people of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds to interact and form positive and cohesive relationships with each other. From my perspective, when I finish my studies and return, lagom will be worth implementing in the workplace, the place where I live and the society as whole, as it is the best way of finding simple, attainable solutions to our everyday worries like stress, eating better, having downtime and achieving happiness. It’s a balance of work and life, so everything is in sustainable existence with each other.

My goal during my entire university studies at Södertörn, will be to learn more about the lagom principle and also be able to apply it on our SI NFGL Local Network platform, because it is surely one of the best ways to achieve a good  work-life balance, reaching consensus with my colleagues and adapting a team minded approach in dealing with issues in an organization and the society.