The EpiCentre staff has a special competence in study design and statistical analyses of various research data. The EpiCentre is responsible for teaching statistics/ epidemiology/ clinical and experimental research methodology, with a main responsibility for Ph.D. training.
Staff and publications
The EpiCentre staff is involved in a wide range of projects at NMBU, other Norwegian and international institutions. Main financial sources outside NVH include the Research Council of Norway, The Norwegian Seafood Research Fund – FHF, NUFU, EU funds and smaller projects funded by other donors. The national database Cristin contains the full record of research publications. The current staff is listed below.
Publications 2006- (Cristin)
Eystein Skjerve, professor (CV)
Stig Larsen, professor
Rolf B Larssen, associate professor
Paul Midtlyng, researcher 50%
Frøydis Hardeng, researcher 20%
Karl Rich, researcher 20%
Ola Brynildsrud, PhD student
Jostein Mulder Pettersen, PhD student
Since its beginning a large number of Ph.D. students, other Norwegian as well as international institutions have been linked up with main or co-supervisors from the EpiCentre.
Areas of competence
The EpiCentre is responsible for support on design of research plans for veterinary students and Ph.D. students. In practice the staff is involved in most research projects through the responsibility in training in research methodology, statistics and epidemiology for vet students, Ph.D. students and researchers. The EpiCentre competence includes specialised competence in the following areas:
Study design, biomathematics and biostatistics: Through intensive collaboration with staff, veterinary students and Ph.D. students, the EpiCentre gives heavy support to many research groups on study design and interpretation of study results.
Epidemiological studies: The main competence staff is in veterinary epidemiology, specialising in areas as zoonotic diseases, companion animals and aquatic medicine in addition to production animal medicine. The group has also been focusing on the interface between animal welfare and epidemiology. A major link is established between the EpiCentre and the group around Ane Nødtvedt at the Production Animal Medicine.
Aquatic epidemiology: This group hae had it ups and downs. Paul Midtlyng is now th egroup leader.
Clinical trials: Professor Stig Larsen has a vast experience of design and analyses of clinical trials in veterinary and medical science.
Microbial bioinformatics: The group now includes high level competence in microbial bioinformatics, integrating this field more into epidemiological studies.
Animal health economics: The acknowledged animal health economist Karl Rich has given the EpiCentre a good level of competence in animal health economics. Based upon work in aquatic medicine by Arnfinn Aunsmo, work is now expanding into studies of zoonotic diseases and questions related to animal welfare. A Ph.D. student and professor Karl Rich is linked to th egroup.
Zoonotic diseases and food safety: A major research area for the EpiCentre has been integrated studies of zoonotic diseases in the interface between domestic animals, humans and wildlife, with projects in Norway and African countries as Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia, all lead by Eystein Skjerve. The group has just received a major grant from NORAD for 5 years in cooperation with Uganda, Zambia and South Sudan (2014-19). The work with Tanzania and Ethiopia also continues. New activity areas will be in Bosnia and India.
Animal welfare. The last year the EpiCentre has succeeded in establishing research integrating epidemiological studies with animal welfare studies. Now we work also on linking health economy to this area of major importance for veterinary research.
Collaboration and partners
Besides an extensive collaboration within NMBU, the EpiCentre has had close collaboration with our main partner, the Veterinary Institute of Norway, but also to the University of Oslo, Agriculture University of Norway and SINTEF, as well as industrial partners as meat industry (Animalia) fish farming (Salmar, Marine Harvest). International partners include vet schools in the Nordic/ Baltic area, Robert Koch Institute in Germany, Royal Veterinary College and Glasgow University in UK, Cornell University and UC Davis in USA, University of Guelph and Prince Edvard’s Island in Canada. African partners include University of Pretoria, South Africa, University of Zambia, University of Zimbabwe, Sokoine University of Tanzania, Makerere University of Uganda and Addis Ababa and Hawassa University in Ethiopia.
The EpiCentre was evaluated by an external group in 2009/ 2010.
The full report is available here.: Review of the centre (2).pdf