Ole Petter Ottersen

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Ole Petter Ottersen
Ole Petter Ottersen (174812).jpg
Rector of the University of Oslo
Assumed office
Preceded by Geir Ellingsrud
Rector of the Karolinska Institute
Preceded by Karin Dahlman-Wright (acting)
Personal details
Born 17 March 1955
Nationality Norwegian

Ole Petter Ottersen (born 17 March 1955) is a Norwegian physician and neuroscientist. He is Professor of medicine and serves as the elected Rector of the University of Oslo since 2009; his term ends in June 2017.[1] In 2017 he was nominated to become Rector of Karolinska Institute in Sweden.


Ottersen graduated with the cand.med. degree at the University of Oslo in 1980 and with the dr.med. degree (Med.Sc.D.; a higher doctorate in medicine) at the same university in 1982. He was a Research Fellow at the Institute of Anatomy at the University of Oslo from 1978 to 1983 and a prosector (i.e. reader) at the same institute from 1983 to 1992. He was promoted to Professor in 1992.

He has been head of department of the Institute of Anatomy (1997–1999), Pro-Dean for Research of the Faculty of Medicine (2000–2002) and director of the Centre for Molecular Biology and Neuroscience at the University of Oslo (2002–2009), a centre of excellence funded by the Research Council of Norway.[2]

In 2009, he was elected by the employees and students as the rector (i.e. the highest academic official, chief executive officer and chairman of the board) of the University of Oslo, while Inga Bostad was elected as the Pro-Rector.[3][4] In 2013, he was reelected for a second term, while Ruth Vatvedt Fjeld was elected as the new Pro-Rector; she resigned the following year.[5]

Ottersen became a board member of Oslo University Hospital in 2011 and became chairman of the board of the Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions in 2013. He attended the Bilderberg Group meeting in 2011.[6]

On 20 February 2017 the board of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden nominated him to become rector of Karolinska Institute; the rector is formally appointed by the government.[7][8]


His research field is neuroscience. He is particularly noted for his research on molecular mechanisms involved in the development of acute and chronic neurodegenerative disease, with a special emphasis on the role of cellular water balance and glutamate excitotoxicity.

In 2001 he, together with Jon Storm-Mathisen and Per Brandtzæg, was found to be the most cited Norwegian scholar in international academic journals.[9] According to Google Scholar, he has been cited over 34,000 times in scientific literature and has an h-index of 98.[10] From 2002, he was included in the Institute of Scientific Information list of "Highly Cited Researchers."



  1. ^ Ole Petter Ottersen University of Oslo website, retrieved 27 March 2013
  2. ^ a b "1,5 millioner til hjerneforskere ved UiO" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 25 February 2005. 
  3. ^ Topdahl, Rolv Christian (16 February 2009). "Liten rift om rektorjobb". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). Retrieved 12 March 2009. 
  4. ^ Eik, Espen A. (3 April 2009). "Ottersen ny rektor". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). Retrieved 10 April 2009. 
  5. ^ «Trekker seg etter langvarig mangel på arbeidsoppgaver» i Uniforum 6. mai 2014
  6. ^ Letter på Bilderberg-sløret, Verdens Gang, 12 June 2011
  7. ^ Norsk rektor väntar KI, Dagens Medicin
  8. ^ http://ki.se/nyheter/ole-petter-ottersen-foreslas-bli-ny-rektor-for-karolinska-institutet, Karolinska Institute
  9. ^ "Oslo-forskere topper internasjonal sitatliste" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 16 January 2001. 
  10. ^ "Ole Petter Ottersen," Google Scholar
  11. ^ Ole Petter Ottersen, Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
  12. ^ "Jahre-pris til Ole Petter Ottersen" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 12 August 2008. 
  13. ^ "Jahrepris til professor Terje Lømo" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 10 October 2003. 
  14. ^ http://www2.uef.fi/en/promootio/kunniatohtorit2010
Academic offices
Preceded by
Geir Ellingsrud
Rector of the University of Oslo
Preceded by
Karin Dahlman-Wright
Rector of the Karolinska Institute

June 2017–