The Network of Excellence in Corneal Regeneration

Tor P. Utheim, MD, PhD

Acting Group Leader at the Unit of Regenerative Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry, Oslo University Hospital, Norway/ Associate Professor, Institute of Oral Biology, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Oslo, Norway/Adjunct Clinical Associate, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA



Medical studies at the University of Oslo; PhD on stem cells from the Center for Clinical Research, Oslo University Hospital; Ophthalmologist from the Department of Ophthalmology, Oslo University Hospital.


Research focus:

The Unit of Cell and Tissue Culture at the Department of Medical Biochemistry, Oslo University Hospital, Ullevål, previously the Center for Clinical Research, Oslo University Hospital, has considerable experience in basic and translational research. Utheim is acting Group Leader at this unit, which is ideally located at the Department of Medical Biochemistry where about 280 bioengineers have their workplace. Moreover, the department houses core facilities (gene expression and flow cytometry) for Oslo University Hospital and is very well equipped. This promotes widespread collaboration with scientists from all departments at the hospital, in addition to national and international collaboration.

Utheim`s group currently devotes a lot of resources to tissue regeneration of the ocular surface by means of different cell types (conjunctival, limbal, oral mucosal and epidermal cells) and novel treatment options for age-related macular degeneration by means of cultured retinal pigment epithelial cells. Developing storage technology for these cell types is a key priority in the group.

Utheim is the main or co-supervisor for ten PhD candidates in ophthalmology (clinical and laboratory projects), two postdoctoral fellows and several medical students. Over the past years, there has been a strong focus on innovation in the group. In 2008, Utheim and co-workers were the first at Oslo University Hospital, Ullevål, to receive the largest innovation prize for the health sector in Norway - the Medinnova innovation prize of NOK 250,000.


Since 2012, Utheim, in collaboration with Sten Ræder, has expanded his research to include dry eye disease at the Dry Eye Clinic in Norway. A healthy tear film is important to maximize the outcome in cornea regenerative medicine.


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Oslo University Hospital
Kirkeveien 166
0407 Oslo

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The NExCR is managed by the COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology)
Action BM1302 "Joining Forces in Corneal Regeneration Research" 2014-2017.