Vice-rector Mats Larhed: What we do now will shape our disciplinary domain for many years to come

2020-09-17

After nine years as deputy Vice-rector, Mats Larhed takes the next step. The To-do list is extensive and 5-6 October, he will gather the disciplinary domain staff and students for Vision: Medfarm. An initiative that will point out a mutual direction forward.

Vice-rector Mats Larhed

For the first time, the disciplinary domain of medicine and pharmacy has appointed a Vice-rector with roots in the Faculty of Pharmacy. Perhaps an unexpected choice for the uninitiated as the Faculty of Medicine is significantly larger, but after nine years as the disciplinary domain's deputy, Mats Larhed is a familiar and renowned name in the corridors along BMC and the Rudbeck Laboratory.

“In previous assignments, I have worked closely with former Vice-rectors as well as deans and heads of department, and experience strong support from both faculties. I also believe that it generates added value to appoint leaders with different backgrounds, and my hope is to relatively soon be able to visit, listen to and learn more about the areas I do not have personal experience of,” says Mats Larhed, professor of pharmaceutical chemistry.

It is an in every way prosperous disciplinary domain that welcomes its new Vice-rector. Both faculties are growing rapidly and the area has doubled its external funding in the last decade. With this success comes the pleasant challenge of filling the ranks with the right expertise, and for Mats Larhed there is no doubt that employees and students are the disciplinary domain’s most important resources. Also that the need for high-quality education in the disciplinary domain is probably greater than ever.

“In the middle of all these fantastic activities, there is always room to improve even further. For example, I hope to be able to contribute to more appropriate teaching facilities, increased access to study places and not least a standardization of our AV-technology, which is directly necessary if we are to continue the digitalisation and accessibility of our educations. High on my agenda is also interdisciplinary and interprofessional collaboration, as I am fully convinced that it is in the meeting between different expertise and perspectives that innovative research and education is born.”

Mats Larhed speaks warmly of cooperation and collegiality. Three months into his term as Vice-rector, he has already launched Vision: Medfarm. An initiative where all students and staff are invited to influence the future goals and strategies of the field of science. As a result of the ongoing pandemic, the hope of gathering 1,500 people in the university auditorium has been supplemented with more workshops and digital arenas. However, the ambition to arouse broad commitment is not affected by any viruses.

“Two days in October, we will work together in open workshops with a focus on research, postgraduate education, training and organization. We will follow a bottom-up model that has achieved great success at the universities of Ghent and Groeningen, and it is my absolute hope that everyone will take this opportunity to contribute with their experiences and knowledge. There is no doubt that the result of what we achieve will shape our development for many years to come”.

The room at the Department of Medicinal Chemistry has been partially emptied, but there is still a respectable collection of dissertations and pharmaceutical literature on the Larhed bookshelves. Despite extensive assignments for the university, the pan-European collaboration EIT Health and the Swedish Higher Education Authority, Mats Larhed has remained active as both a researcher and a teacher. In recent years, he has developed drug candidates for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and been a driving force in establishing collaboration between Uppsala University and the Academic Hospital in the field of medical imaging.

“I really appreciate meeting with students and researchers, and also see important values ​​in taking an active part in the daily operations as Vice-rector. It increases my understanding of current issues and the consequences of decisions made. It also gives me the opportunity to closely follow the effect of the new organization carried out at the Faculty of Pharmacy. The previous structure had lasted quite a few years, and much indicates that the faculty now has an organization that will provide improved support and where everyone can thrive and develop.”

Our meeting is soon over and a full schedule calls. As newly appointed Vice-rector, there are multitudes of matters that require attention and representative dutys that must be carried out on working days that often exceed eight hours. During intense periods it can, as we all know, be nice to avoid looking beyond Friday, yet the question comes: What disciplinary domain does Mats Larhed wants to hand over to his successor when that day comes?

“Well, I hope, for example, that we will be better at communicating all the good that our field accomplishes: To the interested public, of course, but also to the world of international research. I want us and Region Uppsala to receive sufficient resources to develop the educations within the deficite professions, such as midwives. Hopefully, we have managed to establish interdisciplinary research environments within the fields of health economics, precision medicine and diabetes. In short, I have a very extensive To-Do list, and I will do my very best to make it all happen.

More information

Read more & Register  Vision Medfarm

Contact

mats LArhed contactMats Larhed, Vice-rector
Email  mats.larhed@ilk.uu.se
Mobile phone  +46 70 493 5383

Text: Magnus Alsne, Photo: Anders G Warne

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Last modified: 2021-11-05