General biologist

Grandpa was never particularly thrilled that his granddaughter poked out the eyes of the fish she had caught, and preserved them in his vodka bottle. But Sissel Beate Rønning never actually discovered her own passion for biology until she became an adult.

This article was last updated more than two years ago.

One of her greatest assets is her unquestionable ability to get turned on by work. Merete is a cellular biologist who easily becomes enthusiastic about new topics and projects, and in this respect she enjoys the bonus of getting to work with a wide variety of tasks.

– The work phase that is absolutely the most fun is when you sit down and begin to consolidate all your findings so that you begin to see the contours of the final result, she explains.

Supportive working environment

– The most surprising thing for me personally after I began working at Nofima is how much more self-confident I have become. Some of it owes to the fact that one gets more secure as one gets older, but for me personally, being part of an environment where people are interested in seeing you succeed, and where they help you along the road to success, has been particularly gratifying. Here I find I get solid support from both management and from my fellow colleagues.

Sissel came to Nofima from the health care sector, where she worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Pathology at Rikshospitalet, Oslo University Hospital.

She still feels that she is working in an ambitious environment, but one in which collaboration is the key to developing the most useful and best applied research.


The project that she personally finds is the most interesting one she has participated in up until now is currently reaching consumers as a finished product. For this project, she was able to combine her research on food with their experience from the Oslo University Hospital.

– It involves egg shell membranes used to heal wounds. A company has now developed a powder that is being tested on people in England and is expected to be available commercially soon. The product is especially intended for patients with chronic wounds. It is a good feeling to have been part of this and to have contributed towards something that will hopefully alleviate the daily suffering of people with chronic illness. In addition, the project itself has been both interesting and educational, Sissel Beate Rønning says.

My career path

Sissel Beate Rønning (b. 1976)

1992-1995 Upper secondary school, general academic studies, KVT Trondheim

1995 Cambridge Advanced English, Sussex Downs College, UK

1996 Cambridge Proficiency English, Sussex Downs College, UK.

1996-2000 Civil Engineer Genetic engineering. U. of Tromsø

2001-2005 PhD Biotechnology UiO/NVI.

2005-2006 Researcher at the Veterinary Institute, Section for feed and nutrient microbiology

2007-2011 Post doc. at the Department of Pathology, Rikshospitalet, Oslo

The moment that defined her career:

As a young girl, I was convinced that I was going to become a physicist, until I visited the biophysicists at NTNU. Then I realized that it was biology that was the most fun! I decided on the spot to become a civil engineer specialized in genetic engineering at the University of Tromsø.