Tor Paaske Utheim

Tor Paaske Utheim holds eleven professorships on a number of subjects, including innovation, ophthalmology, biochemistry, and computer science, split between the University of Oslo, Oslo Metropolitan University, University of South-Eastern Norway, University of Bergen, University of Stavanger, the University of Agder, and King’s College London.

He is a consultant at the Department of Ophthalmology at five hospitals in Norway, where he is also theDirector of Research and/or Innovation: Oslo University Hospital; Stavanger University Hospital; Sørlandet Hospital, Arendal; Vestre Viken Hospital Trust, Drammen; and Vestfold Hospital Trust, Tønsberg, Norway.

Utheim is the group leader of the Unit of Regenerative Medicine at the Department of Medical Biochemistry, Oslo University, as well as the group leader the Unit of Research-based Innovation at the Division of Head, Neck and Reconstructive Surgery at Oslo University Hospital, which includes among others the Department of ophthalmology and the Department of plastic and reconstructive surgery. He is the co-founder of the Norwegian Dry Eye Clinic and the Institute of Eye Health in Oslo, Norway.

In 2012, Utheim was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Harvard Medical School, and in 2013, he was appointed Adjunct Clinical Associate at Schepens Eye Research Institute at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School.

Utheim has received more than twenty academic awards and honors, including the largest innovation prize related to health care in Norway (Medinnova’s Innovation Award of NOK 250,000); the European Society of Ophthalmology Award for most promising Norwegian Young Clinician/Researcher; the Oslo University Hospital Early Career Award for outstanding research (NOK 150,000); and, most recently, the highest distinction awarded by the Norwegian Society of Ophthalmology – the Hjalmar Schiøtz award.

Utheim has been rated among the top ten of scientists and professors (out of ~30,000) in Norway in terms of publication points three years on a row since 2020, and number 1 at some universities, including the University of Bergen. So far, he has supervised 44 PhD students (past and present) as main- or co-supervisor.

Utheim has been a moderator on dry eye disease and stem cells several times at the annual conferences for the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) and given talks at the Royal Society of Medicine in London, as well as Harvard Medical School and American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cambridge, MA. He has also been the invited keynote speaker on several occasions, giving talks on innovation at Oslo Metropolitan University as well as dry eye disease at the Iranian Association for Vision and Ophthalmology and Specsavers Clinical Conferences in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands.

Utheim represents Norway as Global Ambassador for The Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society. He is a board member of the International Ocular Surface Society and has served on the Novartis Global Advisory Board, Alcon Global Advisory Board, and Shire European Advisory Board. He has co-established seven companies, one funded exclusively by external sources based on two of his patent applications. Most recently, he obtained a patent in the US related to ex vivo expansion of pigment epithial cells.