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Annica Sjölander

Annica Sjölander, researcher and doctor of medicine of neurochemistry, is the new coordinator of the Centre for Culture and Health. Along with the director Ola Sigurdson, she manages the work at the Centre.
But which are her work tasks and pet issues?

– Naturally, an important task for me is the dissemination of knowledge about the development of the research field, but also working for new cross-disciplinary research collaborations within the University of Gothenburg.

How can one further develop the collaboration at the university within this area?
– It is important to create opportunities for collaboration outside one's own faculty or department. Here, we will have an important role where we through seminars and researchers' conferences can enable representatives of various research areas and social institutions to meet. The way I see it, considering our varying research backgrounds – Ola from the humanities and me from medicine – we have substantial opportunities to merge various research disciplines and stimulate more border-transcending collaborations within the area.

What is your view of culture and health as a research field for the future?
– Culture and health is an extensive area and I think it is important that we do not limit ourselves, but keep an open mind in terms of what this area might entail. It is a growing field that is in focus for major projects from both state and regional governments as well as research-funded organizations. Recently, a project that pertains to the significance of music for cognitive health received research grants of several million SEK. This naturally sparks additional attention around the research field and opens doors for the future.

Do you have a special pet issue?
– With my background as a researcher within neuroscience I am naturally curious about culture's significance for rehabilitation and recuperation of the brain. There are exciting projects in the pipeline at the University of Gothenburg within the area. Another issue close to my heart is how a sense of social and cultural belonging in everyday life affects our health, since the feeling of coherence and belonging is one of the prerequisites for us to feel good.

Where is your place of work?
– I work on the fifth floor at the Museum of World Culture – where the action is. We share offices with the programme activities for Jonsered Manor with whom we will co-organize certain events. Since the Centre for Culture and Health shall represent and work vis-á-vis the entire university it is also good that our activities take place on premises that are not connected with one specific faculty.

Personal facts

Employment: coordinator at the Centre for Culture and Health
Family: married with two children
Research interests: genetics and neuroscience
Driving force: enthusiasm and commitment
Leisure interests: spending time with friends, handicraft, films, books, music, dance and nature

[Interview by Daniel Brodén and published 2012-01-31]

Contact Information

Centre for Culture and Health

Box 200, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden

Page Manager: Lovisa Aijmer|Last update: 3/17/2012
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