The research group NORCOR was established in 2013. The group originates from and is led by the Medical Department at Drammen Hospital. NORCOR’s clinical and academic partnership extend to other hospitals in Vestre Viken, Vestfold Hospital, the Department of Behavioral Medicine at the University of Oslo, and the Department of Pharmacology at Oslo University Hospital. The group actively participates in a wide range of national and international collaborations.

The Research Unit in the Medical Department is responsible for finances and infrastructure, including study personnel. PhD candidates in the projects are primairly employed at Drammen Hospital and Oslo University Hospital. Leading the project’s steering group are John Munkhaugen (Chair), Elise Sverre (Vice-Chair), along with members Erik Gjertsen, Einar Husebye, Toril Dammen, and Nils Tore Vethe. The steering committee is responsible for making major decisions, including those related to project direction and strategy.

Norcor is organized into four research groups, each dedicated to a specific aspect of our ongoing major research projects:

Members of NORCOR (as of March 2024):

  • One research coordinator and five study nurses
  • Two postdoctoral researchers
  • Eleven PhD candidates and two Msc students
  • Twenty active senior researchers, two statistical advisors, and several national and international advisors and collaborators.

Below is a brief presentation of the members.

Members of NORCOR research group:


John Munkhaugen

Senior cardiologist and research unit leader, professor of behavioral medicine
Phone: +47 97524194

Deputy leader

Elise Sverre

Deputy leader and leader of the epidemiologic project, senior researcher and cardiologist trainee.
Phone: +47 99020329

Research coordinator

Anja Lia-Engene

Research coordinator and cardiology nurse

Group leaders


Toril Dammen

Leader of the bio-psychosocial project, professor of behavioral medicine and specialist in psychiatry.

Nils Tore Vethe

Leader of the statin pharmacology project, senior researcher and pharmacist

Senior scientists

Einar Husebye

Professor-competent senior researcher, specialist in gastroenterology and special adviser

Erik Gjertsen

Clinical researcher, cardiologist and head of section for cardiology

Costas Papageorgiouu

Senior researcher, Associate professor of clinical psychology at University of Oslo

Senior advisors

Post-doctoral researchers


Stina Sollid

Post-doctoral researcher

Kari Peersen

Post-doctoral researcher and physiotherapist

Phd candidates

Vilde Getz

PhD fellow

Amund Leinaas

PhD fellow

Ingrid Engebretsen

PhD fellow

Ine Solesvik Oppedal

PhD fellow

Kristin Torgersen

PhD fellow

Lars Aastebøl Frøjd

PhD fellow

Kristoffer Tunheim

PhD fellow

André Filip Antonio Pekkola Pacheco

PhD fellow and MD

Study statisticians

Morten Wang Fagerland

Researcher PhD, Oslo Center for Biostatistics and Epidemiology (OCBE), Regional Research Support, OUS.

Harald Weedon-Fekjær

Senior researcher; PhD, Oslo Center for Biostatistics and Epidemiology (OCBE), Regional Research Support, OUS.

Research nurses

Elin Dignes

Research nurse
Mari Dyrkon

Mari Dyrkorn


Ingebjørg Ugstad Mikaelsen

Research nurse

Else Marie Christiansen

Research nurse

Associated members

Kirsten Holven Bjørklund

Professor ved Seksjon for klinisk ernæring ved Universitetet i Oslo og forskningsgruppeleder ved Nasjonal kompetansetjeneste for familiær hyperkolesterolemi ved Oslo universitetssykehus HF

Stein Bergan

Senior researcher, professor of clinical pharmacology at Oslo University Hospital

Sigrun Halvorsen

Professor at Department of Cardiology at University of Oslo and Head physician at Department of Cardiology at Oslo University Hospital

Serena Tonstad

Senior researcher, professor em. and Head Physician at Section for Preventive Cardiology at Oslo University Hospital

Mari Gynnild

Postdoctor at Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging at Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Kjetil Retterstøl

Professor at Division of Clinical Nutrition at University of Oslo and senior physicianat The Lipid Clinic at Oslo University Hospital

Kirsten Bjørklund Holven

Professor at Division of Clinical Nutrition at University of Oslo

Ellen Øen Carlsen

Postdoctoral researcher and physician, Center for Fertility and Health at the Institute of Public Health