Rep. Bacon, Danish ambassador visit UNMC

by John Keenan, UNMC public relations | April 18, 2018

Image with caption: From left, UNMC's Keith Swarts, Elizabeth Blowers, Ph.D., U.S. Rep. Don Bacon, His Excellency Lars Gert Lose, Aditya Bade, Ph.D., and Rachel Utter.

From left, UNMC's Keith Swarts, Elizabeth Blowers, Ph.D., U.S. Rep. Don Bacon, His Excellency Lars Gert Lose, Aditya Bade, Ph.D., and Rachel Utter.

U.S. Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska stopped in at UNMC this month while he was showing a friend around his home state.

His guest -- His Excellency Lars Gert Lose, Danish ambassador to the United States -- met with Keith Swarts, special assistant for international programs with the Asia Pacific Rim Development Program, a UNMC faculty member and two students who had taken part in the International Student Research Forum at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, Denmark, in 2014.

See a photo album from the visit.

Aditya Bade, Ph.D., instructor in pharmacology and experimental neuroscience, Ph.D. candidate Rachel Utter (who also is a cytogenetic technologist at the Munroe-Meyer Institute), and third-year medical student Elizabeth Blowers, Ph.D., met with Bacon and Lose to discuss their research and the collaboration between UNMC and the University of Southern Denmark.

Bacon, who met and befriended Lose in Washington, D.C., invited him to come and visit Nebraska, which has a large population of Danish Americans.

"There's a lot of Danish history here," Lose said. "You have more than 40,000 Danish Americans living in Nebraska, and Omaha's actually the city in the U.S. where there are the most Danish Americans."

At UNMC, Lose was pleased to hear about research work combating diseases such as pancreatic cancer and HIV that had been fostered by the forum in Denmark.

"There's a lot to learn from each other, and it's very exciting," he said. "I think we can inspire each other and give each other different perspectives on research."

Bacon called the University of Nebraska system a crown jewel of the state.

"It's very much part of our personality and DNA as a state," he said, adding that his wife, Angie, and two of his children are University of Nebraska graduates. (Bacon himself has master's degrees from the University of Phoenix and the National War College.)

He was pleased to show Lose around UNMC.

"Today he got to see students who have done groundbreaking medical work on pancreatic cancer, leukemia and HIV right here at the university, and they've partnered with the University of Southern Denmark," Bacon said. "I think that's a great synergy."

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