Jan Raa (born 1939) has joined CEES as guest scientist to work together with Eric de Muinck and Pål Trosvik on how the gut microbiota of farm animals, aquaculture species and humans can be modulated by non-synthetic, natural substances. The long-term aim is to establish a scientific foundation for developing commercial product formulations that may prevent and counteract diseases associated with microbial and immunological gut dysbiosis.
Jan Raa is a biochemist/microbiologist by education (cand.real) and Dr. sc. (1968) in organic chemistry related to disease resistance mechanisms in plants. He has been associate professor in cell biology at the University of Bergen (1968-72), professor in physiological microbiology (1972-87) and professor II in marine biochemistry (1994-98) at the University of Tromsø, where he also has served as Vice Chancellor (1974-76). Jan Raa has been General Director of Research (1989-94) at Norwegian Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture (today´s NOFIMA) and in 1988 he was Head of the Institute of Nutrition in Bergen (todays’s NIFES).
Jan Raa is founder of R&D-based technological companies, among these the biopharmaceutical company Biotec Pharmacon ASA (www.biotec.no; listed on Oslo Stock Market) and its daughter company ArcticZymes; for many years he was the Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer (CSO). In 2018 he established EderaGen AS, a company with the objective to develop commercial products that may counteract health problems related to microbial and immunological dysbiosis in the digestive tract of humans, farm animals and aquatic organisms.
Jan Raa has been awarded Commander of St.Olav Order for his innovations within the bio-marine sector of Norway and he is Honoray Doctor at University of Tromsø. He has also been awarded Norwegian prizes for Industrial innovations and Food culture.
From when he was 17 years of age and until he graduated from the University of Bergen in 1964, Jan Raa was also farmer and vegetable producer.