MEET DR. BJÖRN
Dr Björn Örvar is the co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of BIOEFFECT. He received his Ph.D. in Plant Molecular Biology from the University of British Columbia and was a post-doctoral fellow at McGill University before returning to Iceland to launch ORF Genetics and later BIOEFFECT.
ON A MORE
PERSONAL NOTE ...
Where did Dr. Bjorn grow up?
In a town called Kópavogur, just south of Reykjavík. That’s where I went to school up. I then got my B.S. in Biology at the University of Iceland.
Were you always interested in science?
What sparked your interest?
I have been interested in science, ever since high school, but I was also fascinated with making something practical. I was inspired by my father, who was an entrepreneur and always thinking outside the box and starting businesses. He had such an innovative mind, and it really inspired me – I wanted to do good science, but with practical applications.
Your scientific journey, your education and your research, took years and you must have faced some obstacles along the way. What kept you going?
We have this word in Icelandic: redda. A lot of people have unsuccessfully tried to translate it, but it essentially means that it doesn’t matter how serious the situation is, it will always work out and you’ll find a way to solve it – even if it is at the last minute. It is a specifically Icelandic trait, and one many foreigners working with Icelanders do not like. They might panic, but we all say: “Þetta reddast,” or “This will all work out in the end.” We simply do not give up.
What else defines the Icelandic character in your opinion?
We’re hugely optimistic and determined. We had to be, because life used to be very hard in Iceland. In 1200, our population was about 30,000 people and 500 years later it was still 30,000. People were simply just surviving. A lot of our character comes from the strong seasonal changes. We never know how good the next season will be which means we must make the most of our opportunities in the summer to do whatever we can to survive the winter.
Lastly, tell us about your skincare routine?
Apart from trying all the new BIOEFFECT products, I use BIOEFFECT EGF Serum three times a week. When I’m traveling, I also take the BIOEFFECT EGF Day Serum with me because, airplanes and arid environments can be traumatic for the skin.