Sissel is a Norwegian national. She has a PhD in Genetics/Cell Biology and has been Professor in gene technology since 1992.
She was recently appointed Director General for Institute for Marine Research after being the Director General of The Norwegian Biotechnology Advisory Board advising the Norwegian Government. Besides this she has also been part-time Professor at Dept of Nature conservation, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, and at Dept of Global Public Health and Primary Care, University of Bergen. She has also been Director of Research at the Agricultural University of Norway.
She has broad experience serving on various research councils and boards of research institutes like Chairman of Bio-production and processing (“blue and green sector”) at the Norwegian Research Council, Chairman of the Aquaculture Institute, Akvaforsk; Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Fridtjof Nansen ́s Research Institute; and Member of the Board of Directors of The Norwegian Institute for Gene Ecology. She has been member of the UNESCO IBC (International Bioethics Committee).
During her period as active scientist she authored or coauthored over 30 scientific articles and publications. She was awarded the Norwegian Academic Price for 2012 for her work to promote academic freedom and dissemination of knowledge.