Carlsberg Research Prize 2012 to Kristian Helin – University of Copenhagen

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19 September 2012

Carlsberg Research Prize 2012 to Kristian Helin


The Carlsberg Foundation's Research Prize 2012 in natural sciences goes to BRIC Director, professor Kristian Helin for his outstanding basic research

in epigenetic control of cell division and differentiation

Breakthrough in cancer research

- The focus of my research is on how epigenetic mechanisms can control gene activity, and so to speak turn genes on or off at specific time points during development and differentiation. The Carlsberg Foundation research prize is a great acknowledgement of my work and of basic science in general, says Kristian Helin.

The results from Kristian Helin’s research group are landmarks in basic epigenetic research. The results also contribute to the understanding of how cancer develops and can lead to breakthroughs in cancer treatments.  In addition to his scientific work, Kristian Helin is the founding director of BRIC (Biotech Research & Innovation Centre) and has since 2003 been responsible for the creation of an international elite research centre with currently 250 employees.  In 2008 Kristian Helin co-founded the biotech company EpiTherapeutics, that seeks to develop novel innovative cancer drugs based on the science in his laboratory.

The Carlsberg Foundation Prize

In addition to the prize in natural sciences, the Carlsberg Foundation also awards a researcher within the humanities or social sciences, this year Professor Ole Wæver, Department of Political Sciences, University of Copenhagen, for his research in international politics. Each research prize amounts to 1 million DKK, where ¾ should be spend on further research.

-The prizes are given with full confidence in that they will lead to new scientific breakthroughs, says the chairman of the Carlsberg Foundation’s board Flemming Besenbacher and continues: It is the kind of research that the two prize winners represents, which are crucial for future growth in Denmark.