Prestigious medical award to BRIC researcher – University of Copenhagen

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05 September 2014

Prestigious medical award to BRIC researcher


Professor and BRIC director Kristian Helin receives the prestigious Anders Jahre Award 2014 for his contribution to cancer research. He has identified how gene activity can change, knowledge which can be used in the development of cancer treatment.

Kristian Helin receives the Anders Jahre Senior Medical Prize and NOK 1 million for his groundbreaking contribution to understanding epigenetics. Epigenetics is the change of our genetic material which controls gene activity without changing the actual DNA code.

New drugs

Kristian Helin has identified new enzymes that alter cellular DNA material and has shown how this alters gene activity.

- In order to develop new methods to treat cancer, it is necessary to understand how cancer develops. Our research in epigenetics has led to the identification of new enzymes and mechanisms of how normal cell specialization is regulated and at the same time pointed to what goes wrong in cancer cells. This knowledge can now be used to develop new drugs. I am very grateful to have been given this prize, and I will continue the work, says this year’s winner of the Anders Jahre Senior Medical Prize, Kristian Helin.

Anders Jahres Medical Awards

Anders Jahre's Awards for Medical Research honours research of outstanding quality in basic and clinical medicine. The prizes, which are among the largest within Nordic biomedical research, are awarded by the University of Oslo.

- We are very proud to award this Nordic Jahre prize to Helin for his outstanding research in epigenetics. His work will prove extremely important in future cancer treatment, says Rector of the University of Oslo, Ole Petter Ottersen.

Besides the senior prize of NOK 1 million, the Anders Jahre prize is also awarded to young scientists. This year, the Anders Jahre Prize for Young Scientists goes to Associate Professor Rickard Sandberg, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm for his excellent contribution to research in gene regulation and cancer and Professor Sampsa Hautaniemi, University of Helsinki for his outstanding research in systems biology and cancer. The grant of NOK 400,000 is to be shared between the two.

Read more about the Anders Jahre Award.