The Lundbeck Foundation Supports Experienced Talents with Grants of DKK 40 Million
As part of the ‘Ascending Investigators’ grant programme, eight researchers at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences will each receive DKK 5 million for a number of projects.
Spinal fluid, malaria and colon cancer. These are just three of the health research areas at the University of Copenhagen that have been awarded a total of DKK 40 million in grants by the Lundbeck Foundation.
The funds are part of the ‘Ascending Investigators’ grant programme which, according to the Lundbeck Foundation, aims ‘to support established, experienced and talented researchers within health science to further their careers and potentially make a significant contribution to health science’.
In total, the Foundation has awarded DKK 100 million to 20 different researchers and their projects, eight of which come from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen.
Of the remaining twelve recipients, two come from the Faculty of Science at the University of Copenhagen, four from the universities of Odense and Aarhus, three from ‘Statens Serum Institut’ and an additional three from hospitals across Denmark.
This is the list of recipients from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences:
Anja Groth, Professor at the Biotech Research and Innovation Centre and Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Researchwill be studying specific areas of histones as potential points of attack in cancer therapy. Histones are chromosome proteins that act as a kind of wrapping material for DNA.
Anja Tatiana Ramstedt Jensen, Professor at the Department of Immunology and Microbiology,will be studying the relationship between malaria and brain disorders in children. One percent of the children who contract malaria will develop a brain disease that often leads to severe mental disability or death.
David E. Gloriam, Professor at the Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology,will in his research project work on side effects in drugs. He will try to uncover the mechanisms that allow new drugs to be directed toward the right signals in the body’s cells – thereby reducing the incidence of side effects from drugs.
Hans Heugh Wandall, Professor at the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine,will study the role of a particular type of sugar molecules, glycans, in the formation of nerve tissue in humans. Such knowledge may have an impact on the understanding of diseases of the nervous system, including the possibilities of medical intervention.
Kyoung Jae Won, Associate Professor at the Biotech Research and Innovation Centre,will in his research project seek to expand the understanding of the disease mechanisms behind colon cancer – both in terms of cell changes and gene expression. Colon cancer is the third most frequently diagnosed cancer worldwide.
Nanna MacAulay, Professor at the Department of Neuroscience,will in her research project seek to identify the mechanisms that cause humans to form more spinal fluid at night. The spinal fluid, also called cerebrospinal fluid, is thought to ‘cleanse’ the brain of waste products while we are asleep.
Pontus Gourdon, Associate Professor at the Department of Biomedical Sciences,will in his project study specific membrane protein structures relevant to diseases. The studies involve cryo-electron microscopy – a special technique that makes it possible to study biological molecules. In the long term, new knowledge about membrane proteins is considered important in the development of drugs for serious diseases such as ALS.
Stephan Pless, Associate Professor at the Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology,will study the consequences of changes in ion channels that are involved in communication between nerve cells, among other things in relation to pain, brain haemorrhage and blood clots in the brain.
Journalist Anders Buch-Larsen