Global focus on metabolic research at University of Copenhagen – University of Copenhagen

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06 February 2015

Global focus on metabolic research at University of Copenhagen


A world-renowned scientist from Yale University, Professor Tamas L. Horvath is going to establish his research laboratory here in Copenhagen after receiving a seven year Novo Nordisk Foundation Laureate Research Grant of DKK 40 million (€5.5 million).

Hungarian-born Professor Tamas L. Horvath, who is currently professor and chair at Yale University School of Medicine, will take up the position of Scientific Director at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research in the coming months. In addition he will be associated with the Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology. The title of his professorship will be: Professor of Neurometabolism.

“The recruitment of Dr. Horvath is an outstanding chance for bringing the highest international level of neurometabolic research to the Copenhagen area, with broad implications for the future and in particular the next ten years of research at the University of Copenhagen and in Denmark,” says Ulla Wewer, Dean at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation Laureate Research Grants are given for outstanding scientists to come to Denmark to build their groundbreaking research programmes. The purpose of these grants is to support internationally leading biomedical and biotechnological research by providing substantial and long-term support.

“This appointment will lead to much needed development in basic neuro-metabolic research with respect to obesity and diabetes," adds Ulla Wewer, Dean at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.

Professor Horvath’s research will focus on the central nervous system, itself under the control of the various peripheral tissues, such as the muscle, gut, pancreas, and liver, and his focus will be on developing novel therapies for chronic metabolic and degenerative disorders. His appointment is part of the center’s long-term strategic plan to create maximum synergy within the strong research tradition of the gut-brain axis.

“It is imperative that approaches are developed to interrogate these fundamental physiological and pathological issues from this broader perspective, albeit using the most rigorous and contemporary tools of molecular, cellular- and system biology,” says Professor Horvath.

Novo Nordisk Foundation Laureate Research Grants

The intention behind the Novo Nordisk Foundation Laureate Research Grants is to further internationalize biomedical and biotechnological research in Denmark. The seven-year grants are awarded to exceptional international researchers wishing to establish their research group in Denmark. Each award up to DKK 40 million is a framework grant covering project operations, salaries and research equipment.  Up to DKK 5 million per year is granted over the seven-year term, with an additional DKK 5 million being made available in the first year to cover initial start-up costs and staff recruitment. The grants may be extended for another seven years on the basis of a new application and evaluation in the sixth year.