29 August 2018

New strategic funding to metabolic research at the University of Copenhagen


The Novo Nordisk Foundation awards DKK 700 million to enable the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research at the University of Copenhagen to excel its research, educational and communication activities and to create new knowledge about prevention and treatment of metabolic disorders for the benefit of people all over the world.

Photo: Adam Mørk

Metabolic diseases, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, are a huge societal challenge and represent a global health problem. Nationally, Denmark has also seen a substantial increase in the number of overweight people and people with type 2 diabetes through the last couple of decades.

The Center’s vision is to strengthen interdisciplinary research that transforms the basic understanding of mechanisms involved in metabolic health and disease, and to accelerate this knowledge toward new prevention and treatment strategies.  

The Center was established in 2010 and has since provided seminal discoveries regarding how genes, hormones, and environmental factors influence metabolic health and disease, from preconception and throughout the lifespan.

The grant will allow the Center to develop new investigator-initiated “blue sky” research and integrative programs to unravel the complex biology behind the development of metabolic diseases. Technology platforms will also be established to radically empower the scientists to conduct cutting-edge research.

The Center Executive Director, Professor Juleen R. Zierath, says: “With this new grant I wish to strengthen our international relations and organise the Center more agilely and dynamically, so as to support collaboration between different, complementing fields of research. Basic research is driven by individualists, but today’s biomedical research is so complex that we need a structural foundation to facilitate the collaboration and synergies researchers need to make groundbreaking discoveries about prevention and treatment. In the near future, we will intensify our close collaboration with the clinical sector as well as with the new Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen (SDCC), thereby strengthening the relationship between the healthcare sector and the University.”

CEO of The Novo Nordisk Foundation, Birgitte Nauntofte emphasizes: “We are impressed by the Center’s achievements since its founding in 2010.  The Center has become known for a vibrant, international research environment. The new application from the Center has set a very high level of ambition and we look forward to seeing the vision come to life and create the breeding ground for new approaches to preventing and treating disorders such as obesity and type 2 diabetes”. 

Dean Ulla Wewer says: “The Center is fully integrated into the Faculty and plays an essential role in advancing education and providing excellent research training for young scientists. I am convinced that research emanating from the Center will make an important contribution to the field of metabolism research, which will ultimately benefit people globally.”

Rector Henrik Wegener embraces the Center as an integral part of the University; “I welcome the vital work of the Center in all its aspects and anticipate that the research, education and spectrum of outreach activities will enable a richer cultural understanding of the complexity of metabolic health and disease thereby strengthening the University’s reputation and position internationally.””

The new funding of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research is for the period 2018-2023.

For more information see https://cbmr.ku.dk/

Dean Ulla Wewer via Head of Communication Anéh Christina Hajdu, aneh.hajdu@sund.ku.dk, mobile; + 45 21 22 26 92

Center Executive Director, Professor Juleen R. Zierath via Vice Executive Director, Professor Birthe Høgh, mobile; +45 40 47 10 47