7 December 2018

Genome and Microbiota Researcher Receives the Niels A. Lassen Award


This year Professor Oluf Borbye Pedersen receives the Niels A. Lassen Foundation’s honorary award due to his innovative work within genome and microbiota research. The award will be presented on Niels A. Lassen’s birthday, 7 December.

Each year the Niels A. Lassen Award is presented to a researcher who has drawn attention to himself within the health and medical sciences. The foundation behind the award was established in honour of Niels A. Lassen, who is considered one of the most significant 20th-century researchers within the medical sciences.

The recipient of the 2018 award is Oluf Borbye Pedersen, Professor and Head of Research at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research. He is honoured for a career characterised by several internationally acknowledged breakthroughs within genome and microbiota research. The award comprises a gold medal and DKK 25,000.

’I am grateful for receiving an award carrying the name of Niels A. Lassen. His working methods and innovation have been extremely important to my own scientific work. The award is a highly appreciated recognition of the research my research teams and I have conducted both to identify vulnerabilities in our genome, increasing the risk of developing metabolic diseases, and using DNA techniques to understand the impact of our complex community of intestinal bacterial on our health’, Oluf Borbye Pedersen says.

In their explanation for giving the award to Oluf Borbye Pedersen, the Niels A. Lassen Foundation also mentions his diabetes research. One of the more well-known international milestones is the so-called ‘Steno 2 study’, which was launched in the beginning of the 1990s and which demonstrate that intensive treatment targeted at blood sugar, blood pressure and fat in the blood over a number of years extend life by eight years for patients with type 2 diabetes. The present-day treatment of diabetes all over the world is based on the results of the Steno 2 study.

About Oluf Borbye Pedersen
Originally Oluf Borbye Pedersen trained as a doctor at Aarhus University, where he also defended gold medal and doctoral theses. On two occasions he has been a guest lecturer at Harvard University and subsequently at Chinese universities for one and a half years. In 2008 he was one of the founders of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research. He is the author or co-author of hundreds of scientific articles published in high-profile journals, which are quoted more than 10,000 times a year by other researchers.

About the Niels A. Lassen Award
The award is distributed by the Niels A. Lassen Foundation, which was established in 1999 in memory of Professor, Consultant Doctor, DMSc Niels A. Lassen (1926-1997). He was one of the most significant Danish researchers within the medical sciences in the 20th century. Niels A. Lassen was affiliated with Bispebjerg Hospital, and the award is presented on the hospital’s research day 7 December, which is also the birthday of Niels A. Lassen.

The Award Ceremony
The award ceremony is held on Friday 7 December at the Centre of Education at Bispebjerg Hospital. At 14:30 Oluf Borbye Pedersen will give a lecture on ’Microbial Diabetology – About the Potential Role of Bacteria in the Pathogenesis of Diabetes’. 

Professor Oluf Borbye Pedersen
+45 29 38 25 26

Press Officer Mathias Traczyk
+45 93 56 58 35