Eleven young diabetes researchers get opportunity to work over coming years | Danish Diabetes and Endocrine Academy
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Eleven young diabetes researchers get opportunity to work over coming years

Eleven young diabetes researchers get opportunity to work over coming years -

Eleven young diabetes researchers have secured the opportunity to pursue their work over the next few years. They have just been awarded grants from the Danish Diabetes Academy to pursue their PhD or postdoctoral studies. The Danish diabetes community as a whole has also been strengthened by the appointment of a new visiting professor, Decio L. Eizirik of the Université Libre in Brussels, who specialises in the understanding of the causes of the destruction of the pancreas’s insulin-producing cells, leading to type 1 diabetes.

The grant recipients have been chosen from among more than 100 applicants, and the Chair of the Danish Diabetes Academy’s Board of Directors, Allan Flyvbjerg of the Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen, stresses that the standard is high. ‘I am confident they will develop knowledge that will be of benefit both to the understanding of diabetes and directly in the treatment of diabetes patients’, he says.

Delighted with quality and breadth

Applications were judged by an international committee, whose members are delighted both with the quality of the research and with its breadth. ‘They attached weight to the need for the young researchers to collaborate with the life science industry, hospitals and universities, and also to collaborate internationally. This means that, in years to come, through this group of young people alone we will have stronger relationships with Harvard in the USA, the German Institute of Human Nutrition in Potsdam, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, the University of Michigan in the USA and the Institute of Anatomy at the University of Bern in Switzerland, among others’, says Allan Flyvbjerg.

Chemotherapy, trauma and exercise

The projects span a very wide range. One of the young researchers will add to our understanding of why chemotherapy can trigger type 2 diabetes in people with breast cancer, and the aim is to create tools for doctors to enable them to ensure this does not happen. Another will look into why people who suffer traumas early in life have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes; here, the aim is to develop more effective strategies so that prevention and treatment can be offered. In a third project, the researcher will look at the positive effect on people with type 2 diabetes of exercising before eating, with the aim of developing a drug to provide the same effect as the exercise.

Part of the research, which will be conducted in close collaboration with the industry, should show whether a combination of insulin and glucagon, released by an artificial pancreas, can kill several birds with one stone: stabilizing the blood sugar of people with type 1 diabetes, reducing the risk of low blood sugar and lowering the risk of later diabetes complications and cardiovascular disease.

Six to embark on PhDs, five on postdoc studies

A total of 15 million Danish kroner has been awarded.  Four women and two men will each receive 1.1 million to take a PhD. Three of the researchers – one woman and two men—will get 1.8 million for postdoctoral studies, and the two other men will get 1.2 million for postdoctoral studies.

They are affiliated to a large number of hospitals and universities, including the University of Copenhagen, Aarhus University, the University of Southern Denmark, Aalborg University and several Steno Diabetes Centers.

The Danish Diabetes Academy was founded in 2012 and is supported by the Novo Nordisk Foundation and the Danish universities and university hospitals. Its objective is to strengthen Danish diabetes research and treatment by helping to train the diabetes researchers and practitioners of the future.

The grant recipients can be seen in the lists below:

 A list of the grant recipients including abstracts and profile stories can also be found here.

Professor Allan Flyvbjerg, Chair of the Board of Directors
Mobile: +45 51 77 95 48
Email: allan.flyvbjerg@regionh.dk

Danish Diabetes Academy
Managing Director Tore Christiansen 
Tel. +45 29646764