Novo Nordisk Foundation awards DKK 60 million to establish three professorships in paediatric surgery at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen
Children born and growing up with heart disease or a congenital deformity of the kidneys, urinary tract or gastrointestinal tract often need highly specialized investigation and surgery, sometimes at the fetal stage.
The Novo Nordisk Foundation is awarding DKK 60 million to Rigshospitalet to establish three 5-year professorships at the future Copenhagen Children’s Hospital (BørneRiget). The three professorships will carry out research, development and teaching within the respective fields of heart, fetal and reconstructive surgery.
The purpose of the professorships is to contribute to creating a world-class research and treatment environment at the new hospital to benefit patients throughout Denmark. The professorships will attract leading international researchers and will contribute to further developing the highly specialized paediatric surgery expertise at Rigshospitalet.
“The Foundation is awarding the grant for establishing the three paediatric surgery professorships with a national treatment role to strengthen the interaction between research and treatment. The professorships will significantly improve the surgical treatment of seriously ill children in Denmark with the goal of achieving the best treatment outcomes,” says Birgitte Nauntofte, CEO, Novo Nordisk Foundation.
The new hospital is being established in collaboration between the Capital Region of Denmark and several foundations. The facility is expected to open in 2023. The vision is to create a world-class hospital for children, adolescents, pregnant women, and their families. The professorships will be open for applications during 2018.
About the three professorships
Professorship in fetal and intrauterine therapy
A treatment and surgery programme is often planned while children are still in the fetal stage. The new professorship in fetal and intrauterine therapy will help to ensure the continuing development of new and better methods of assessing the health status of an unwell fetus. The professorship will also ensure the further and new development of effective, safe and timely treatments and interventions at the fetal stage to ensure the best possible quality of life for each child.
Professorship in paediatric cardiac surgery
Fetal diagnosis, early heart surgery and advanced monitoring and treatment during hospitalization at an intensive care unit is vital to ensure high quality of life for children with heart disease. Studies show that many children with heart disease develop such complications as learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder and poor motor development. The new professorship will enable intensified research in these fields within paediatric cardiac surgery to take the new children’s hospital to the frontline of research, improving treatment as a result.
Professorship in reconstructive surgery
Many children with congenital deformities undergo reconstructive surgery to restore functioning and physical characteristics. The establishment of a professorship in the development of tissue culture transplants for clinical use closely linked to the clinical development of surgical techniques, including robot-assisted ones, together with the current stem cell research at Rigshospitalet, will create a scientific powerhouse in the absolute elite of research in paediatric surgery.