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Bench-to-bedside research gets a fresh boost in Denmark

Photo: 2023-2025 BRIDGE fellows (Mikal Schlosser)

The BRIDGE postdoctoral programme, designed to fill the gap between basic biomedical discoveries and their clinical or industrial application, has been renewed for a further seven years with a grant of DKK 137 million to the University of Copenhagen. Four new classes of fellows will be recruited to join the 66 current and former fellows in the programme. 

A wealth of new biomedical knowledge is being developed at universities around the world, knowledge that can improve our understanding of complex disease mechanisms and ultimately lead to new treatments or interventions that improve people’s lives. But, all too often, basic findings are not translated into clinical practice or the translation process is achingly slow. 

The Novo Nordisk Foundation’s BRIDGE – Translational Excellence Programme began in 2019 with a vision to smooth and accelerate the path between new biomedical knowledge and real-world interventions. The training programme is for researchers who hold a doctorate and either a Master of Science or medical degree. It provides salary for enrolled fellows to conduct translational biomedical research at departments of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, collaborating with associated hospitals, other research institutions, and/or life science industry partners in Denmark. 

The postdoctoral programme includes 15 courses on translational research and offers opportunities to participate in industry site visits and networking days, as well as individual supervision by an established basic scientist and a clinical scientist and/or mentor from the life science industry. 

The programme focuses on developing an innovative translational mindset and preparing BRIDGE fellows to lead translational research at the highest level between academia, research hospitals and the life science industry. As the only educational fellowship scheme in Denmark incorporating translational topics, BRIDGE plays a vital role in ensuring that research breakthroughs make it from the bench to the bedside and improve the lives of patients. 

Since the programme’s inception in 2019, 66 fellows have been recruited across two phases – BRIDGE I and BRIDGE II – and the programme is now being extended again, following an evaluation process. With the grant of up to DKK 137 million over seven years for BRIDGE III, the university will recruit four more classes of fellows, reaching a total of 120 educated fellows and more than 340 mentors by 2030. 

BRIDGE III keeps the ambitious academic curriculum and the critical role of the mentors from BRIDGE I and BRIDGE II, while also including new activities in areas such as artificial intelligence and regenerative medicine. 

The programme is open for applications with a deadline of 28 February 2024. Read more on the University of Copenhagen website. 

Further information

Judith Vonberg
Communications Specialist
+45 4172 7925 [email protected]