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Dkk 240 Million for Diabetes and Obesity Research

The Board of the Novo Nordisk Foundation has awarded the first four grants under the new Novo Nordisk Foundation Challenge Programme. The Programme aims to encourage and facilitate world-class research focusing on finding answers to challenges in global technology or health.

The research groups receiving these major grants of DKK 60 million over 6 years will thus have the long-term financial security to carry out in-depth research on a specific topic.

To ensure that the best project proposals and teams of researchers are considered, the grants are awarded based on applications in open competition that are peer reviewed by a special expert committee.

The Board of the Foundation decides on the themes of the programme, which vary from year to year.

The themes in 2014 were research into preventing diabetes and obesity and research into complications of diabetes. Extraordinarily, DKK 240 million has been awarded to four projects in 2014. In the future, two grants will be awarded annually. The projects must be based at a public-sector or university-based research institution in Denmark.


TROELS STAEHELIN JENSEN, Clinical Professor, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University.

Project title: International Diabetic Neuropathy Consortium (IDNC).
THUE W. SCHWARTZ, professor and Scientific Director, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, University of Copenhagen.

Project title: Novel receptor targets in the prevention and treatment of diabetes and obesity.
PETER ROSSING, Senior Principal Investigator and Head of Complications Research, Steno Diabetes Center.

Project title: PROTON – PeRsOnalising Treatment Of diabetic Nephropathy.
JULEEN ZIERATH, professor and Scientific Director, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, University of Copenhagen; and Karolinska Institutet.

Project title: Epigenetic control and the circadian clock: turning back time on diabetes pathogenesis.



The application round of 2015 is open, and this year the Challenge Programme is seeking to support outstanding scientists working within the following themes of microbiome research:

  • The human microbiome
  • The plant microbiome

Read more about the programme and the application process here.



Rasmus Larsen, Scientific Officer, Novo Nordisk Foundation, [email protected]

Christian Mostrup Scheel, Press Officer, Novo Nordisk Foundation, tel:+45 30 67 48 05, email: [email protected].