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Exhibition Will Demonstrate How Sugar Affects Health and Disease

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has awarded a grant of DKK 500,000 to the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences of the University of Copenhagen to support the research exhibition Sugar Theater, opening in connection with the inauguration of the Mærsk Tower at the University of Copenhagen on 18 January 2017.

The exhibition will present current research by focusing on some of the many roles sugar plays in health and disease. The exhibition will also provide insight into why research is important for the health of both individual people and society as a whole.

“Sugar evokes a whole universe of associations, and the exhibition invites us to reflect on these. Sugar is a powerful metaphor for life, and sugar is everywhere. Sugar decorates DNA, RNA and proteins. Sugar coats the surfaces of cells, is in the blood and is in our food. Many people around the world have diabetes, and the number of people with the disease is rising,” says Ulla Wewer, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences of the University of Copenhagen. She adds: “I am very grateful for the generous grant the Novo Nordisk Foundation has given us for the exhibition, and I am extremely pleased that our guests, students and employees will be able to embark on a voyage of discovery in this vital field of research.”

The exhibition is the result of close collaboration between artists and researchers from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences. The ambition is to present stories about the Faculty’s research while also creating an independent work of art by zooming in on the myriad sticky connections between life, science and art.

The exhibition wants us to reflect on which formats of truth are launched when science and art collaborate in attempting to explain and understand the world.

Artist and poet Morten Søndergaard is leading the exhibition, working closely with two artists and curators from the Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology, Dea Antonsen and Ida Bencke. Researchers from the Copenhagen Center for Glycomics, the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, which will all be located in the new building, are also helping to develop the exhibition.

Dagnia Looms, Head of Strategic Awards, Novo Nordisk Foundation, says:

“The purpose in awarding a grant for the exhibition is to help the general public become more interested in the natural sciences and research. Sugar plays an important role in people’s health and is a relevant and exciting topic to which everyone can relate. The exhibition also provides the world outside with an interesting insight into the excellent international research being conducted by the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences of the University of Copenhagen.”