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Prize Recipient Decodes Life’s User Manual

15 May
2017

Susanne Mandrup, Professor at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the University of Southern Denmark, has been chosen as the recipient of the 2017 Novo Nordisk Foundation Lecture. The prize is accompanied by DKK 50,000.

Susanne Mandrup has dedicated her research to creating knowledge on how cells function in the human body.

“I have always been fascinated how all human cells can contain the same genome with the same genes even though the cells develop so differently. The basis of life is the genome, which is basically inert material in the form of long strands of DNA molecules. Miraculously, these very strands, in interaction with their surroundings, create life. These strands also control how every cell in our bodies develops. In this way, the genome is like a user manual,” says Susanne Mandrup.

Susanne Mandrup’s research has developed knowledge on the transcriptional networks that control the regulation of metabolism and the development of stem cells in humans. These transcriptional networks also play a very important role in developing two very closely linked lifestyle-related diseases: obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Anna Krook from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Committee on Endocrinology and Metabolism says: “Susanne Mandrup has made many seminal contributions to understanding of basic cell and molecular biology of metabolically relevant cells such as adipocytes and beta cells. For example, she has applied state-of-the-art molecular biology omics techniques to unravel temporal and spatial events governing adipocyte differentiation. Her work has provided novel insights into the molecular cross-talk between transcriptional regulation and metabolism in mammalian cells, especially adipocytes and pancreatic beta-cells.”

The Novo Nordisk Foundation awards the Lecture prize, which is awarded to an active scientist from a Nordic country for an outstanding contribution within research or treatment related to diabetes.

Susanne Mandrup adds: “We are continually decoding new pages of this user manual, which describes how fat cells and beta cells develop and respond to hormonal and metabolic stimuli. However, many pages are still missing before the manual can comprise the basis for new types of treatment. It is therefore fantastic to receive this prize because it highlights the importance and ability of long-term basic research to improve disease treatment.”

The Prize is being officially awarded on Sunday, 21 May 2017 during the annual conference of the Scandinavian Society for the Study of Diabetes, at which Susanne Mandrup will give the Lecture.

ABOUT SUSANNE MANDRUP

Title: Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Head, Functional Genomics and Metabolism Research Unit, University of Southern Denmark.
Received the Sapere Aude Advanced Grant from the Danish Independent Research Council in 2012 and the Advanced Grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation in 2015.

The Danish National Research Foundation recently awarded her a grant to establish the new Center for Functional Genomics and Tissue Plasticity (ATLAS) at the University of Southern Denmark.

Susanne Mandrup is a member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. She also plays a leading role in the Danish Diabetes Academy.

ABOUT THE NOVO NORDISK FOUNDATION LECTURE

The Novo Nordisk Foundation Lecture is a prize awarded to an active scientist from a Nordic country for an outstanding contribution within research or treatment related to diabetes. The Lecture is accompanied by DKK 50,000 donated by the Foundation. The prize is celebrated with a lecture during the annual conference of the Scandinavian Society for the Study of Diabetes.

The Lecture is awarded by a committee comprising three members from the Foundation’s Committee on Endocrinology and Metabolism and the Chair of the Scandinavian Society for the Study of Diabetes.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Susanne Mandrup, s.mandrup@bmb.sdu.dk, +45 6011 2340

Christian Mostrup Scheel, Senior Press Officer, cims@novo.dk, +45 3067 4805

Susanne Mandrup, Professor at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the University of Southern Denmark, has been chosen as the recipient of the 2017 Novo Nordisk Foundation Lecture.

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