Five researchers from Health receive DKK 25 million for neurological research

This year, three researchers from BIOMED, a researcher from Public Health and a researcher from Clinical Medicine will receive Ascending Investigator grants from the Lundbeck Foundation. The grants will help to strengthen research in the field of neuroscience and the treatment of diseases relating to the nervous system.

[Translate to English:]
Cecilia Ramlau-Hansen, Yonglun Luo, Sune Jespersen, Stephan Lange and Marina Romero-Ramos. Photo: Simon Fischel, AU Health et al.

The Ascending Investigator grants are earmarked for established and talented researchers at Danish universities and hospitals. The following researchers from Health will each receive grants of approximately DKK 5 million:

Professor Cecilia Ramlau-Hansen, Department of Public Health, receives DKK 4,999,720 for the project ‘Pubertal development and mental health’:

In the project, Cecilia Ramlau-Hansen will study a cohort of 16,000 young people via registers to examine whether changes in puberty affect mental health in young people – whether there is a correlation between puberty disorders and the development of psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety, stress, eating disorders, risk behaviour and deliberate self-harm.

Professor Sune Jespersen, Department of Clinical Medicine – Centre of Functionally Integrative Neuroscience (CFIN), receives DKK 4,623,383 for the project ‘NeuroScope: Non-invasive mapping of early cellular changes in ALS’:

In his project, Sune Jespersen will develop a new state-of-the-art method that can reveal early cell changes associated with the neurodegenerative disease ALS. He will do this by means of MRI scans and 3D mapping of brain tissue. The new method will help to develop a better and more differentiated diagnosis of the disease.

Associate Professor Marina Romero-Ramos, Department of Biomedicine-Dandrite, receives DKK 5 million for the project ‘Immune component of Parkinson’s disease: vagus nerve immunomodulation’:

In the project, Marina Romero-Ramos will identify immunological components that are central to the development of the subtypes of Parkinson’s disease, including which proteins are important for the immune system’s response in both the blood and the brain, and thus for the health of the nerve cells at various stages. The aim is to describe immunological biomarkers to distinguish between these underlying types of Parkinson’s disease, and thereby reveal new pre-clinical treatment targets.

Professor Yonglun Luo, Department of Biomedicine-DANDRITE, receives DKK 5,054,000 for the project ‘Advancing CRISPR Gene Therapy by Lipid Nanoparticles (LNP) Delivery (LNP-CRISPRs)’:

Yonglun Luo’s project deals with the development of a new technological platform for CRISPR treatments, with a special focus on the delivery of mRNA lipid nanoparticles (LNP), known from COVID-19 vaccines. The aim is to optimise the method of delivering the nanoparticles in different Cas9 variants. The project will amongst other things examine patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), and in animal experiments, the development and application of new CRISPR treatments will be streamlined.

Associate Professor Stephan Lange, Department of Biomedicine, receives DKK 4,999,998 for the project ‘Revealing roles of cullin-linked protein degradation for the development of neuromuscular disorders’:

In the project, Stephan Lange will uncover new knowledge about the underlying molecular mechanisms behind the development of neuromuscular diseases, and in particular the significance in this of the cullin-3 cells and their associated proteins. The hope is that data from the project can identify new goals for the development of treatment.

The total Ascending Investigator allocation from the Lundbeck Foundation is DKK 54 million. The amount is distributed between 11 researchers from Danish universities and hospitals, and of these, almost half of the researchers are from Health.

This coverage is based on press material from the Lundbeck Foundation.