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New centre of excellence in obesity

Professor Susanne Mandrup from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology receives DKK 65 million to establish a centre of excellence to investigate obesity at the cellular level.

By Trine Søndergaard, trinesh@sdu.dk

SDU is to get a new centre of excellence that will investigate how obesity alters specific cell types in the liver and fat tissues.

This research will generate greater understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of obesity-related illnesses and in this way help to improve both diagnoses and treatment of illnesses connected with obesity and fatty liver diseases.

Professor Susanne Mandrup from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology will lead the new centre of excellence, which will receive DKK 65 million from the Danish National Research Foundation. And she is both pleased and excited.

- The grant is a huge recognition of our work. It also gives us a tremendous opportunity to find answers to fundamental scientific questions in the field. It'll be wildly exciting! We'll investigate things like how specific cell types behave in the context of the organism - something we know very little about at present, says Susanne Mandrup.

Great prestige

The new  Centre of Excellence is one of 10 centres to be supported by the Danish National Research Foundation in the coming years. Initially, grants covering a period of 6 years will be awarded.

There is great prestige associated with the Centre of Excellence grants, which are awarded to outstanding cutting edge research of high international standard. The Danish National Research Foundation has selected the 10 centres from among 173 expressions of interest.

- The grant signals that SDU is at the absolute forefront of international research, and I'm very pleased on behalf of both the Faculty and SDU. But most important of all is Susanne Mandrup's research. It will have great significance for many people because we'll obtain  a better understanding of the basic mechanisms in obesity-related illnesses, says Martin Zachariasen, Dean of the Faculty of Science.

The new centre will involve both science and health science researchers from SDU and the Odense University Hospital.

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