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Brain research

DKK 35 million for new type of research in neuro diseases

Professor Martin Røssel Larsen has received DKK 35 million from the Lundbeck Foundation to cultivate and research mini-brains.

By Birgitte Svennevig, , 1/25/2021

Neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and schizophrenia are complex diseases for which we do not yet have an effective cure. This is primarily because we do not understand the mechanisms that trigger the diseases.

The Lundbeck Foundation has now allocated DKK 120 million to three neuroscientific research projects that are to shed light on this, but which are so advanced that they cannot be solved by one research group.

35 of the 120 million go to a project led by Professor Martin Røssel Larsen from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Southern Denmark, who specialises in cultivating and studying so-called mini-brains that can be created from cells from patients with neurological diseases.

What is common to the three supported projects is that the Lundbeck Foundation wants to support and promote neuroscientific research projects that are so complex and demanding that they cannot be solved by one research group alone, the Foundation writes in a press release.

- To have realistic hopes of finding answers to the challenges that projects of this type contain, it’s necessary to gather strong researcher profiles from different groups with different approaches to the field, so that they can look for answers and solutions together, says Lars Torup, scientific programme director at the Lundbeck Foundation.

Fellow applicants and cooperation partners on Martin Røssel Larsen’s project are Madeline Lancaster, head of a research group at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK, and Associate Professor Kristine Freude and Professor Poul Hyttel, both from the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Copenhagen.

The other two grants go to:

  • Kasper Lage, research director at the Mental Health Services in the Capital Region of Denmark. The project is about identifying the networks of proteins that play a part in schizophrenia, and it has received DKK 50 million.
  • Hartwig Siebner, professor at Hvidovre Hospital. The project is about developing new, magnetic field-based treatments aimed at Parkinson’s disease, and it has received DKK 35 million.
Meet the researcher

Martin Røssel Larsen is a professor at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the research centre Brain Research - Inter-Disciplinary Guided Excellence.

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