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Obesity research is expanded with a new research center

Professor Susanne Mandrup receives DKK 60 million from the Novo Nordisk Foundation's Challenge Program to establish a new research center, which among others will investigate the difference between obesity among men and women.

By Majken Brahe Ellegaard Christensen, , 1/2/2019

SDU gets a new research center, Center for Adipocyte Signaling (abbreviated ADIPOSIGN), to investigate how fat cells change their properties during obesity.

Professor Susanne Mandrup from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology will lead the research center. It is financed by DKK 60 million from the Novo Nordisk Foundation over the next 6 years. Other collaborators are program leader Madan Babu Mohan, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, Professor Jan-Wilhelm Kornfeld from SDU and Zachary Gerhart-Hines from the University of Copenhagen.

ADIPOSIGN will investigate how the properties of fat cells change during obesity and how these changes depend on gender, specific fat depots, and genetics. Research in this field will increase the understanding of how the fat cells communicate with their environment. The research center supports the existing center of excellence, ATLAS, by providing a deeper understanding of the specific changes in fat cells during the transition from normal weight to overweight and severe overweight in humans.

Susanne Mandrup is already leading the ATLAS research center, which in 2017 received DKK 65 million from the Danish National Research Foundation to investigate obesity at the cellular level in the fat tissue and liver.

Professor Susanne Mandrup is enthusiastic:

”This grant for the establishment of ADIPOSIGN is amazing, because it supports a very exciting project that investigates the function of fat cells in a completely new and multidisciplinary way, thus strengthening our research in molecular and cellular understanding of obesity. At the same time, it supports and synergizes with our existing center of excellence, ATLAS, and it clearly demonstrates SDU's leadership in functional genomics and metabolism.”

With the new grant, Susanne looks forward to strengthening SDU's efforts in obesity research. The Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Marianne Holmer, is also excited and sees the grant as a major recognition:

"The grant shows that SDU's research is in the international top league. I am naturally happy on behalf of the faculty, but also the entire SDU. Susanne Mandrup's research has previously shown to be of importance for many people, and with this great recognition and grant, Susanne's research gets even more room for development."

Rector Henrik Dam is also excited about the new research center at SDU:

"In recent years, Susanne Mandrup and her research team have established themselves among the world leaders in Functional Genomics and Tissue Plasticity. With the grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation, this position is cemented, and we are both happy and proud. "

The new center is expected to start at the beginning of 2019.

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Editing was completed: 02.01.2019