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World-Class Danish Stem Cell Research

The Danish Council for Strategic Research has just awarded a grant of DKK 65 million (€8.7 million) for the establishment of the first Danish stem cell research centre. The centre will be headed by leading stem cell researcher Henrik Semb.

Nov 03, 2010

– Stem cell research is an area with great possibilities. I am therefore pleased that we, with a targeted public investment in stem cell research, can be a part of bringing Denmark into the first division. This grant means that there will also be a significant strengthening of research education benefiting both the public and private companies, says Science Minister Charlotte Sahl-Madsen.

The Danish Stem Cell Center, DanStem, will begin operations at the start of 2011 and will be based at the University of Copenhagen. The centre will research basal stem cell biology and application-oriented stem cell research, with the goal of contributing to the development of new medications and treatments for diabetes and cancer.

Many internationally-renowned researchers are participating as active partners in the centre, including university researchers from Kyoto, Vanderbilt, Lund and Berkley National Laboratory.

– I am very impressed by the quality of the application and the high international standard of the stem cell centre, says Professor Olle Ljungqvist, chairman for the Danish Council for Strategic Research’s programme commission on individuals, illness and society.

The political decision to allocate DKK 65 million to a strategic research centre for stem cells was made as part of the globalisation agreement in 2009, where it was recognised that private co-financing is essential. DanStem is co-financed by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The grant was awarded for a period of five years. In the long-term, the centre is expected to involve 100 researchers.

Science Minister Charlotte-Sahl Madsen via head of communications Anders Frandsen, tel: +45 3048 8450.

Professor Olle Ljungqvist via head of office Hanne Haarup Thomsen, the Danish Council for Strategic Research's Secretariat, tel: +45 7226 5510 or email: hht@fi.dk.

last modified Feb 12, 2013