Two researchers connected to the DNRF are among the Independent Research Fund Denmark’s 35 new Sapere Aude Research Leaders; a new study from CCG about the development of chronic kidney diseases; PERSIMUNE examines the consequences of drops in the number of white blood cells in patients; a new study from CENPERM about the Arctic; a report says that Danish forests are in a crisis; two ATLAS researchers garner great recognition; and Anders Søndberg Sørensen from Hy-Q is appointed a new Fellow at the Optical Society of America. All this in Other November News in Brief here.
Two researchers with a connection to the DNRF are among the Independent Research Fund’s 35 new Sapere Aude Research Leaders
Two researchers with a connection to the DNRF are among the Independent Research Fund’s 35 recipients of Sapere Aude Research Leaders grants. The grants, which range from 4 to 6.2 million DKK, are given to young and talented researchers who will lead their own team in a research project on a high international level. Assistant Professor Søren Egedak Degn, from the DNRF’s Center for Cellular Signal Patterns (CellPAT) at Aarhus University, and Associate Professor Torben Heien Nielsen, from the Center for Economic Behavior and Inequality (CEBI) at the University of Copenhagen, are among the 35 new Sapere Aude Research Leaders. Assistant Professor Degn from CellPAT will receive 4,428,113 million DKK for the project “B Cells: Breaking Tolerance.” The project is an international collaboration between researchers from Aarhus University, Aarhus University Hospital, and a research team from Rockefeller University in New York. Together, the three institutions will study autoimmune illnesses. Associate Professor Heien Nielsen from CEBI will receive 6,188,568 million DKK for the project “Skill Formation in the Labor Market for Physicians” and will examine whether doctors’ careers and their decisions regarding patient treatments are based on the doctors’ abilities and behavior or whether they are determined by external circumstances, such as the prestige of a workplace or the doctors’ colleagues.
A new study from CCG contributes to a better understanding of chronic kidney diseases
Chronic kidney disease is a global health issue, and it is estimated that 10-15% of the adult population in Denmark is affected by it. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have linked variants in the gene that codes for a glycosyltransferase (GALNT11) to the development of chronic kidney disease. In their study, the researchers from CCG use an animal model to show a molecular mechanism that contributes to the development of kidney disease. It shows that GALNT11 specifically places sugar on an endocytic receptor in the kidneys, and when GALNT11 does not work, the receptor function is reduced and ultimately the kidneys’ ability to reabsorb proteins is reduced as well.
PERSIMUNE is the first to examine drops in the number of white blood cells in patients
Lymphopenia is a drop in the number of so-called lymphocytes, a type of white blood cells. The consequences of lymphopenia can lead to serious infections and an increased risk of cancer and autoimmune diseases. Researchers from the DNRF’s Center for Personalized Medicine of Infectious Complications in Immune Deficiency (PERSIMUNE) at Rigshospitalet and the University of Copenhagen examined patients with tumors. The study showed that the number of lymphocytes dropped during laser treatment. A low number of lymphocytes during laser treatment led to a higher rate of infection. The study from PERSIMUNE, which was published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, is the first to examine drops in the number of lymphocytes during laser treatment.
A new study from CENPERM examines CO2 emissions from the Arctic
The long dark winter season most likely contributes 20-30% of annual CO2 emissions, but researchers face a challenge in measuring emissions during that period. In a new study from the Center of Excellence CENPERM at the University of Copenhagen, a research team has summarized previous and newly published observations from 100 places all over the Arctic. They conclude that the total amount of the CO2 emissions from Arctic grounds is constantly high across every measured area. The emissions are primarily controlled by winter temperatures, vegetation types, and snow conditions. Meanwhile, the researchers conclude that emissions during winter did not rise significantly between 2003 and 2007 but there is a risk that they will rise in the future due to global warming. CENPERM’s examination of the CO2 emissions in the Arctic was recently published in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change.
Dead trees will keep Danish forests alive
Danish forests are under massive pressure, partly because of the production of timber and wood chips but even more so because of the lack of so-called dead trees. This is shown in a new report from the University of Copenhagen. The report’s authors include Carsten Rahbek, professor and head of center at the DNRF’s Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate (CMEC). According to Professor Rahbek, dead trees are necessary to keep the forests healthy and alive, since they make up a central part of the forests’ ecosystem. Around a third of the animals in the forests are dependent on dead trees for habitation and food. Especially during winter, the dead trees play an important role for small animals that live off insects that hide under the trees’ bark. In the report, Professor Rahbek and the rest of the researchers stress that the problem could be solved if Danish woods were expanded to 75,000 hectares of untouched forests. Today Denmark has approximately 16,000 hectares of untouched forest.
ATLAS researchers harvest great recognition
At the annual party at the University of Southern Denmark, Dr. Maja Thiele, an associate professor at the Center of Excellence ATLAS, received the university’s award as communicator of the year. Associate Professor Thiele received the award for her creative and broad research outreach on radio programs, at Videnskab.dk, and at the People’s University of Copenhagen.
Another researcher from ATLAS, Professor M. Madan Babu, received the EMBO Gold Medal. EMBO (the European Molecular Biology Organization) gives the award annually to celebrate the extraordinary results made by talented young researchers under the age of 40 in Europe. Professor Babu received the award together with a research colleague Paola Picotti from ETH Zürich. The award includes a monetary award of 10,000 euros for each recipient.
Hy-Q researcher is appointed a Fellow in the Optical Society of America
Professor Anders Søndberg Sørensen, from the DNRF’s Center for Hybrid Quantum Networks (Hy-Q) at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, has been appointed a Fellowship at the Optical Society of America (OSA). As a Fellow in the OSA, a researcher is celebrated for his/her contribution to the research field in optics and photonics or for expanding the scientific field in a broader sense. The OSA was founded in 1916 and is one of the world’s leading organizations for researchers, engineers, students, and business people within optics and photonics.