Biophysicist Pernille Yde receives prestigious award – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen

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18 August 2014

Biophysicist Pernille Yde receives prestigious award

The Society for the Dissemination of Natural Science, SNU has awarded the prestigious Kirstine Meyer Grant to Pernille Yde for her research in biophysical computer models with special focus on inflammation and diabetes.

The Society for the Dissemination of Natural Science, SNU has awarded the prestigious Kirstine Meyer Grant to Pernille Yde for her research in biophysical computer models with special focus on inflammation and diabetes.

After graduating in 2003, Pernille Yde studied physics and biophysics at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen. This February she defended her PhD dissertation ‘Spatial Structures and Regulation in Biological Systems’. The dissertation was in two parts and dealt partly with how the disease-causing protein deposits grow in the brain in connection with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and partly with the inflammatory reactions of type 2 diabetes.

While at university, she was an exchange student at Humboldt University in Berlin and during her PhD studies she worked at Cambridge University with the renowned Knowles Group.

“I have had Pernille as a student for many years on the bachelor, Master’s and PhD levels and she is really a super student with a great talent for research. She is very clever and is a very focused and independent worker and has already published many scientific articles,” explains Mogens Høgh Jensen, professor and head of the Biophysics research group at the Niels Bohr Institute. 

The Kirstine Meyer Grant

In 1892, Kirstine Meyer became the first woman to receive a Master’s in physics. She received the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters Gold Medal in 1899 and became Denmark’s first female Doctor of Philosophy in physics in 1909. The Kirstine Meyer Grant’s full name is “Associate Professor, Doctor of Philosophy, Mrs.Kirstine Meyer, born Bjerrum’s Memorial Grant” and was founded in 1942 by a group of colleagues who wanted to ‘create a memorial for her that could bear witness to the coming times about the admiration, consideration and affection which her contemporaries had for her.” Niels Bohr signed the bylaws on behave of the Society for the Dissemination of Natural Science. “Pernille Yde is both an outstanding young researcher in physics and has shown excellent abilities for communicating through lectures and presentations at Danish and international conferences. She therefore fulfills all of the prerequisites for receiving the Kirstine Meyer Grant,” states Dorte Olesen, president for SNU.

Honourable recognition

“It is a very great honour to receive this scholarship, which is an honorary grant that you cannot apply for, but you are recommended for it. I consider it a pat on the back and recognition of my research and I’m very happy about it. It is also an honour to receive a grant that so many impressive people have received before me,” says Pernille Yde, who has just taken up a position with Statistics Denmark where she deals with the statistical analysis of data. She has not completely written off research, but she is very happy with her new job and the professional challenges, which she enjoys.

Pernille Yde will be awarded the grant on Tuesday, August 19th at 15:00 at DTU on the occasion of SNU’s 190th anniversary. The grant was last awarded in 2008 and some of the past recipients include the excellent astronomy advocate Anja C. Andersen, Professor in biophysics, Mogens Høgh Jensen, Nobel laureate Aage Bohr and the later chancellor of the University of Copenhagen, Ove Nathan.