Lene B. Oddershede to be Head of Natural and Technical Science Research and Interdisciplinarity at the Novo Nordisk Foundation – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen

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11 October 2018

Lene B. Oddershede to be Head of Natural and Technical Science Research and Interdisciplinarity at the Novo Nordisk Foundation

New position:

Lene B. Oddershede, professor and head of Center of Excellence StemPhys at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, has been appointed a new position. She will be Head of Natural and Technical Science Research and Interdisciplinarity at the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Her heart beats for research, and it took a great deal of persuasion to convince Lene Oddershede of the sense in changing positions and accepting the offer from Novo Nordisk Fonden.

New possibilities at Novo Nordisk – with a tinge of melancholy

“My heart beats for research, no doubt about it. And it beats in particular for the interdisciplinary research, rooted in physics, stretching towards biology and medicine and I’ve seen the huge potential there is in this area. At Novo, I will simply be able to do more for the scientific, interdisciplinary collaborations that have been my own field of research for the past 20 years”, says Lene.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has chosen a broader interpretation of its charter, so now, apart from medicine, it also covers what you could call the supporting sciences to medicine, namely physics, biology, chemistry and the technical sciences. Simultaneously, the foundation has quadrupled its allocations. Both the size of the grants and the long term perspective have convinced Lene B. Oddershede to take the offer. “There is huge potential in this and the possibility to really make a difference. Besides, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity”.

The Niels Bohr Institute Sends on a Top Researcher

“During the last ten years, Lene has built a strong, experimental biophysics activity at the Niels Bohr Institute, which has made itself manifest widely both nationally and internationally. It is, obviously, sad to have to wave goodbye to Lene, one of our important ambassadors for interdisciplinary collaboration. The institute is already securing the continued foundation for these activities, e.g., a strong research section, a popular teaching program and state of the art laboratories. At the same time, it is a great honor for one of our foremost researchers, who is now entrusted with a very important task, rooted in her research, her leadership and her interdisciplinary background. This we are very proud of”, says head of Institute, Jan W. Thomsen.

The Continuation of NBI Activities

In 2014, Lene headed a large grant from the Danish National Research Foundation – the interdisciplinary Center of Excellence, StemPhys, where physicists at the Niels Bohr Institute and stem cell biologists at the Panum Institute collaborate on understanding stem cells. The center got a very positive review at the latest NBI research evaluation – unsurprisingly, according to Head of Institute, Jan W. Thomsen:
“The StemPhys Center has, from the very beginning, been a tremendous success, accomplishing a strong, scientific environment as well as attracting many, young talents from all over the world. This has provided the Niels Bohr Institute with a lead position in biophysics, which we are not prepared to give up. As a consequence of Lenes transfer to the Novo Nordisk Foundation, we shall focus on the continuation of the biophysics activities on the very high level we are at presently, with a new head of research”.

StemPhys continues largely unchanged. Joshua Brickman from Danstem, Novo Nordisk center for Stem Cell Biology, will still be part of the management team of the center as well as Mogens Høgh Jensen, Professor at the Niels Bohr Institute.