Large Grants to Research in Inflammatory Conditions and Brain Development – University of Copenhagen

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08 March 2018

Large Grants to Research in Inflammatory Conditions and Brain Development

Lundbeck Foundation

Two research projects at SUND have just received million-kroner funding from the Lundbeck Foundation. Professor Mette Marie Rosenkilde will be researching the impact of a special type of receptors on inflammatory conditions in the brain. Furthermore, the research centre COPSAC will be studying the effect of fish oil and vitamin D on the brains of children.

Professor of Pharmacology Mette Marie Rosenkilde from the Department of Biomedical Sciences has received DKK 10,342,351 for a study of a special type of receptors. The receptors are so-called adhesion G protein-coupled receptors (aGPCR), and the project will, among other things, try to determine whether the receptors are vital to the development of serious virus-determined inflammatory conditions in the brain.

Among other things, the research group will be looking at whether e.g. Zika virus enters and settles in the brain by using the aGPCR receptors, and the aim of the project is ultimately to get a step closer to developing medication for Zika virus. When the Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood (COPSAC) was able to prove that fish oil supplements given to pregnant women reduced the risk of asthma and respiratory tract infections in their children at the age of three, the news travelled the world. They also discovered improved cognition and development of mile stones and language.

Reseach in the brain development of children
The other research project will be studying how fish oil supplements and vitamin D affect the development of the brain, the cognitive functions and psychopathological features of the now 10-year-old children. The research will be conducted in cooperation with the Center for Clinical Intervention and Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CINS), and the two centres have just received DKK 27 million in funding from the Lundbeck Foundation for establishing the cross-disciplinary alliance.

‘Research that cuts across traditional areas of specialisation is both fascinating and fruitful. Much research is conducted within separate silos, where researchers with similar degrees can have difficulties looking beyond present-day paradigms. Translational research has always been our strategy, with this collaboration as the latest example. Of course, it is high risk/high gain, but we are optimistic and very grateful that the Lundbeck Foundation was willing to take this chance’, says Professor and Consultant Doctor in Paediatrics Hans Bisgaard from COPSAC.