Jens Juul Holst awarded the Fernström Prize – University of Copenhagen

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04 November 2015

Jens Juul Holst awarded the Fernström Prize

Fernström Prize

The Fernström Prize has been called the most prestigious medical prize in the Nordic countries after the Nobel Prize in Medicine. This year, the prize is awarded to Jens Juul Holst, Professor of Medical Physiology at the University of Copenhagen, for his discovery of the important GLP-1 hormone.

On 4 November 2015, Lund University will host the prize ceremony at which Professor Jens Juul Holst from Denmark will be presented with the prestigious Fernström Prize. The prize ranks among the most recognised medical awards in the Nordic countries, and Jens Juul Holst is the first Danish researcher to receive the prize in more than 15 years. The Fernström Prize is a collective name for several Swedish prizes awarded for medical research, and the most prestigious of the prizes is given to a researcher at a Nordic research institution.

Jens Juul Holst receives the award for his discovery of hormones in the gastrointestinal tract and their regulation of the body's blood sugar level, which has paved the way for modern treatment of type 2 diabetes.

"It's a great encouragement to receive the Fernström Prize. A prize is first and foremost a recognition of your work, but it also generates a great deal of interest in your results, which may have clinical significance for and serve as inspiration for new research. The prize will help to put focus on research into diabetes and hormones", says Jens Juul Holst, who has just returned from Asia. Here, like in the rest of the world, he is a popular speaker for his great knowledge in the field of type 2 diabetes, a disease which is rapidly increasing globally.

"Not good at giving advice"

Jens Juul Holst's research activities are among the most extensive in the world in the field of diabetes. He is one of the most cited researchers in Europe and has published more than 1,200 scientific articles. He is cited 3,500 times a year, and has over the years received major international prizes for his research. In addition, he is an inspiring communicator, who is passionate about his field of research and who is driven by curiosity, openness and perseverance, which not only has resulted in the development of new types of medicinal products, but which has also given new hope for chronically ill patients.

If you ask the world-renowned researcher if he has any useful advice for young researchers hoping to embark on an international career, he smiles and shakes his head.

"I usually say that I'm not good at giving advice. Doing research is a work that requires a lot of time, effort and attention to detail. You need to write a lot of applications and manuscripts, and you must be able to clearly communicate your findings, so that ordinary people can also understand why your research is important," says Jens Juul Holst.

The Fernström Prize is awarded by the Fernström Foundation. It was founded in 1978 by Eric K Fernström to support medical research and is presented in November every year at the Day of Research at Lund University, Sweden.