Ulrik Gether Receives Prestigious Medical Award – University of Copenhagen

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25 June 2012

Ulrik Gether Receives Prestigious Medical Award

Kirsten and Freddy Johansen's Medical Prize, one of the largest Danish medical awards, goes to two scientists from the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Copenhagen. Each winner receives 1.5 million Danish kroner.

On the 21st June 2012, the KFJ Foundation granted a preclinical medical prize to Prof. Dr. Med. Ulrik Gether for research in brain signaling, and a clinical medical prize to Prof. Dr. Med. Niels Borregaard for research in blood immune system. Each winner receives 1.5 million kroner, of which 250,000 kroner is a personal prize.

The brain's complex communications systems
Since his early medical studies, Professor Ulrik Gether's research has focused on particular molecular neuropharmacology, which studies how drugs which fight diseases of the brain work at the molecular and cellular level. Already during his early studies, he examined how the brain's neurotransmitters are formed and how they bind to their receptors.

Ulrik Gether is interested in, among other things, the transport proteins that control the amount of neuroactive substances in the brain. Transport proteins are important targets for a wide variety of drugs - including drugs for treating depression and addictive drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines.

In 2001, Ulrik Gether was appointed professor of neuropharmacology at the University of Copenhagen. Besides the establishment of the Laboratory of Molecular Neuropharmacology, he headed the Center for Pharmacogenomics (2004-2010) and is head (along with Dimitrios Stamou) of the Lundbeck Foundation Center for Biomembranes in Nano Medicine (2010 onwards). In addition, he leads a star program in Biomolecular Scaffolding at the University and is also one of the four leading researchers in the UNIK Centre for Synthetic Biology, operated with an grant of 120 million korner from the Ministry of Research and Innovation (2009-2014).Futher, Professor Gether, along with three American scientists, participates in a large research project on neurotransmitter transport proteins.

Ulrik Gether, who has held over 100 presentations in Europe, Asia and USA, was previously awarded the honorary medal of the Danish Society for Theoretical and Applied Therapy and in 2002, was elected to the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences.