Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Young researcher receives major grant to conduct research at Australian university

At a ceremony at the Novo Nordisk Foundation, Malene Runge Jepsen from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics (MBG) received a postdoctoral grant to carry out research at Monash University in Australia for three years, followed by a one-year research period at MBG.

2016.05.02 | Lisbeth Heilesen

At a ceremony at the Novo Nordisk Foundation, Malene Runge Jepsen received a postdoctoral grant to carry out research at Monash University in Australia for three years, followed by a one-year research period at MBG. Malene is seen in the middle with a striped blouse (Photo: Novo Nordisk Foundation).

Malene Runge Jepsen (Photo: Novo Nordisk Foundation)

In September, Malene Runge Jepsen, who will defend her PhD at MBG on 20 May 2016, is leaving for Monash University in Australia, where she for the next three years will study a type of cell changes that give rise to breast cancer. Her stay will be financed by a postdoctoral grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation of DKK 3.2 million.

According to Malene Runge Jepsen, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women in the Western world, and since it is a topic of great interest to her, she looked around in the world to find a research team recognised in this field. At Science and Technology, it is customary when you have earned your doctoral degree that you go abroad to a foreign laboratory as a postdoc for further inspiration and international experience.

”Here I found Professor Christina A. Mitchell of Australia, whose work focuses on understanding the biochemical basis for cell changes and studying the impact of these in a physiological context in animal models," says Malene Runge Jepsen. "As I would like to be part of her research team, I contacted her to initiate a collaboration. She showed great interest, and with the grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation it is now possible to carry out the project in her research group," says Malene.

"It is a unique chance for me to be allowed to work with leading researchers in my field, and it will certainly give me an enormous knowledge that I can take back to Denmark," adds Malene, "and the grant includes funding which allows me to return to Denmark after three years to continue my work at MGB and thereby establish myself as an independent researcher."

Professor Claus Oxvig who has been supervisor for Malene during her doctoral studies states: "Malene fully deserves receiving this highly esteemed grant to work as a postdoc at Monash University. No doubt, she has the skills that make her a first-class scientist. The fact that funding continues after Malene has returned to Denmark, is unique. It helps to ensure peace and continuity at a critical time in her career."

"Undoubtedly, Malene’s work in Australia will also be of great importance for the research at MBG as Malene will bring both new knowledge and skills as well as a valuable network back to Denmark," concludes Claus Oxvig.


About the grant

The Novo Nordisk Foundation supports young, ambitious researchers in the Nordic countries with a post-doctoral fellowship to conduct basic, translational and/or clinical research. The fellowship offers an opportunity to carry out a research project where a minimum of three years are dedicated to work at a university, hospital or other research institution abroad, followed by up to one year at a home Nordic research institution.

The vision of the Novo Nordisk Foundation is to support promising young researchers that will help to ensure that the Nordic countries maintain their position amongst the world leaders in endocrinology research.


For further information, please contact:

Research Assistant Malene Runge Jepsen
Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics
Aarhus University, Denmark
malenerj@mbg.au.dk - mobile: +45 2160 7322

Grant