The Novo Nordisk Foundation is donating DKK 600 m (USD 110 m) for the establishment of a new centre for protein research at the University of Copenhagen. The Novo Nordisk Foundation Centre for Protein Research, which will be inaugurated next year and employ 100 people, will provide a high technology platform with advanced equipment for protein purification and identification.
One of the core services that the centre will provide is to produce individual proteins that code for specific sections of DNA. External researchers can bring a piece of DNA material to the centre, and once the protein is produced, they can take it away with them. The centre will thus function as a core protein production resource that can service the needs of protein researchers throughout Denmark.
From a strategic perspective, the donation is shrewdly judged as a means of raising the quality profile of Danish research. For despite the fact that the human genome has been mapped, understanding of the body's proteins - from both a health and disease angle - is nothing like as advanced. There is a lot of progress to be made, and the new centre could help propel Denmark into the protein research elite.
Novo Nordisk Foundation director Gert Almind comments: "The mapping of the human genome is a fantastic achievement, but the practical value of it is still very limited. We can read all the individual letters in the genetic code, but we don't know what the words mean. The journey into the world of proteins is a central task for the Novo Nordisk Foundation Centre for Protein Research."
The objective of the Novo Nordisk Foundation is to provide a stable basis for the commercial and research activities of Novo Nordisk and support scientific, humanitarian and social purposes. The news was reported by Ingeniøren (The Engineer).