Our Christmas present to all Danish hearts is 20 million DKK

We will be granting 20 million DKK to research within cardiovascular disease – this is a huge Christmas present for all Danish hearts. In this first round of applications, 20 projects (PhD and Postdoc.) will receive a grant.

A new Danish academy within cardiovascular diseases was launched at the beginning of this year. Now, 20 young researchers will be the first to receive grants from the Danish Cardiovascular Academy.

“We will be granting 20 million DKK to research within cardiovascular disease – this is a huge Christmas present for all Danish hearts,” says Christian Aalkjær, executive managing director, Danish Cardiovascular Academy.

Education of more cardiovascular researchers

The purpose of the Danish Cardiovascular Academy is to educate more cardiovascular researchers and raise the level of their education with courses and training. Thus, the academy will combat one of the deadliest diseases in Denmark.

One of four Danes dies of cardiovascular disease. However, more than half a million Danes live with cardiovascular disease (Hjerteforeningen.dk/Hjerter i tal). 25 years ago cardiovascular disease was the most common cause of death in Denmark. Since then, we have improved treatment and today, cancer is the most common cause of death, and more people live longer with their cardiovascular disease according to Christian Aalkjær.

Research is crucial

“Research has been crucial to our understanding of how cardiovascular disease develops and thereby we have been able to treat this disease more effectively. We have also developed fantastic drugs which for example means that we can survive an acute myocardial infarction today,” says Christian Aalkjær.

In the first out of five award rounds, the Danish Cardiovascular Academy has received 100 applications and selected the 20 best projects. The academy is supported by the Novo Nordic Foundation and the Danish Heart Foundation enabling this boost of research.

"We are incredibly proud of the collaboration with the academy. If we are to beat heart disease, it is crucial that we invest heavily in research. It can literally be the difference between life and death. We are therefore excited to see the results of the heart research that is possible now thanks to the collaboration with Danish Cardiovascular Academy," says Anne Kaltoft, CEO, Danish Heart Foundation.

High level research

The projects range from major population studies on obesity, disturbances in the circadian rhythm, effects of vitamin K supplementation to analysis of changes in the smallest blood vessels in relation to Alzheimer’s, screening method for aneurysms and many more.

“With these grants, cardiovascular research will continue to be at a high level in Denmark and perhaps reach an even higher level due to the financial and quality injection that the academy has given,” says Christian Aalkjær, Danish Cardiovascular Academy.

The following have received a postdoctoral fellowship:

·         Regitse Højgaard Christensen, Herlev Hospital

·         Christoffer Polcwiartek, Aalborg University Hospital

·         Casper Bang, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospitals

·         Nikolay Kutuzov, University of Copenhagen

·         Marta Guindo Martínez, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research

·         Maria Sofia Espejo, Aarhus University

·         Freja Bach Kampmann, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospital

·         Sabrina Bech Mathiesen, University of Southern Denmark

The following have received a PhD grant:

·         Rasmus Henrik Reeh, University of Copenhagen

·         Sandra Hummelgaard, Aarhus University

·         Selma Hasific, Odense University Hospital

·         Simon Libak Haugaard, Donnington Grove Equine Hospital, Newbury, Berkshire, UK

·         Henrik Laurits Bjerre, Aarhus University Hospital

·         Katja Thorøe Michler, University of Copenhagen

·         Katja Vu, Gentofte Hospital

·         Katrine Aagaard Myhr, Rigshospitalet

·         Kristina Cecilia Miger, Bispebjerg Hospital

·         Kristoffer Grundtvig Skaarup, Gentofte Hospital

·         Nicolai Bjødstrup Palstrøm, University of Southern Denmark

·         Pauline Kromann, Herlev Hospital

Danish version of Press Release