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UCPH professor Anja Groth wins Elite Researcher Prize

Elite Researcher Prize — Anja Groth, molecular biologist from the Biotech Research and Innovation Centre (BRIC) at UCPH is one of the five recipients of the Elite Researcher Prize.

Professor of Molecular Biology Anja Groth was presented 1st March with one of the most prestigious awards in Danish research: The Elite Researcher Prize:

She receives the award for her work in examining how human cells ‘remember’ their function in cell division.

“In short, we are trying to understand how cells can remember what they are, and what their function is, in connection with cell division. This is important to understand both the development of the body and the development of cancer cells, which acquire new properties and divide uncontrollably,” says Anja Groth in an interview which can be found on the Danish Ministry for Higher Education and Research’s website

Only UCPH researcher to get honour this year

The award comes with DKK 1.2 million, with DKK 200,000 as a personal award and with DKK 1 million earmarked for research activities.
The other four recipients of the Elite Researcher Prize are:

• Professor N. Asger Mortensen, Center for Nano Optics & Danish Institute for Advanced Study, University of Southern Denmark
• Professor Robert Andrew Fenton, Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University
• Fellow Stig Helveg, Haldor Topsøe A/S
• Professor Søren Fournais, Department of Mathematics, Aarhus University

The prizes will be awarded by the Minister for Higher Education and Research Søren Pind at an event in the foyer of the Copenhagen Opera House on 1st March from 14-16.

This is why she was nominated

Anja Groth was nominated for the Elite Researcher Prize by the Independent Research Fund Denmark. Their nomination text is below, and it can also be read on the Ministry for Higher Education and Research site.

“Anja Groth has carried out fundamental and important research, which sheds light on how epigenetic information is transferred during cell division. The results are important to find out how our hereditary material and its correct function are passed on during cell growth.

The research is, in a larger perspective, relevant to the understanding of human development, aging and diseases, including cancer. Anja Groth’s discoveries are the result of a sustained and ambitious search for the answers to big biological questions. In addition, she has used advanced molecular biological and genetic techniques, as well as comprehensive interdisciplinary collaboration with leading researchers. Her extensive research has led to her now being a well-known and recognized researcher within the field of epigenetics and genome stability.

Anja Groth has carried out fundamental and important research, which sheds light on how epigenetic information is transferred during cell division.
From the Independent Research Fund Denmark's nomination text

“Anja Groth has published in the most important biological journals, including Nature, and she has achieved a number of honorary awards in the form of national and international awards and grants. She has, for example, been appointed ‘EMBO Investigator’, has been granted the Heirloom Award for Women Scientist Leaders, and has received no less than two large 5-year ERC grants (‘starting grant’ and ‘consolidator grant’).

Anja Groth has a Master’s degree in biochemistry, and a PhD from 2004 from the University of Copenhagen in cancer biological research which was carried out at the Danish Cancer Society. She was a postdoc at the Institut Curie in Paris for 3 years and then returned to Denmark, where she was assistant professor and group leader at BRIC in Copenhagen. She was appointed professor at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences in Copenhagen in 2016 at the BRIC laboratory, where she now heads a large research group.”

Read more about the UCPH winners of the Elite Researcher Prize in 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014.