Novo Nordisk Foundation Center For Protein Research Paper

The state of a cell at any given time is reflected in its protein composition. Cell behaviour is largely determined by which proteins the cell produces, how these proteins are modified and how they functionally interact with each other. Protein-related technologies can potentially be even more revolutionary than genomic approaches for understanding the complex wiring of biological systems and disease processes, but concerted efforts are required to realize this potential.

Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research aims to assemble all of the required technologies under one roof creating the highest level of excellence.

The vision of the Center is to be the world’s leading center in integrative protein technologies and their application to accelerate understanding of the biological processes underlying health and disease. At the Center, this has been achieved by establishing four integrated protein technology platforms as well as advanced management systems for large heterogeneous data to advance the understanding of complex protein networks in fundamental biology and disease; continuing to educate the next generation of top-tier protein scientists; and becoming an unmatched global partner in protein research.


Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research focuses on four major and complementary research programmes (proteomics, disease systems biology, protein structure & function, and protein signaling ), each of which is supported by state-of-the-art protein technology platforms (mass spectrometry, protein production and characterization, protein imaging and big data management).

Assembling this knowledge and technology under one roof gives the center the advantage of creating vital synergy effects and cross disciplinary collaboration across research groups and programmes at the center. In addition, researchers at the Center collaborate with numerous partners in Denmark and with some of the most prominent research institutions worldwide both in the public and private sector.

Jiri Lukas, Executive Director of the Center, says:

- Combining cutting-edge protein technologies, big data management and a strong emphasis on mechanistic understanding of protein function enables us to compete at the highest international level in deciphering how proteins function in cells and tissues in health and disease.

- Our focus on protein technology also provides an excellent education portfolio for young and ambitious protein scientists and prepares them for top positions both in academia and industry.

Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research was established in collaboration with the University of Copenhagen. In 2007, the Novo Nordisk Foundation awarded a 10-year grant of DKK 600 million (€80.7 million) to the University to establish and operate the Center, which opened in 2009. In 2014, the Foundation awarded the University an additional grant of DKK 180 million (€24 million) to extend and further strengthen the activities of the Center through 2019. 167 persons currently work at the Center, many of whom have been recruited from outside Denmark.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research was established at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen, to promote basic and applied discovery research on human proteins of medical relevance. The establishment of the center (announced in April 2007) has been made possible by a donation of 600 million DKK (~113 MUSD) from the Novo NordiskFoundation and through significant contributions from the University of Copenhagen for the renovation of the Center laboratories.

The Center comprises a wide range of expertise and skills within research areas of disease systems biology, proteomics, high throughput protein production and characterisation, chemical biology, disease biology, and protein therapeutics. The Center also contributes to the progress of translational research within medicine and provide fundamental insights which can be used to promote drug discovery and development.


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Coordinates: 55°40′47″N12°34′21″E / 55.67972°N 12.57250°E / 55.67972; 12.57250

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