New funding for collaborative diabetes research across Denmark and North America

The Novo Nordisk Foundation is funding eight new research projects with the goal of generating new knowledge, treatments and interventions that can improve the lives of people with diabetes around the world. The Foundation is granting a total of DKK 52 million (€7 million) to projects that strengthen collaboration between the Steno Diabetes Centers and between the diabetes research environments in Denmark and North America. 

The projects cover a broad range of topics, from the potential link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease and possible treatments for both conditions to the role of genetic variants in the development of neuropathy among Inuit in Greenland with diabetes. 

The biggest grant – DKK 25 million (€3.4 million) – has been awarded for the largest ever study of maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY). The five-year project aims to provide new treatment options and influence national and international guidelines relating to this inherited condition that is often misdiagnosed. The study involves six of the seven Steno Diabetes Centers and is this year’s recipient of the Steno National Collaborative Grant.  

That grant was first awarded in 2021, as were the Steno North American Fellowships, a programme designed to celebrate the centenary of the discovery of insulin in Canada and to promote transatlantic collaboration in diabetes research. As a result of this year’s grants, two US-based researchers – one from the Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard Medical School and one from the University of Michigan – will take up fellowships at Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen, while one Denmark-based researcher will take up a fellowship at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School.  

The final four projects are awarded funds under the Steno Collaborative Grants programme, established in 2017 to encourage the exchange and development of knowledge between the Steno Centers and surrounding research environments within Denmark.  

“Despite huge investment in diabetes research and treatment, the number of people living with the condition is still on the rise all around the world,” says Martin Ridderstråle, Senior Vice President and head of Medical Science at the Novo Nordisk Foundation. “We need better preventive interventions, more effective diagnostic tools and greater precision in the selection of treatments. Knowledge sharing and collaboration across institutions and borders are key to making this happen, which is why these programmes are so important.” 

Find details of all eight funded projects here. 

The Steno North American Fellowships and the Steno National Collaborative Grant are open again for applications, with a deadline of 23 January 2024.  

The Steno Collaborative Project Grants will open for new applications in February 2024. 

Further information 

Christian Mostrup, Senior Press Lead, Novo Nordisk Foundation, +45 3067 4805, cims@novo.dk