Seminal cancer research secures young professor Research Prize for Young Scientists

Cancer biologist and professor Janine Erler, of the University of Copenhagen, receives The Lundbeck Foundation’s Research Prize for Young Scientists.

She has delivered one landmark research outcome after another in the field of cancer and, as a result, she has become an internationally recognised top scientist with publications in the most significant scientific journals. For these reasons, the 39-year-old professor and cancer biologist, Janine Erler, is receiving the Lundbeck Foundation’s Research Prize for Young Scientists 2017.

Janine’s research investigates the way in which the tumour microenvironment promotes stimulation of cancer cell growth, invasion and metastasis. She took up her position as Research Director at BRIC (Biotech Research and Innovation Centre) at the University of Copenhagen in 2008 and, since then, has established a strong, international research team. Her laboratory has recently developed a ground-breaking method for investigating the interaction of cancer cells with their surrounding microenvironment.

“It is a great honour to receive this prestigious prize, especially as the first woman. My goal in life is to decrease the suffering of cancer patients. My research is focused on studying how cancer spreads and what it needs to grow at new sites, as this is responsible for over 90% of cancer patient deaths. It is a privilege to lead a team of talented researchers and do such exciting research that will hopefully bring good to the world. We are lucky to have made several important contributions to the field. I also greatly value my collaborations with my clinical partners which allow me to more directly impact patient well-being. I am grateful to the Lundbeck Foundation for the recognition of my research,” says Janine Erler.

She can do anything
At the same time, Janine is aiming to transform the research in her laboratory into new therapies, and her research results have already created the foundation for several startup companies.

“Janine Erler is one of those scientists who can do almost anything. She’s a great talent, a skilful scientist, a popular speaker, a much-employed reviewer for journals and foundations, a talented research director and an expert communicator who can see the commercial potential in her own research. With the 2017 Research Prize for Young Scientists, we would like to give recognition to Janine’s vital scientific contribution and dedication to transforming her research for the benefit of society,” says Anne-Marie Engel, Director of Research at the Lundbeck Foundation.

The prize is accompanied by a monetary award of DKK 300,000.