University of Copenhagen and University of British Columbia share international professorship

Better utilisation of mutual competencies, new knowledge, specific results and ultimately better and more effective drugs.

These are the expectations for a completely new way of conducting research and teaching – by way of a joint professorship between two universities: the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and the University of British Columbia in Canada. Backed by funding from the Lundbeck Foundation, the two universities will set up a joint five-year professorship in drug delivery and nanomedicine – an area in which the two parties already have great expertise and in which they are also collaborating on a joint PhD programme. 'The UBC-SUND Lundbeck Foundation professorship' will be led by Dr. Urs Häfeli.

Drug delivery and nanomedicine is one of the most important future research areas. Researchers in the area are looking for drug types and administration routes where the individual drug is delivered directly to the disease site. It will thus be possible to avoid the adverse effects that often come with the use of medicine.

“The joint professorship cements the good collaboration between UCPH and UBC and enables us to conduct joint projects that allow us to draw on each other's competencies to an even higher degree. In the short or longer term, the shared professorship will mean results that will be translated into specific drugs,” says Associate Dean Sven Frøkjær from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen.

Dr. Michael Coughtrie from UBC also has great expectations for the collaboration.

“Partnerships are essential for the delivery of research that has real impact. The UBC-SUND Lundbeck Foundation professorship will pave the way for leading-edge drug discovery and ensure continued fruitful collaborations with our colleagues at the University of Copenhagen. says Dean Michael Coughtrie from the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia.

The professorship has become a reality thanks to a generous contribution from the Lundbeck Foundation, which has donated DKK 10 million (CAD 1.9 million) to the project.

“”We hope this research project can create new knowledge in the drug delivery field, and we look forward to following its progress. The grant brings together two of the main objectives of the research funding we grant, which, on the one hand, are to promote and further enhance the qualifications of the excellent Danish health science research environments and, on the other hand, are to strengthen the internationalisation of Danish health science research,”” says Anne-Marie Engel, Director of Research, Lundbeck Foundation.

Dr. Urs Häfeli has extensive international experience from both Europe and North America, and is currently affiliated with UBC as associate professor in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. In collaboration with the affiliated PhD students and graduates, Dr. Häfeli will be dividing his time between the two institutions. Urs Häfeli is expected to take up the position in summer 2015.



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