UBC and University of Copenhagen share international professorship

A $1.9 million CAD donation from a Danish foundation will fund a joint professorship for pharmaceutical research at UBC and the University of Copenhagen.

Funding from the Lundbeck Foundation will create a joint five-year professorship in drug delivery and nanomedicine is intended to lead to the creation of new and improved drugs. Associate Professor Urs Häfeli will lead the UBC-University of Copenhagen Lundbeck Foundation professorship. The universities are also collaborating on a joint PhD program.

Drug delivery and nanomedicine is an emerging area of human health study. Researchers are looking for drug types and administration routes where the individual drug is delivered directly to the disease site. This in turn makes it possible to avoid the adverse effects often associated 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.

Michael Coughtrie, Dean of UBC's Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences says the collaboration has tremendous global potential to improve health.

"Partnerships are essential for the delivery of research that has real impact. The UBC-University of Copenhagen 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 Coughtrie.

"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.

Image: Japonicum and magnetic beads. Urs Häfeli.