The award is an acknowledgement of Brunak’s research in system biology and bio informatics which may be the basis of the combat against present and future diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer and HIV.
The Grundfos Award amounts to DKK 1m, of which DKK 250,000 are a personal mark of honour, whereas the rest are earmarked for Brunak’s research field.
Søren Brunak was in the field right from the start of the rapid development within research in disease, in which super computers play an important part, making it possible to integrate huge amounts of biological data in sophisticated computer models. These models are used for, e.g., predicting which vaccine will be the best for combating a newly appeared influenza, or for examining what effects and adverse effects new cancer medicine will give . Bio informatics today is an invaluable tool in biotechnological and medical research. The jury of the Grundfos Award said, among other things: ”Søren Brunak has, very convincingly, opened the eyes not only of Denmark but the whole world to the unlimited possibilities of system biology.”
The award was presented by Grundfos Chairman, Niels Due Jensen, who, among other things, said: ”We believe it is our duty to recognise this kind of research and the people who carry it out. They focus on new ideas, solutions and suggestions to the challenges waiting in the future. In my opinion we cannot overdo the attention and money investment in enhancing research and insights for the benefit of all of us. A great deal of people wonder why we donate DKK 1m once a year when this should actually be a task for the public society. However, in comparison to other countries, Denmark is definitely no pioneer in this field. Considering the importance of globalisation, it is a puzzle to me why the public sector, that is the politicians, are hesitating.”
The jury of the Grundfos Award:
Professor, Nina Smith, Aarhus University
Professor, Preben Terndrup Pedersen, Technical University of Denmark (DTU)
Former Vice-chancellor of Aalborg University, Sven Caspersen
Lars Kolind, Chairman of the Poul Due Jensens Foundation
Niels Due Jensen, Chairman of the Grundfos Group.
Previous recipients of the Grundfos Award:
2002: Professor, dr. techn. Ole Sigmund, DTU
2003: Professor, Svend Erik Hougaard Jensen, Research Manager, Nikolaj Malchow-Møller, Professor, Jan Rose Skaksen, Professor, Anders Sørensen and Professor, Ulrich Kaiser (these five persons shared the award for a social prize paper)
2004: Professor, Frede Blåbjerg, Aalborg University
2006: Dr. scient. Flemming Besenbacher, Head of the iNANO Centre, Aarhus University.
2007: Professor, Jens Kehlet Nørskov, DTU.
2008: Professor Anne Strunge Meyer, DTU.