Progress for the future of research

At the Lundbeck headquarters in Valby, Denmark, a national competition among 2000 high school students about creating tomorrow’s new drug for the treatment of brain disease has just concluded, creating a platform for young people to learn about brain diseases and the research and innovation behind their treatments.

It was a close race between the finalists when the grand final of the scientific competition, Drughunters, took place at Lundbeck headquarters April 25, 2014. 65 teams competed against each other in three categories: Chemistry, biology and biotechnology. Three teams were named the winners, one for each category. With Denmark’s brightest scientific minds gathered in one place, competition was tough, and it was not only the students who left the competition with new key learnings. Executive Vice President of Research & Development in Lundbeck, Anders Gersel Pedersen, explains:

“As researchers, we can learn a great deal from the students’ approach to biological, chemical and biotechnological problems. They are curious and creative, and they challenge the assignments we prepare for them. These young people are very important for the future of research, and the sooner we can provide them with the opportunity to dabble into the world of science and arouse their interest in the role as a researcher the better.”

A forward-looking approach
At Lundbeck, R&D capabilities and innovation is a strategic ambition and key priority – every year, we reinvest approximately 20% of our revenue in R&D projects. We strive for progress in medical treatment and in the quality of life of patients. Contributing to the success of our R&D strategy and ultimately to the development of new and improved treatment to people with brain disease is a forward-looking approach, where we continuously enforce disease awareness and a neuroscience focus. The Drughunter competition is part of exactly such an approach.

For the last seven years, the Drughunter competition has been going on at Lundbeck as part of a nationwide governmental initiative called The Festival of Research. The initiative is intended to arouse public interest in and enhance public understanding of the methods, processes and outcome of research and science.

Public understanding
For Lundbeck, the competition among the young adults is crucial for the public understanding of what Lundbeck does and how we contribute to neuroscience research and drug development.

“It’s when the students get out the classroom and encounter the real world of research that the understanding of science is truly aroused. By taking on the role as a researcher, their knowledge is put into a greater perspective, and they get the chance to grasp how invalidating for example brain disease is and why it is important that new and improved treatments are developed now and in the future,” concludes Anders Gersel Pedersen. 

Winners of the biology category: Christopher Lundgren, Frederik Vilandt, Nicklas Skou and Rasmus Lange. 

Winners of the biotechnology category: Josefine Tvermoes Meineche, Karen Chuxian Yang and Marie Trolle Bonnesen.

Winners of the chemistry category: Philip Lütken, Frederik Madsen, Axel Arias and Rasmus Menzer.

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