Professor MSO Mads Albertsen, Aalborg University, Department of Chemistry and BioScience, is awarded the 2021 Grundfos Prize as a recognition of his research within microbiology and bioinformatics, applied for analyses of microbial societies.
The Jury particularly noted Mads Albertsen’s contribution within development and application of methods for identification of microbial species in complex microbial societies, contributions to the discovery of the comammox bacterium, a major participant in the global nitrogen cycle, and development and application of methods for mapping hitherto unknown major branches of the “tree of life”, consisting of microorganisms that are impossible to culture in a laboratory.
Furthermore, Mads Albertsen’s success in creating a unique international network of researchers and research groups, not least through savvy application of social media like Twitter and LinkedIn, is notable.
Since 2018, the Grundfos Prize has targeted young researchers under the theme “The Stars of Tomorrow”. Photo: Dept. of Chemistry and BioScience, AAU
Moreover, the committee emphasizes the unique effort by Mads Albertsen during the COVID-19 pandemic: When Denmark entered lockdown, Mads Albertsen put his expertise, his research group and his laboratory at the disposal of the nation, and from the beginning to summer this year, more than 99% of all genome sequencing of positive COVID-19 samples were performed in Mads Albertsen’s laboratory. Thus, Denmark had the most detailed surveillance of viral mutations in the world.
”The very precise monitoring of e.g. the growth of the B.1.1.7 variant directly impacted the Danish handling of the pandemic and thus saved hundreds of human lives. There is no clearer evidence for the need for research in a modern society,” says Jens Maaløe, Chairman of the Foundation Board and the Grundfos Prize Jury.
2021 Grundfos Prize Lecture: Exploring the world of microbial dark matter from Grundfos Foundation | PDJF on Vimeo.
750.000 for further research
The award consists of the statuette Be-Think-Innovate and DKK 1 million, of which DKK 750,00 is earmarked for further research
”I am proud and grateful for this recognition building of years of collaboration with many other kindred spirits,” the winner says.
Asked about how he will spend the research grant, he says:
” I want to use it to keep our many young talents onboard, something which is often a challenge if you do not secure a research grant at exactly the right time.”
About the Grundfos Prize
The Grundfos Prize was established in 2001 to promote, acknowledge and support national and international research and solutions which are useful to society.
Since 2018, the Foundation has targeted young researchers under the theme “The Stars of Tomorrow”.
The Prize is awarded at the Grundfos Center in Bjerringbro this afternoon at an event for students and researchers.
- More about the event
- Previous Grundfos Prize winners