Aarhus University Seal


The Danish Council for Independent Research | Medical Sciences has awarded a DFF-Starting Grant of DKK 6.61 mio. to MIND Centre associated researcher Simon Glerup.

DFF-Starting Grant is aimed at younger, very talented researchers who at the time of the application deadline and within the last eight years have obtained their PhD or achieved equivalent qualifications. It is expected that the applicants have demonstrated an ability to conduct research of a high international standard.

The DKK 6.61 mio will finance the project "Novel PCSK9 regulatory proteins in the liver and brain" described below.

PCSK9 plays a central role in the pathology of coronary artery disease by inducing degradation of the receptor for LDL-cholesterol (LDLR), and drugs blocking the interaction between PCSK9 and LDLR are currently in phase 3 clinical trials. However, an unknown receptor mediates the initial binding of PCSK9 before delivering it to LDLR at the surface of hepatocytes. My laboratory has recently identified this receptor, and our data suggests that blocking its interaction with PCSK9 may be superior to the PCSK9 inhibitors in clinical trials. In addition to the liver, the developing brain also expresses high levels of PCSK9. We have discovered that it here potently regulates neuronal maturation. Hence, at a time where PCSK9 inhibitors are at the door step of being administered broadly to patients, it iscritical to clarify a potential role for PCSK9 in the brain. The above findings are surprising and potentially ground breaking, and they form the basis of the present project.