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The Carlsberg Foundation donates millions towards coronavirus research at Aarhus University

As a direct result of the spread of coronavirus and the acute health crisis in Denmark and the rest of the world, the Carlsberg Foundation has donated DKK 25 million towards research into social behaviour during the coronavirus epidemic and DKK 25 million towards the development of improved methods of diagnosis, treatment and prevention. The donations are part of a total DKK 95 million donation towards coronavirus research.

The article is based on press material from the Carlsberg Foundation

With the coronavirus epidemic, Danish society is facing one of the most severe crises since the Second World War. The Carlsberg Foundation has therefore decided to donate a Semper Ardens grant to one of Denmark’s leading researchers in behaviour and political psychology, Michael Bang Petersen, professor of political science at Aarhus University.

With the project ‘HOPE - How Democracies Cope with Covid19: A Data-Driven Approach’ , he and an interuniversity research team will explore how society acts during crises and how democracies deal with an epidemic such as the one we are currently facing. “How healthy citizens behave today will determine what the infection curve looks like in two weeks. Citizen behaviour plays a crucial role in our fight to combat the coronavirus epidemic. The HOPE project offers a unique contribution to our fight to reduce the risk of infection by offering an in-depth insight into citizen behaviour,” says Michael Bang Petersen.

Read more about the HOPE project

Please contact: Michael Bang Petersen at michael@ps.au.dk or tel. 20775944.

Improved prevention of coronavirus

The Carlsberg Foundation has also donated DKK 25 million towards Semper Ardens research into the development of methods for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infections. A research group consisting of leading Danish researchers within proteins, vaccines, and diagnostics from the University of Copenhagen, Aarhus University and Statens Serum Institut (SSI) will join forces and develop tools to limit or even prevent similar future pandemics.

Jørgen Kjems, professor at Aarhus University and team leader of the project, says:

“The coronavirus situation reminds us of the importance of research into anti-viral drugs. We must find faster and more effective ways to diagnose and treat future virus attacks and at the same time prevent infection with better vaccines. This project spans across several disciplines to solve these tasks with brand new innovative methods. Although we may be too late in the case of the current epidemic, I am certain that with this research effort funded by the Carlsberg Foundation we will stand much stronger the next time a virus ravages the world”.

Although Aarhus University has closed its labs and thus its physical research activities in order to limit the spread of coronavirus, the university is currently working on opening up secured research facilities. This is an extraordinary step in the current situation and allows researchers at AU to contribute towards solving the global coronavirus crisis.  

Read more about the project.

Please contact: Professor Jørgen Kjems at jk@mbg.au.dk, tel.: 28992086

Please contact:  Professor Søren Riis Paludan at srp@biomed.au.dk, tel.: 28992066

Read the press release from the Carlsberg Foundation on the DKK 95 million donation.