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Lundbeck Foundation awards Talent Prize to young researcher in hidden side effects of drugs

One of Lundbeck Foundation's 2015 Talent Prizes goes to 29-year-old pharmacist and post doc Anton Pottegård from the University of Southern Denmark (SDU). The Prize is a personal, honorary award of DKK 100,000 given to particularly promising scientists under the age of 30.

Lundbeck Foundation is awarding the Talent Prize to Anton Pottegård due to his outstanding skills and prolific productivity in his field. In an amazingly short space of time, he has gained remarkable skills as a researcher.

It was obvious to Professor Jesper Hallas, who nominated Anton Pottegård for the Prize, that this young pharmacist’s talent should be rewarded:

“Anton has an incredibly broad professional base and astounding productivity. By being creative, persistent and proactive, he has developed an important method for analysing large quantities of health data to identify the effects or side effects of drugs which would not otherwise be obvious. He’s a brilliant talent,” says Jesper Hallas from the Department of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Southern Denmark.

Anton Pottegård is currently working on his post doc project, screening drugs to identify whether they increase the risk of cancer or, perhaps, have a protective effect. He does this by comparing large amounts of data from the Danish Cancer Registry with information on patients’ drug use.

Anton Pottegård systematically analyses anonymous data on large groups of drug users to identify correlations between drugs and side effects that are not already suspected. This is known as hypothesis-free screening and it is extremely challenging to handle such large quantities of data and identify real correlation.

This is where Anton Pottegård is in his element. He is a self-appointed method nerd who understands how to handle the large quantities of data, extract the results and identify the trends to examine in more detail.   

Anton Pottegård completed his PhD only two years ago and, in spite of his short, five-year career, he is already an internationally renowned researcher in his field, with 58 scientific publications and extensive international collaboration. He also shows great dedication to his job of lecturing to students and has released a text book on pharmacology. Furthermore, he is a popular supervisor, currently supervising ten PhD students. Last but not least, he is chairman of the Danish Society for Pharmacoepidemiology.

“This award is a great recognition, not just for me but of the environment in our research team and department where we’re given the opportunity to make a contribution and assert ourselves, even though we’re young. The Prize will give me impetus and will help when I need to apply for grants in the future,” says Anton Pottegård.

About Lundbeck Foundation's Talent Prize
Lundbeck Foundation's Talent Prize is a personal honorary award of DKK 100,000, granted each year to three to five scientists under 30 years of age who have produced particularly promising research in biomedical science.

It is not possible to apply for this Prize. It is awarded based on well-founded nominations submitted to the Foundation by leading scientists at Danish universities and other research institutions.

For additional information:
Regitze Reeh, head of communications, Lundbeck Foundation, tel.: +45 3054 6608+45 3054 6608, email: rr@lundbeckfonden.com

Anton Pottegård, pharmacist, PhD, SDU, tel.: +45 2891 3340+45 2891 3340, email: apottegaard@health.sdu.dk

Marianne Lie Becker, journalist, Faculty of Health Sciences, SDU, tel.: +45 2126 1926+45 2126 1926, email: mlbecker@health.sdu.dk