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Lundbeck Foundation awards Talent Prize to young researcher in shingles

One of Lundbeck Foundation's 2015 Talent Prizes goes to 27-year-old doctor and PhD student Sigrún Jóhannesdóttir Schmidt from the Department of Clinical Medicine at Aarhus University. The Prize is a personal, honorary award of DKK 100,000 given to particularly promising scientists under the age of 30.

Lundbeck Foundation has awarded the Talent Prize to Sigrún Schmidt due to the fact that she is a very dynamic and dedicated researcher. The dean of Aarhus University’s Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Allan Flyvbjerg, who nominated Sigrún Schmidt for the Talent Prize, feels that it is well-deserved:

“Sigrún is hard-working and independent. In spite of her young age, she has already made significant contributions to her field of research. She has developed an extensive international network among researchers both at home and, in particular, abroad, and her scientific output is prolific and of high quality,” says Allan Flyvbjerg.

Sigrún Schmidt conducts registry research, which is research based on anonymous electronic health data from well-developed Danish registers of patients and diseases. Her primary field of research is dermatology and cancer.

She has just started her PhD and will be mapping the occurrence of shingles in Denmark and examining risk factors and prognoses for the disease. Shingles is a painful rash caused by the chicken pox virus. In some people, the virus lies hidden in the body from the time when they had the disease as a child and suddenly flares up. Other research has shown that people with compromised immune systems and the elderly, who often have other disorders, are susceptible to shingles. However, we do not know whether other underlying diseases may increase the risk of developing shingles. Therefore, during her PhD project, Sigrún Schmidt will study in more detail the potential correlation with other diseases.

Although she is only 27, she has already built up a large network of internationally leading researchers in her field, and she currently has 24 scientific publications in high-ranking journals.

“I’m deeply honoured to receive the Prize. I hope that it will help draw positive attention to the great potential of Danish registry research. Besides, I’m still at the beginning of my career, so this clearly motivates me to continue my research,” says Sigrún Schmidt, who is affiliated with the Department of Clinical Epidemiology at Aarhus University Hospital.

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, tel.: +45 3054 6608+45 3054 6608, email: rr@lundbeckfonden.com 

Sigrún Jóhannesdóttir Schmidt, doctor, PhD student, Aarhus University Hospital, tel.: +45 8716 8245+45 8716 8245, e-mail: saj@clin.au.dk