News: Oct 07, 2013
On Monday evening, Fredrik Bäckhed, professor at the Institute of Medicine at the Sahlgrenska Academy, received the “Prince Daniel Grant” for his research on the importance of intestinal flora in the development of cardiovascular diseases.
The grant was awarded for the first time by the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation and supports pioneering Swedish cardiac and pulmonary research judged to be of significance for patients.
“This represents recognition from the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation and means a lot to my research group. The money will allow us to focus wholeheartedly on investigating the connection between the intestinal flora and cardiovascular diseases,” Fredrik Bäckhed explains.
The award is particularly pleasing for him as this was the first and last opportunity for him to receive it. Fredrik Bäckhed will turn 41 next year and will no longer qualify as a “young researcher”.
Prince Daniel is an honorary member of the Board of the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation and presents the award that has been given his name. The Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation’s objective with the new award is to create conditions for young researchers to achieve decisive breakthroughs in important areas.
“Fredrik Bäckhed’s research is very exciting and may be of great importance in reducing the number of people suffering from cardiovascular diseases. If he succeeds in identifying bacteria that affect people’s conditions, it may lead to completely new treatments,” says Staffan Josephson, Secretary-General of the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation.
New findings show that overweight patients have an altered intestinal flora. Fredrik Bäckhed’s research group is examining what the bacterial flora of the intestines looks like in patients with arteriosclerosis. The team will now study whether the bacterial flora affects the development of the disease itself. By identifying bacteria that are risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, the researchers can, in the long term, learn to predict which people risk being affected by serious disease.
How will you be using the money?
“It is enough to pay for two full-time post-doc positions and the materials they need to conduct research for three years.
What could that work lead to?
“We can conduct a larger, forward looking, cross-section study in which we compare the intestinal flora of a healthy and a diseased population. We are also commencing a completely new study on mice to see if they develop the disease if we transfer intestinal bacteria from humans. If we succeed in identifying bacteria that affect people’s conditions, it may lead to completely new treatments. In the long term, this can be of importance in reducing the number of people suffering from cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
The Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation’s objective with this new grant is to create conditions for young researchers to achieve decisive scientific breakthroughs in important areas of research. Prince Daniel is an honorary member of the Board of the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation and presents the award that has been given his name.
Fredrik Bäckhed received the award from Prince Daniel on Monday, October 7.
Originally published on: sahlgrenska.gu.se