Preben Bo Mortensen receives the 2020 Novo Nordisk Prize

Preben Bo Mortensen receives the 2020 Novo Nordisk Prize for his research into mental illnesses and how to improve treatment and prevent suicide in those affected. The prize comes with DKK 3 million. He receives the award together with Merete Nordentoft from the University of Copenhagen.

2020.02.24 | Ingrid Marie Fossum

Professor Preben Bo Mortensen

“I’m very grateful and honoured to receive the Novo Nordisk Prize. Researchers are always trying to maintain a certain level of doubt and calling their research into question. For that reason, I’m really pleased to receive this recognition of our work, which I believe will be of great significance in our search for more knowledge on severe mental illnesses for the benefit of the people affected,” says Preben Bo Mortensen in a press release from the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

By use of register-based research, Preben Bo Mortensen has worked on uncovering mental illnesses in the population, improving treatment of people with mental illnesses and preventing suicide. His research has revealed that suicide is more common for people with a history of mental illness. Thus it is very important to detect mental illness at an early stage and to ensure the right treatment.

Preben Bo Mortensen is the scientific director at iPSYCH as well as a professor and centre director at the National Centre for Register-Based Research. He receives the Novo Nordisk Prize together with Merete Nordentoft, professor of clinical medicine at the University of Copenhagen. They receive the award for their groundbreaking and epidemiological research contribution to Danish medical science. The prize is accompanied by DKK 3 million out of which 2.5 million must go towards research, and the remaining 500.000 is a personal award.

“Merete Nordentoft and Preben Bo Mortensen have had a significant impact on the field of psychiatry, and their research has contributed to improving mental health - in Denmark and in the rest of the world. Along with their research on suicide, they have delivered groundbreaking contributions within psychiatric epidemiology and on the question of aetiology and the long-term clinical outcome of psychosis. Through their excellent research collaboration, they have created scientific synergy and have contributed to significant advances in our understanding of these highly devastating illnesses. As such, they are role models within Danish medical science,” says Jørgen Frøkiær, chairman of The Novo Nordisk Foundation Prize Committee, in a press release.

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