Juleen Zierath honoured for her mapping of how sugar enter cells – University of Copenhagen

14 April 2016

Juleen Zierath honoured for her mapping of how sugar enter cells

Scientific Director Juleen Zierath is giving the 2016 Novo Nordisk Foundation Lecture on 21 April 2016 and will receive the accompanying prize of DKK 50,000 for her pioneering research on the molecular processes that form the basis of the development and treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Physical exercise both prevents and treats type 2 diabetes, because exercise increases the ability of skeletal muscles to respond to insulin and thereby enhances the muscles’ ability to convert glucose to energy. For many years, it was a mystery what exactly happens in the interaction between insulin, glucose and muscle cells of both healthy individuals and people with type 2 diabetes, who have impaired insulin sensitivity.

Juleen Zierath has contributed enormously to solving this mystery with her interdisciplinary research in integrated physiology for 20 years. 

“I am extremely pleased to receive this prize. When you take into account those who have previously received it, I feel very honoured to be in their company,” says Juleen Zierath, who originally trained as a teacher and taught physiology and exercise training to teenagers in the United States.

Read the press release at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences website

This is not the first time that a center researcher is honoured with the Novo Nordisk Foundation Lecture. Last year it was awarded to Scientific Director Torben Hansen for his work with more precise ways og diagnosing people with diabetes.


The Novo Nordisk Foundation Lecture is a prize that is awarded to an active scientist from a Nordic country for an outstanding contribution within diabetes research and/or the treatment of diabetes. The prize is accompanied by an award of DKK 50,000 donated by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. A prize lecture is given at the annual conference of the Scandinavian Society for the Study of Diabetes.

The prize winner is selected by a committee comprising three members of the Nordic Research Committee of the Novo Nordisk Foundation and the Chair of the Scandinavian Society for the Study of Diabetes.