29 April 2021

Anja Groth receives Distinguished Investigator grant


With the DKK 10 million grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation research director Anja Groth will pursue an ambitious project in epigenetic cell memory.

Anja Groth
CPR research director, Professor Anja Groth

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has granted Research Director for the Protein Memory Program, professor Anja Groth, a Distinguished Investigator grant. The five year grant of DKK 9,99 million is part of the foundation’s Research Leader Programme and is aimed at established professors of the highest international standing.  

The grant will realize the ambitious research project molecularly dissecting how histones are inherited to daughter cells and reveal their function in epigenetic cell memory.

More about the research project

Histone modifications in epigenetic cell memory: inheritance and function

Epigenetic cell memory guides embryonic development and counteract disease in adults. All cells in our body contain the same DNA sequence, yet cells have distinct properties matching their functions as for example nerve or muscle cells. During development, this complexity arises gradually through activation and maintenance of different gene regulatory programs. The genome is organized into a structure called chromatin, which sets the stage for gene regulation and allows the proper programs to be executed while setting a barrier for expression of unwarranted genes. Chromatin structure can be propagated to daughter cells, providing epigenetic cellular memory that maintains cell identity and fate. Histone proteins, the core component of chromatin, can be chemically modified and these modifications are thought carry epigenetic information. This research project will dissect molecularly how histones are inherited to daughter cells and reveal their function in epigenetic cell memory.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation Research Leader Programme

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has allocated DKK 2.4 billion for its Research Leader Programme aimed at excellent research leaders at different stages of their careers. The programme aims to ensure that excellent research leaders have the opportunity to pursue ambitious and innovative projects.