Photo: Lundbeck Foundation

Two DTU researchers receive Lundbeck Foundation’s talent prizes

Friday 10 Nov 17


Fatima Al-Zahraa Al Atraktchi
PhD student
DTU Bioengineering


Andreas Hougaard Laustsen
DTU Bioengineering
+45 29 88 11 34
Five talented researchers under the age of 30 have each received a Lundbeck Foundation Talent Prize, including a nanophysicist and a chemical engineer from DTU.

The Lundbeck Foundation has awarded five, young, promising researchers its talent prizes. Two of the five researchers, Andreas Laustsen and Fatima Al-Zahraa Al Atraktchi (second and fourth from the left, respectively) work at DTU, while the other three are from Gentofte Hospital, the University of Copenhagen, and the University of Southern Denmark.

“There are many promising young researchers at the Danish universities but we don’t see exceptional talents every day, so it’s always a particular pleasure to award the Lundbeck Foundation Talent Prizes to some of the very best young researchers in acknowledgement of their exceptional work,” says Anne-Marie Engel, Director of Research at the Lundbeck Foundation.

Each prize comes with a monetary award of DKK 100,000.

One of the two DTU researchers is PhD student Fatima Al-Zahraa Al Atraktchi, who holds an MSc Eng in Physics and Nanotechnology. She is a qualified nanophysicist and a self-taught molecular biologist with an interest in biomedicine.

Among other things, she has developed a revolutionary method for detecting bacterial infections, and has also proven that, in the vast majority of cases, patients who are clinically described as being free from bacteria after treatment are actually still infected.

Even before she submitted her PhD, she had published eight articles in internationally recognized scientific journals, and also had a number of finished manuscripts ready for submission.

The other prize-winner is Postdoc Andreas Laustsen, who holds an MSc in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering. He is not merely a skilful researcher, he is also a talented businessman and communicator. While studying for his engineering degree—graduating with the highest possible Danish grade-point average (12.0)—he helped start up the biotech comet Biosynthia, a company that has won countless innovation prizes, and which won him a first place in the Venture Cup.

Then he was involved in starting up VenomAb, a philanthropic project focusing on designing new snakebite antidotes. He is the brains behind a total of five biotech companies. Andreas completed his PhD in two short years, with six publications, and for this reason was selected to participate in the 2017 Danish PhD Cup competition. Andreas is also a popular mentor and speaker.

The five recipients of the Talent Prizes are, from the left, Mads Emil Jørgensen, Gentofte Hospital, Andreas Laustsen, DTU, Christian Laut Ebbesen, University of Copenhagen, Fatima Al-Zahraa Al Atraktchi, DTU, and Tore Bjerregaard Stage, University of Southern Denmark.

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