6 April 2021

"There is nothing in it for us, unless there is something in it for all of us"


The first ever class of postdoc fellows in the BRIDGE – Translational Excellence Programme just graduated! Read why hospital, university and medical industry executives think the programme is the right thing at the right time when it comes to improving healthcare.

Fellows and mentors

The BRIDGE – Translational Excellence Programme at the University of Copenhagen accepted its first class of fellows in the spring of 2019. Now they are all specialists in bringing biomedical research and practice closer together as well as in their respective research fields. At their graduation held over Zoom on March 24 2021, major health sector stakeholders and some of the programme participants put in to words what is so special about the programme. Below, you can read an extract and find information about upcoming calls. 

Peter Garred, Programme Chair, BRIDGE – Translational Excellence Programme

“The fellows will hopefully all continue to bridge the gap between research and medical treatment and thereby fulfil the vision of the BRIDGE Programme: to establish a translational clinical academic ecosystem in which scientists and physicians interact, so that basic biomedical discoveries can be studied in humans and translated into routine medical therapy”

Per Jørgensen, Deputy Chief Executive, Rigshospitalet

 "I think translational research at hospitals will become more and more important in the years to come. Translational research is absolutely necessary, when it comes to for example handling big data and AI, and how to work with new imaging techniques, radiation therapy, genomics, laboratory medicine and stem cell therapy.”

Martin Ridderstråle, Senior Vice President and Senior Medical Officer, the Novo Nordisk Foundation

"There is nothing in it for us unless there is something in it for all of us. This is about true collaboration across the different sectors in order for us as a society to be successful.” 

Svend Særkjær, Permanent Secretary, Danish Ministry of Health

"Society needs you all to drive societal evolution to make healthcare better, to make medicine more precise and individualized and to bring scientific progress to the patients. You are the select few who will benefit the many.”

Navneet Vasistha, MSc, PhD in genetics, graduating BRIDGE fellow, University of Copenhagen

"The BRIDGE fellowship comes at the right time, and combined with the research infrastructure in this country, I hope both positions and funding within translational research will enable my colleagues and I to contribute positively to the pharma and biotech industry”

Henriette Svarre Nielsen, Clinical professor, Rigshospitalet, BRIDGE mentor for graduating fellow David Westergaard

"You have mastered the core idea of a BRIDGE fellowship. On your bioinformatics background you have built clinical understanding, and you have put together strong applications to close the large knowledge gap around reproduction and women’s health” 

Jakob Stokholm, Senior Scientist, COPSAC, Herlev Gentofte Hospital, BRIDGE mentor for graduating fellow Jonathan Thorsen

"This 50/50 split between a great group of basic researchers at the university together with us at the clinical unit at COPSAC has been a very good match for you. […] I’ve seen you grow very much.” 

Ulla Wewer, Dean, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen

"Being a pioneer comes with a responsibility. From now on, you carry with you the translational philosophy no matter where you go in your career. From now on, you become mentors yourself”

New calls coming up

The BRIDGE – Translational Excellence Programme accepts two new classes of  postdoc fellows (paid fellowship with academic curriculum) and mentor teams again in 2022 and 2023.

The next call will be published in the fall of 2021 with application deadline on February 28th 2022. The 2021 class of fellows will be announced in June 2021.

Read more