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Novo Nordisk Foundation Continues Support of APS Awards

The Foundation will provide $100,000 over five years toward August Krogh Lecture and Bodil Schmidt-Nielsen Award

Bethesda, Md. (October 28, 2015)—The American Physiological Society (APS) is pleased to recognize the support of the Novo Nordisk Foundation for the August Krogh Distinguished Lectureship of the American Physiological Society’s Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology Section and the Bodil M. Schmidt-Nielsen Distinguished Mentor and Scientist Award. The foundation will provide $50,000 for each award, given in $10,000 increments over five years. Both awards will be presented at the Society’s annual meeting at Experimental Biology.

“APS is pleased to be able to join with the Novo Nordisk Foundation to recognize the contributions made by the recipients of the August Krogh Distinguished Lecture Award and the Bodil Schmidt-Nielsen Mentor and Scientist Award to physiological understanding. Through the use of comparative approaches to study physiological function, Krogh and Schmidt-Nielsen have contributed significantly to the development of treatments and cures for disease that are celebrated through our partnership with the Novo Nordisk Foundation,” says Martin Frank, PhD, executive director of APS.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation currently sponsors the August Krogh Distinguished Lectureship and has agreed to additionally support the Bodil Schmidt-Nielsen Award.

About the Awards

The August Krogh Distinguished Lecture of the APS Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology Section is awarded to a distinguished scientist who has made major and meritorious contributions to comparative and evolutionary physiology. The award recipient delivers an honorary award lecture at Experimental Biology, is recognized as the APS Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology Section’s annual business meeting and is invited to submit the lecture for publication in the American Journal of Physiology—Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. The awardee also receives a $1,000 honorarium and reimbursement of meeting-related travel expenses up to $2,000.

The Bodil M. Schmidt-Nielsen Distinguished Mentor and Scientist Award recognizes an APS member who has made outstanding contributions to physiological research and demonstrated dedication and commitment to excellence in training and mentoring young physiologists. The award recipient receives a $1,000 honorarium and reimbursement of meeting-related travel expenses up to $1,500.

The Story behind the Awards

The Comparative and Evolutionary Exercise Physiology Section named its distinguished lectureship after August Krogh because of his contributions to comparative physiology and because his daughter, Bodil Schmidt-Nielsen, a renowned physiologist, was a past APS president and active in the section. Krogh was awarded the 1920 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the process by which oxygen is supplied to the tissues.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has a unique connection to Krogh and Schmidt-Nielsen. Krogh is one of its founders. During a lecture tour in the U.S in 1922, Krogh met with Canadian scientists Frederick Banting, Charles Best and John Macleod, who had successfully manufactured active insulin the previous year. Krogh received permission to use the methods developed and patented by the scientists to manufacture insulin in his home country of Denmark and the surrounding Scandinavian countries. One condition had to be met, however: The insulin had to be widely available and all profits from sales used for scientific and humanitarian purposes. Krogh formed the non-profit Nordisk Insulin Laboratorium and Nordisk Insulin Foundation, which later became Novo Nordisk A/S and the Novo Nordisk Foundation, to produce insulin on a large scale.

Schmidt-Nielsen was the youngest child of August and his wife, Marie Krogh. Schmidt-Nielsen received the Novo Nordisk Foundations Jacobæus Prize, awarded to internationally recognized researchers who have made significant contributions to medical research, in 1974, the year before becoming the first woman to be elected president of APS.

“By supporting the August Krogh Distinguished Lectureship and the Bodil Schmidt-Nielsen Distinguished Mentor and Scientist Award in collaboration with the American Physiological Society, the foundation wishes to celebrate the outstanding contributions both have made to physiology, as well as recognizing their contributions to the Novo Nordisk Foundation,” says Niels-Henrik Holstein-Rathlou, chief scientific officer of the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. Established in 1887, the American Physiological Society (APS) was the first U.S. society in the biomedical sciences field. The Society represents more than 10,500 members and publishes 15 peer-reviewed journals with a worldwide readership.