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The Translational Research Office (TRO) ran a Novo Nordisk Innovation Fund (NNIF) as a pilot programme for the first time this year.

Virtual image of human heart with cardiogram

Projects were strongly encouraged to apply which were in remit under Novo Nordisk’s high priority strategic areas. The TRO received 9 applications at the initial non-confidential Expression of Interest stage, of which 3 were shortlisted by Novo Nordisk. Novo Nordisk worked with these shortlisted applicants to co-develop the projects and submit applications to our Medical and Life Sciences Translational Fund (MLSTF) call, under the agreement that Novo Nordisk would co-fund two of these projects should they be awarded by the MLSTF panel.

Following the MLSTF panel meeting, it is with great pleasure to announce our first NNIF award winner as Professor Ellie Tzima from Radcliffe Department of Medicine. Ellie’s award is co-funded from MRC Confidence in Concept funds and Novo Nordisk for her project titled: “A novel pathway for therapeutic targeting in cardiometabolic diseases”. The project is due to commence in January 2021 in collaboration with Dr Jo Howson from Novo Nordisk Research Centre Oxford.

Ellie is currently recruiting a Postdoctoral Research Assistant for the project.


The collaboration with the TRO will further strengthen the strategic alliance between the University of Oxford and Novo Nordisk and will provide important translational insights and may lead to new therapies - Dorthe Lundgaard, Senior Alliance Director (Novo Nordisk)