8 June 2021

EMBO membership to BRIC and DanStem Professor, Kim B. Jensen

scientific excellence

The EMBO Membership is a recognition of a contribution to scientific excellence. BRIC and DanStem Professor Kim B. Jensen’s election, is thus a tribute to his research and achievements by the scientific community.

With more than 1,800 elected members, who are leading researchers in their respective fields, EMBO, The European Molecular Biology Organization promotes excellence in the life sciences. The major goals of the organization are to support talented researchers at all stages of their careers, stimulate the exchange of scientific information, and help build a European research environment where scientists can pursue challenging scientific question.

EMBO funds or co-funds over 90 meetings, attracting more than 11,000 participants every year. The organization publishes five peer-reviewed scientific journals: The EMBO Journal, EMBO Reports, Molecular Systems Biology, EMBO Molecular Medicine, and Life Science Alliance.

The EMBO Membership is an award granted by the organization in recognition of research excellence and the outstanding achievements made by a life scientist. New Members are annually elected by existing EMBO members in appreciation of their contributions to scientific excellence. BRIC and DanStem Professor Kim B. Jensen’s election, is therefore a tribute to his research and achievements in the scientific community.

Kim Jensen started as a group leader 11 years ago with the aim that his research team would provide greater insight into how cell fate is regulated at the molecular level. Initially, the aim of the group meant to focus on the skin epithelium, however, by serendipity they started studying the intestinal epithelium in parallel.

During my time at BRIC and DanStem I experienced an extremely supporting environment, where we as a team never have been afraid of taking a leap into the unknown and asking daring research questions. This has led to a number of seminal discoveries, which have changed our view on how stem cells are regulated in particular during development and tissue regeneration.

- Professor Kim B. Jensen

In order to provide insight into the molecular mechanisms that regulate cell fate during late tissue morphogenesis and tissue regeneration, the Jensen group applies a number of different experimental models, most notably organoid culture models from both mouse and human origin, genetic mouse models, as well as clinical specimens. Here they take advantage of state-of-the-art methodologies for assessing cell fate which rely heavily on interdisciplinary collaborations with mathematicians and computational biologist. This provides the basis for making new discoveries.

We find remarkable similarities between the process of tissue morphogenesis and tissue remodeling during regeneration, which fascinates both me as well as my team, and makes us want to pursue this even further for two reasons. Firstly, we wish to address fundamental and intriguing questions in biology, and secondly, we hope that by understanding the process of tissue regeneration better, this will open up possibilities for helping patients with ulcers that do not heal.

Professor Kim B. Jensen

To achieve the latter, Kim B. Jensen has established significant collaborations with clinical partners in the Copenhagen area and internationally, with whom he hopes to be able to translate some of the group’s findings into a clinical setting. Ulcerative colitis, which affect millions of people worldwide is one of their current focus areas.

I think that the most important element for new discoveries is the people we work with, their creativity, and their ability to inspire each other in order to advance project. This is what pushed me when I was a postdoc. I try to create the same type of environment in my team, encouraging out of the box thinking, where the sky is the limit..

Professor Kim B. Jensen

Kim Jensen is a recipient of a number of personal a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellowship, an MRC non-clinical fellowship, a Lundbeck Foundation fellowship and the ERC consolidator award. In addition, he is the recipient of the European Society for Dermatological Research Gold medal and was earlier elected EMBO Young Investigator. Kim also serves on a number of scientific advisory boards.

I am hugely honored by the election to EMBO, as this reflects the recognition of the work carried out by me and my team over the years. The election consequently means a lot to both me as well as to past and present members of my team. This is an accolade to all of their brilliant ideas and hard work. EMBO plays an important role in promoting the career of young scientists, and I see my election to the EMBO community as an opportunity to inspire and actively contribute to supporting research environments for future generations of scientists.

Professor Kim B. Jensen