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The Carlsberg Foundation Research Prizes 2018

Awarded to leading professors of structural biology and financial econometrics

The Carlsberg Foundation Research Prizes 2018 are awarded to professor of financial econometrics at Duke University Tim Bollerslev and professor of structural biology at Aarhus University Poul Nissen.

The prizes are handed over by HRH the Crown Princess, Minister of Higher Education and Science, Tommy Ahlers, and chairman of the Carlsberg Foundation, Flemming Besenbacher, as part of the annual banquet at the New Carlsberg Glyptotek Sunday September 2.

Tim Bollerslev and Poul Nissen receive the Carlsberg Foundation Research Prize for their groundbreaking work within financial econometrics and structural biology, respectively. With each prize follows DKK 1 million. DKK 750,000 is earmarked for research activities, while DKK 250,000 is a personal gift.

“It is a great pleasure to hand over the Carlsberg Foundation Research Prizes 2018 to professor Tim Bollerslev and professor Poul Nissen. Both scientists have delivered world class research results within their respective fields and they both enjoy great recognition in international research environments. At the same time, they both have an extremely dedicated approach to research. Entirely in the spirit of the Carlsberg Foundation they both possess the special “passionate, always burning Semper Ardens-attitude” towards what it means to do science, which we sincerely appreciate,” says Flemming Besenbacher.

Professor Tim Bollerslev

Tim Bollerslev receives the prize for his highly recognised research within finance and time-series econometrics. He is particularly recognised for his knowledge in the areas of financial econometrics and empirical finance, in which fields, he belongs to the absolute world elite.

Tim Bollerslev’s research is fundamentally about developing and using new statistical and econometrical methods for analysing financial data for a better understanding of economic mechanisms. More specifically, he has worked on methods for measuring, modelling, and predicting fluctuation in prices, also known as volatility of the financial markets. Volatility comes in waves, which means that financial markets, at times, are relatively calm, while, at other times, are very turbulent.

Tim Bollerslev has also introduced and worked with a new concept called “realized volatility”. There is a large, and quickly growing academic literature dedicated to realized volatility, and the concept is now also used outside the academic world.

Professor Poul Nissen

Professor Poul Nissen is, beyond comparison, the most highly profiled structural biologist of Scandinavia. In 1995, as a PhD student, he already published in Science, on how he had used x-ray crystallography to identify the structure of the protein-RNA-complex which is responsible for placing the amino acids in the correct order on the ribosome, that creates the cell protein. Since then, as a postdoc at Yale University, he became one of the driving forces behind the identification of the structure of exactly the ribosome, which translates genetic information for synthesis of protein in all cells. It was, not least, due to this breakthrough that Yale-professor Tom Steitz received the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2009.

Poul Nissen has also, with great success, worked with membrane proteins, which are notoriously difficult to get to form the crystals, or agents, necessary to identify the molecular structures in great detail with x-ray crystallography or electron microscopy. Poul Nissen has published countless highly profiled articles, presenting the structure and mechanism of membrane proteins, not least ion transporters such as the sodium-potassium pump, which was originally discovered by the Danish Nobel Prize winner, Jens Chr. Skou. In the same way, he has researched proteins, crucial to neurobiology.

The Carlsberg Foundation Research Prize

The Carlsberg Foundation Research Prize was instituted in 2011 to mark the bicentenary of the birth of founder J. C. Jacobsen. The prize is awarded on recommendation of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. Each prize amounts to DKK 1 million. From this, DKK 250.000 is a personal gift and DKK 750.000 is for research.

The objective of the Carlsberg Foundation Research Prize is to support two active researchers, in Denmark or abroad, who have made vital contributions to basic research and enjoy great scientific recognition. The prizes are meant to encourage further research and can be spent, as required, on research stays abroad, field work, equipment, or salary for scientific assistance.

For more information, please contact the Carlsberg Foundation, Head of Public Relations, Jane Benarroch: Tel 3164 0010, e-mail

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