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Apr 26, 2019

The Minister for Higher Education and Science and Lundbeck celebrate the future talents in brain research

Press release

The biggest talents in classes of natural sciences from 62 Danish high schools will today give presentations on their ideas for the future of brain research to the pharmaceutical company Lundbeck and the Minister for Higher Education and Science, Tommy Ahlers.

Today 200 of the brightest young talents in classes of nature science will present their ideas on new brain research in front of the Minister for Higher Education and Science, Tommy Ahlers, and to the pharmaceutical company H. Lundbeck A/S (Lundbeck).

It will take place at the Drughunters’ finale, a competition for high school students that is part of the nationwide Danish Science Festival (`Forskningens Døgn´). More than 1500 high school students taking classes in either chemistry, biology or biotechnology participates in the Drughunters competition. The purpose of the competition is to stimulate students’ interest in natural sciences. Over the past three months, high school students from all over Denmark have been working with the development of new ideas and creative approaches towards the future of brain medicine, and today their work will be appraised, and the best presentations celebrated.

“I am looking forward to seeing the great results of the students’ work on developing the brain science of the future. Research of the brain and treatment of brain diseases is an important research area. It has got the potential to help millions of people around the world. It is great that students are curious and eager to search the road less travelled to test their ideas. We need all the talents we can get working in science, and I hope that the competition will motivate the students to aim towards careers in innovation and research,” says Minister for Higher Education and Science, Tommy Ahlers.  

The final where the judgement of the biggest talents within chemistry, biology and biotechnology takes place is in Valby at Lundbeck, which is specialized in developing medicines for brain diseases. In collaboration with Lundbeck the students have had their printed on big posters in order to present their projects like it is done at major science conferences.

“It will be amazing to see the many ideas, creative inputs and innovative approaches the students have in this competition. I know that the students have been working dedicated and professionally with difficult subjects like the blood-brain barrier. I am not in doubt that their presentations will be really inspiring,” says Johan Luthman, Executive Vice President for Research and Development at Lundbeck.

Hopes for tomorrows brain researchers
It is eleventh year in a row that Lundbeck organizes the Drughunters competition. The competition offers a chance to students at high schools all over Denmark, that gives students a chance to work with challenges from the real world of brain research.

For Johan Luthman the competition is an important part of educating and inspiring the researchers of tomorrow: “I hope that Drughunters can help inspire these young people to go on and study within the field of natural sciences, and maybe one day some of them will become neuroscientists. With its extreme structural and functional complexity, the brain is a highly exciting area for research. It would be wonderful if future researchers became engaged in trying to further unravel its mysteries and help to develop therapies for brain diseases where we have such challenging unmet medical needs” says Johan Luthman.

Facts about the Drughunters Competition

  • A natural sciences competition for upper secondary school students studying biology, chemistry or biotechnology at the Danish A and B levels. The competition is arranged by Lundbeck as part of The Danish Science Festival (Forskningens Døgn). 
  • The competition takes its starting point in brain diseases and the development of medicines as it is practiced today. Students can choose between projects with a chemical, biological or biotechnical approach that are designed so the tasks can be a part of the curriculum.
  • Students were handed their assignments in December and have had four months to produce a scientific poster.
  • The best poster from each participating high school are nominated for the big finale where the students will compete in presenting their posters for one another and for Lundbeck scientists.

Program for the Drughunters Finale

  • 08.30 – 09.30    Arrival
  • 09.30 – 09.50    Introduction by Morten Skøtt Thomsen, Lundbeck
  • 09.50 – 10.00    Speech by Executive Vice President for Research and Development, Johan Luthman
  • 10.00 - 10.10     Speech by Minister for Higher Education and Science, Tommy Ahlers
  • 10.10 – 11.45    Poster session
  • 11.45 – 12.45    Lunch
  • 12.45 – 13.30    “En af os” (’One of Us’), presentation from a patient organization
  • 13.30 – 13.40    Announcement of the nine nominees for the finale
  • 13.40 – 14.00    Pause
  • 14.00 – 14.45    Presentations by the final nominees
  • 14.45 – 15.20    “Hjernens kraft” (’Power of the Brain’), entertainment by Jan Hellesøe
  • 15.20 – 15.45    Ceremony and award
  • 15.45 – 16.00    Closing

For more information

Mikkel Ballegaard Pedersen Mads Kronborg
Journalist, Corp. Communication Senior Director, Corp. Communication
+45 30 83 20 44 +45 36 43 40 00

About H. Lundbeck A/S
H. Lundbeck A/S (LUN.CO, LUN DC, HLUYY) is a global pharmaceutical company specialized in brain diseases. For more than 70 years, we have been at the forefront of neuroscience research. We are tirelessly dedicated to restoring brain health, so every person can be their best.

An estimated 700 million people worldwide are living with brain diseases and far too many suffer due to inadequate treatment, discrimination, a reduced number of working days, early retirement and other unnecessary consequences. Every day, we strive for improved treatment and a better life for people living with brain diseases – we call this Progress in Mind.


Our approximately 5,000 employees in more than 50 countries are engaged in the entire value chain throughout research, development, production, marketing and sales. Our pipeline consists of several late-stage development programs and our products are available in more than 100 countries. Our research center is based in Denmark and our production facilities are located in Denmark, France and Italy. Lundbeck generated revenue of DKK 18,1 billion in 2018 (EUR 2,4 billion; USD 2,8 billion).

For additional information, we encourage you to visit our corporate site and connect with us on Twitter at @Lundbeck and via LinkedIn.



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