19 January 2024

Vale Palle Serup

Palle embarked on his scientific journey at Hagedorn Research Institute (HRI) in the 1980s, initially delving into the regulation of the insulin gene. Over time, he transitioned his focus to elucidating the development of pancreatic beta cells, pioneering some of the earliest temporal maps of pancreas development. Around the turn of the millennium, Palle coordinated collaborative research between groups in Europe and the USA in the NIH-funded Beta Cell Biology Consortium (BCBC). These efforts were instrumental in expanding our understanding of the molecular cues guiding beta cell development in the embryonic pancreas. Concurrently, Palle pioneered the application of this knowledge to the directed differentiation of stem cells to beta cells at HRI, laying the foundations of the work continued by Novo Nordisk.

In 2011, Palle joined the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen, where he continued his quest to decipher the signaling pathways and transcription factors governing pancreas and beta cell development with a focus on the role of Notch signaling. This work occupied Palle and his team until his passing. In addition to his own work, Palle was also a renowned collaborator, sharing tools and knowledge with colleagues in the pancreas development and Notch fields.

Just a few months before Palle passed away, this video was recorded. He talks about the research he and his lab were doing at reNEW.

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Palle left an indelible mark on this place, by way of his intelligence, distinctive wit and approachable nature, and through his invaluable scientific contributions over the years. His absence will be profoundly felt, and his legacy will endure at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Medicine, reNEW, and beyond.