DKK 9,9 mio grant to Kedar Natarajan who is now Villum Investigator

Congratulations to our D-IAS Assistant Professor Kedar Nath Natarajan from Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, who this week received the Villum Young Investigator grant on DKK 9.9 million for his research project: ‘Cracking the cell cycle code: The journey from a single-cell to an organism’.

By Susanne Siig Petersen

FUNDING: In D-IAS we affiliate the best young researchers. Kedar Nath Natarajan’s research investigates the fundamental process of cell cycle during embryonic development at single-cell resolution using state-of-art imaging and next-generation sequencing technologies. Simply, how a single fertilized cell divides, scales and generates the incredible complexity of cell types, tissues and organs within human body.

Kedar has extensive experience with high–throughput single-cell genomics approaches, including important publications in the field – and now he has just received almost DKK 10 mio in funding to his research project from VILLUM FONDEN. This also means, that he is now one of the few appointed and selected Villum Young Investigators i Denmark.

Meet Kedar in this video portrait:

Thomas Bjørnholm, Executive Chief Scientific Officer at VILLUM FONDEN explains the background for selecting and honoring talented young researchers in Denmark:

“Our strategy is based on the basic belief that inspired scientists carry out inspiring research. By finding and funding the most talented young scientists, the Villum Young Investigators Programme aims to support their work and make it possible for them to set up the research groups that will allow them to make a significant contribution to the advancement of science and technology.”

Read more about the ceremony and about being a Villum Young Investigator here

Each year younger researchers is honoured and receives grants from the Villum Young Investigator Programme

Kedar’s background

Before he came to University of Southern Denmark and D-IAS, he was a Postdoctoral fellow with Professor Sarah Teichmann and had joint appointments at Wellcome Sanger Institute and European Bioinformatics Institute, Cambridge, UK.
He holds a PhD from Imperial College London, UK, working jointly between Faculty of Medicine (with Professor Ana Pombo) and Department of Mathematics (with Professor Mauricio Barahona).
Kedar has a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology and a Dual Bachelor’s in Computer Sciences from India.


VILLUM FONDEN is a philanthropic foundation that supports technical and scientific research as well as environmental, social and cultural projects in Denmark and internationally. In 2018, VILLUM FONDEN granted approx. EUR 83 million. VILLUM FONDEN was established in 1971 by graduate engineer Villum Kann Rasmussen, the founder of VELUX and other companies in the VKR Group, whose mission it is to bring daylight, fresh air and a better environment into people’s everyday lives. VILLUM FONDEN is a majority shareholder in the VKR Group.