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"Fresh Human Kidney Tissue: Exploring biomarkers and intervention targets in chronic kidney disease"

The FRIGG project (2021-2023) aimed establish a human-based model for chronic kidney disease based on fresh human kidney tissue obtained directly from patients. This human model can be used in the lab to mimic development and progression of some of the key processes in chronic kidney disease.

The human model system developed by the FRIGG team will give researchers a better starting point for identifying potential drug targets. More importantly, a human model system will also increase translatability between the laboratory and patients. The FRIGG team included three different companies and several academic researchers. Combined, the team spanned expertise in renal disease, renal physiology, advanced bioimaging and methods for gene expression and biomarker identification.

On this page you can can watch a video recorded at the beginning of the FRIGG project and find a list of project participants. You can also read a full article about the project or read a very short cartoon introduction to the project. 

"The FRIGG project focused on comparing preclinical and human kidney tissues using cutting edge technologies to identify translatable models. This research project has given us tools to enable greater understanding of chronic kidney disease pathomechanisms as well as helping improve how we assess new therapies."



Shrikant R. Mulay, AstraZeneca,

Industry partner in FRIGG


Academic team members

  • Rikke Nørregaard, Professor, Aarhus University
  • Lene Niemann Nejsum, Professor, Aarhus University
  • Lin Lin, Assoc. Professor, Aarhus University
  • Henricus A. M. Mutsaers, Asst. Professor, Aarhus University
  • Mia Gebauer Madsen, Chief Physician, Aarhus University Hospital
  • Anna Krarup Keller, Assoc. Professor, Aarhus University Hospital
  • Gitte Albinus Pedesen, postdoc, Aarhus University
  • Camilla Merrild, PhD student, Aarhus University
  • Jørgen Kjems, Professor, Aarhus University

Industrial team member

  • Pernille Lærkegaard Hansen, AstraZeneca
  • Shrikant R. Mulay, AstraZeneca
  • Lihuan Liang, AstraZeneca
  • Federica Genovesa, Nordic Bioscience
  • Alexandra Louise Møller
  • Agnès Bèrnadeau, Novo Nordisk
  • Peter Helding Kvist, Novo Nordisk
  • Maria Ougaard, Novo Nordisk


Read more about the FRIGG project and how they developed a human-based model for chronic kidney disease

"With a human-based model system for CKD at hand, researchers will have a better starting point for identifying potential drug targets. But more importantly, a human model system will also increase translatability between the laboratory and patients: If we can test drug candidates on fresh human tissue in the lab, there is a higher probability that we see the same effect in patients in the clinic.”


Lene Niemann Nejsum & Rikke Nørregaard

Heads of FRIGG

"As an industry partner this is important for us as we now have a new assay in our toolbox that, in combination with the measurements of our biomarkers, we can propose to pharma customers to test their drugs. This fills a void in terms of human preclinical assays that pharma is definitely interested in pursuing.”


Federica Genovese, Nordic Bioscience

Industry partner in FRIGG


We unite right minds from industry and academia so that they can jointly create need-driven research projects - and pave the way for innovative new treatments in the future. Through competitive funding calls, we fund the best projects ideas. Although companies cannot receive funding, it is free of charge to join.

The 5-year platform is sponsored by the Novo Nordisk Foundation with 180 M DKK from 2024-2028.


You are always welcome to reach out if you have questions or comments. Reach out to odin@au.dk or find the Secretariat's direct email addresses under contacts.

Although we're spanning five Danish universities, we're based in Aarhus. Our office is located at Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade 121, blg 1521-216.