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Scientist from DJF Selected as Young Elite Scientist

by 5m Editor
5 January 2011, at 11:23am

DENMARK - Postdoc Henrik Hornshøj, who is behind a research project that aims to reduce boar taint, has been selected as Young Elite Scientist by the Danish Council for Independent Research.


Postdoc Henrik Hornshøj from the Department of Genetics and Biotechnology has been granted 4.13 million kroner from the Danish Council for Independent Research and been selected as a Young Elite Scientist. [Photo: Janne Hansen]

Henrik Hornshøj, postdoc from the Department of Genetics and Biotechnology at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Aarhus University, is one of 38 young scientists in Denmark who has been selected as a Young Elite Scientist.

Mr Hornshøj has received a grant of 4.13 million kroner. The money is granted in the researcher career programme Sapere Aude under the Danish Council for Independent Research.

Mr Hornshøj has been given the Sapere Aude grant on the basis of a postdoc application for a project that aims to find genetic markers for selective breeding against boar taint.

Boar taint is an offensive odour or taste in the meat of male pigs, which is often avoided by castration. Without control, an undesirable smell may develop when the meat is cooked, which ruins the taste experience for the consumer. Furthermore, an alternative control method to castration is desired.

If the scientists succeed in finding one or more genes that control the development of boar taint, then this will benefit both pigs and farmers.

"We could then develop a diagnostic tool for boar taint and develop breeding methods that help prevent the problem. I imagine that you could take blood samples of all potential breeding boars," explained Mr Hornshøj.

He is pleased about the grant from the Danish Council for Independent Research.

"It is a great honour to receive the grant. I see it as a pat on the back and a push in the right direction. The extra funds can help lift the project to a higher level. The level of details of the research can be increased because more studies can be carried out. More publications are expected and I will be able to further explore the boar taint problem," said Mr Hornshøj.

This is not the first time that the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences has had a Young Elite Scientist. Hanne Christine Bertram from the Department of Food Science was the first scientist from the faculty to receive a similar award in 2006 while Majken Pagter from the Department of Horticulture was awarded one in 2009.