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New department-like centre at a genetic crossroads

The interdisciplinary Center for Quantitative Genetics and Genomics (QGG) is to be expanded, and in future it will have the status of a department-like centre under the new Faculty of Technical Sciences. The centre director, Professor Mogens Sandø Lund, will be joining the faculty management team. The change came into force on 1 January 2020.

In connection with the formation of the new Faculty of Technical Sciences, the Center for Quantitative Genetics and Genomics (QGG), which has previously been part of the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, will be reclassified as a department-like centre.

Research at QGG focuses on the genetics of complex properties in plants, livestock, model organisms and human beings, and it ranges from basic research into basic regulatory mechanisms of complex properties to applied practice.

In many cases, this is in close collaboration between the researchers at the centre and partners from industry. On the educational side, QGG is currently responsible for teaching at national level within quantitative genetics and livestock breeding at Bachelor's, Master's and PhD levels. Furthermore, the centre offers ad hoc PhD courses, e.g. for plant and human geneticists.

As part of the organisational change, Professor Torben Asp’s research group at AU Flakkebjerg, which is highly specialised in the fields of plant breeding and genetics, will become part of QGG.

This will gather all the researchers working on plant breeding of complex properties. It will create synergy between the more molecular-genetic approach of Torben Asp’s group and the quantitative genetic methods at QGG.

"By reorganising QGG into a department-like centre, we have established a national powerhouse for research into complex, genetic properties and breeding methods. This can help forge new solutions and even stronger relations with the outside world and the processing industry through innovative research. I welcome Centre Director Mogens Sandø Lund to the faculty management team at Tech, and I'm looking forward to a good collaboration," says Dean Eskild Holm Nielsen.

Joins the faculty management team

Mogens Sandø Lund will be joining the faculty management team. He originally qualified as an agronomist, and he became the group leader for his research group early in his career. Over the years, he has helped to bring together the academic disciplines that are today under QGG, and until the merger of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences (DJF) with AU, he was the head of the department at the Department of Genetics and Biotechnology.

In connection with the restructuring in 2011, the department was merged with the present Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics (MBG), and Mogens Sandø Lund became the centre director for QGG. He sees good correlation between current and future work.

"I think it's crucial that we can now create even better and balanced collaboration between the QGG and the other departments at Tech, and we can bring into the faculty QGG’s close alliances with the processing industry. With respect to management, we can forge further synergies in the collaborations we already have in this area. My time as a part of MBG gave me valuable insight and close alliances, which I will bring with me to the new centre. Personally, I see good opportunities for the new Tech faculty to optimise and develop partnerships – not least in areas such as the green transition and a number of sustainable development goals, where is great potential," says Mogens Sandø Lund.

Read more about the centre on the QCG website.