Adam Hulman

Adam Hulman says: “Artificial intelligence enables computer programs to execute human-like tasks like image and speech recognition, text translation, and more. These applications are based on deep learning, a method that can recognize patterns in large datasets (e.g. millions of images from the internet) and then make predictions for new cases. In this project, deep learning methods will be developed and applied in a clinical setting. Persons with type 1 diabetes visit their physicians regularly for check-ups and screening for complications. Some of them also monitor their health using wearable devices even between visits. Combining these data creates a unique opportunity for the development of clinical prediction models that can assist clinicians to tailor prevention and treatment. However, complex data of different types (tabular, images, time series) collected repeatedly over time call for the development and application of novel deep learning methods”.


Adam Hulman came to Denmark for a Postdoc position at Aarhus University, Department of Public Health in 2015. In 2018 he joined Steno Diabetes Center Aarhus, Aarhus University Hospital, where he has been a Senior Data Scientist since 2020.

Tibor V. Varga

Tibor V. Varga says: “In the EU, health inequalities account for 20% of total healthcare costs and related welfare losses amount to nearly 1 trillion EUR per year. The European Commission considers health inequalities to be one of the greatest challenges facing European healthcare systems. Navigating this challenge requires improved data and smarter methods and tools for evaluating inequalities in health as well as practical ways for narrowing healthcare gaps. The vision of the Algorithmic Fairness in Diabetes Prediction (ALFADIAB) research program is a society where access to healthcare and quality of care do not depend on ethnicity, race, sex, or wealth. Even in Denmark, with its universal healthcare system, this is not yet a reality, and minorities with diabetes, and those who are the poorest, are affected more than others. As an example, immigrants, their descendants, and those who are the poorest have higher rates of developing type 2 diabetes, experience more severe complications (diseases of the heart, eye, and kidney), and benefit less from the Danish healthcare system. In this research program, I will investigate whether established risk prediction models, that are used to forecast which individuals are at high risk of diabetes, are underperforming for minorities and those with lower socioeconomic status. By utilizing Danish registry-based data on millions of people I will assess inequalities in diabetes management and care, and deploy artificial intelligence techniques to develop improved predictive models that are equitable and perform equally well between subgroups”.


Tibor V. Varga has been an Assistant Professor at Section of Epidemiology at University of Copenhagen, Department of Public Health since 2020.

Martin Blomberg Jensen

Martin Blomberg Jensen says: “This project aims at uncovering the role RANKL – a protein known to be important for bone health – for male fertility. I have identified this protein in the testis and inhibition of the protein increases the production of sperm. This finding may be of clinical relevance as there exist a RANKL inhibitor used to treat osteoporosis in women and maybe we can repurpose this treatment as a novel treatment option for some infertile men. This will be of great interest because there exists no treatment for male infertility today. Instead, the women are treated with invasive and expensive assisted reproductive techniques even when the women are healthy. By studying the effects of RANKL inhibition in mouse models, human testis models, and by injecting the drug into infertile men our approach will show whether this may serve as a novel treatment option for some cases of male infertility.”

Martin Blomberg Jensen has established his independent research group at Department of Growth and Reproduction, Rigshospitalet, and is currently doing his specialist training in endocrinology. He says: “This grant will be fundamental to secure continuity in my group in the year to come and for achieving my overall aim of creating an expert center for bone and mineral research/disease in east Denmark”.

Lars Wiuff Andersen

Lars Wiuff Andersen says: “Cardiac arrest occurs in approximately 7000 patients each year in Denmark. 30 days after the cardiac arrest, only 15-25% are alive. In order to increase this low survival, I will conduct two clinical trials that will test interventions in patients with a cardiac arrest. During a cardiac arrest, the blood becomes very acidic. Bicarbonate is a treatment that counteracts this acidity. In the first trial, we will test whether the administration of bicarbonate can improve outcomes for patients with in-hospital cardiac arrest. In the second trial, we will test what the best approach to drug delivery is during out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. A small catheter placed into a vein is the standard but during cardiac arrest it is often easier and quicker to place a needle into the bone marrow. In this trial, we will directly compare the two different approaches and determine which is the best for the patients.”

Lars Wiuff Andersen has since 2017 been Associate professor at Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University and is doing his specialist training at Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care at Aarhus University Hospital. He further says: “The receipt of this grant, and the successful conduct of the two proposed trials, will be of utmost importance to my research group and myself. This will consolidate me as an international leader within clinical cardiac arrest trials and pave the road for future national and international collaborations.”

Karen Schreiber

Karen Schreiber says: “Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is a disease that most often affects women of childbearing age. Women with APS experience pregnancy complications, such as recurrent first-trimester pregnancy loss, intrauterine death, preeclampsia, preterm birth, and fetal growth restriction. Although current treatment regimens including aspirin and heparin have improved pregnancy outcomes, 30% of these women continue to have pregnancy complications. Clinical study has suggest that the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in addition to standard of care treatment improves the pregnancy outcome in these women. We have therefore designed the first randomized controlled multicentre clinical trial of HCQ in patients with antiphospholipid antibodies. Our aim is to find out if the addition of HCQ to standard of care treatment will improve pregnancy outcomes in these women. Moreover, we will try to explain the underlying disease mechanism.”

Karen Schreiber has spent almost 10 years in the UK researching rheumatic disease and APS at Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital in London but recently relocated to Denmark to enter the Danish specialist training in Rheumatology. She further states: “I am extremely humble and grateful for the support. The Clinical Emerging Investigator grant will allow me to establish myself as independent researcher with my own research group and anchor my international network and the HYPATIA study at the newly established ‘Center for Viden om Gigt’ (CeViG) at the Danish Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases in collaboration with all major Danish University Hospitals. The grant will allow me to work in close collaboration with international experts in the field.”

Thomas Aagaard Rasmussen

Thomas Aagaard Rasmussen says: “The main barrier to curing HIV is persistence of virus in long-lived cells despite antiretroviral treatment (ART). It was recently shown that long-term persistence of infected cells is sustained through changes in cell death pathways, which can be targeted with venetoclax, a drug recently approved for leukemia. Given that the persistent HIV reservoir is established at the time when ART is commenced, I hypothesise that venetoclax will have its greatest effect on promoting death of infected cells and limiting long-term HIV persistence if administered concurrently with starting ART. I aim to test this in a randomised, controlled clinical trial in people with HIV initiating ART, where we will apply state-of-the-art methods to quantify HIV persistence and activity in cell death pathways.  If successful, this will demonstrate a transformative new approach to targeting HIV persistence and will inform how and when inhibitors of apoptosis proteins can be used as part of an HIV cure strategy.”.

Thomas Aagaard Rasmussen has for several years been associated with the Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity at The University of Melbourne, most recently as Associate Clinical Director for HIV Cure Studies. He has relocated to Aarhus University Hospital to finish his specialist training and says further: “The Clinical Emerging Investigator fellowship will be instrumental in establishing myself as a research leader at Aarhus University Hospital and at the same time remain associated with the clinic”.

Kathleen Stewart-Morgan

Kathleen Stewart-Morgan says: “Primordial germ cells, the precursors to sperm in males and oocytes in females, undergo many changes and transformations throughout development. One of the most dramatic changes is to the epigenome, the proteins and chemical tags on DNA that regulate how the cell “reads” its genome. Germ cell development also entails waves of proliferation, where germ cells divide and multiply, and apoptosis, where a proportion of germ cells die. What differentiates germ cells that survive apoptosis from those that die is unclear. By assaying the germ cell epigenome throughout development and relating epigenome changes to proliferation and apoptosis, this project will examine the role of epigenome reprogramming in germ cell survival. This will provide new insights into how epigenome reprogramming in germ cells occurs, and the epigenome’s role in germ cell quality and function.”

Kathleen Stewart-Morgan who is of American nationality is currently a postdoc at the Center for Protein Research, University of Copenhagen but will relocate to the Institute of Cellular and Molecular Medicine to establish her own research group. She states: ”ICMM is the perfect place for me to establish my group as there are experts in stem cell and germ cell biology, state-of-the-art sequencing methodologies and shared interests in gametogenesis, embryology, epigenetics, and chromatin biology, which will be extremely beneficial in executing my research program.”

Thomas Miller

Thomas Miller says: “Each time our cells divide they must accurately duplicate their DNA so that both daughter cells receive an identical set of genetic instructions. A failure to accurately duplicate the genome can lead to genome instability and cause age-related disorders, including cancer. Genomes of all organisms are duplicated by protein machines called replisomes, which frequently encounter ‘obstacles’ that can prevent faithful DNA replication. This project will reveal how replisomes normally overcome these obstacles in healthy cells and why a failure in these processes causes human disease. To do this, we will use electron microscopy to image replisomes as they encounter and coordinate the repair of DNA-protein crosslinks (DPCs), a common and highly toxic obstacle to DNA replication. Our results will provide insights into how our cells maintain genome stability and may identify opportunities for enhancing current chemotherapies that kill cancer cells by forming DPCs on DNA.”

Thomas Miller is British and relocated in 2021 from his postdoctoral position at the Francis Crick Institute in London to the Center for Chromosome Stability at ICMM to establish his independent research group. He says: “The CCS at ICMM is ideally suited for my research and I look forward to contributing to the growing structural and chromatin biology communities in Copenhagen. My distinct approach will provide numerous opportunities for collaborative work locally”.

Junsheng Chen

Junsheng Chen says: “Many important biological questions require imaging of large volume sample at the nanometer scale. The recent progress of expansion microscopy meets such requirement by expanding the sample and imaging it by conventional microscopy. However, the expanded samples show low signal to noise ratio because the expansion process dilutes the fluorescence markers. This becomes the major bottleneck for implementing expansion microscopy to standard biological labs. In this project we will implement ultrabright fluorescent nanoparticles for expansion microscopy and ensure this technique to be accessible for biological labs with conventional microscopy setups. Moreover, we will take advantage of the easy tunability of emission color and lifetime of the bright nanoparticles to develop expansion microscopy with 20 detection channels. This multichannel technique allows us to study in a new way how neurons place protein synthesizing machinery in different subcellular compartments providing us with insights currently not available.”

Junsheng Chen was born in China and finished his PhD in Lund University, Sweden in 2018. Since summer 2021 he has been assistant professor at the Department of Chemistry at University of Copenhagen. This Hallas-Møller Emerging Investigator grant will allow him to establish his own independent research group at the same institute.

Rebecca Louise Miller

Rebecca Louise Miller says: “Heparin is a widely used anti-clotting drug. Although most biologic drugs are produced using recombinant technologies, heparin persists as a product purified from animal tissues. A cell-based system for production of heparin would eliminate risk of supply shortage and contamination, which have had serious outcomes, as well as bypass the use of animals and lengthy purification processes. Production of recombinant heparin in mammalian cells requires engineering the heparan sulfate biosynthetic pathway, which consists of over 20 biosynthetic enzymes. My project aims use genetic methods and advance technologies to engineer and install heparin biosynthesis in a cell line. We have reached a stage in this endeavour to predict that we can design and produce improved heparin without the most serious side-effects. The project thus holds promise for sustainable, better, and safer heparins.”

Rebecca Louise Miller, who is of British nationality, has been an associate professor (non-tenured) at the Center for Glycomics at University of Copenhagen since 2021. She further states: “I am in a unique position with direct access to the world-leading glycosaminoglycan discovery platform, as well as beyond state-of-the-art instrumentation and the uniquely suited environment at the Copenhagen Center for Glycomics”.