Scientific Director Torben Hansen – University of Copenhagen

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Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research > Research > Section for Metabolic Genetics > Metabolic Genetics staff > Scientific Director To...

Scientific Director Torben Hansen

Torben Hansen, Professor, M.D., Ph.D.

Current Position

Professor of Genetics of Human Metabolism,  Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 1, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark.

Degrees and Professional Certification

1984  Graduated as a medical doctor, University of Copenhagen, Denmark 1992  Ph.D., University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Professional Training

1984-1985 M.D. in the Danish Army
1985  Resident in orthopaedics, Rigshospitalet, Denmark
1985-1987  Postdoctoral research fellow, department of Cancer biology, Panum Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
1987-1988  Visiting scientist, Stanford University and Receptron Inc., CA, USA
1988-1989  Resident in medical gastroenterology, Rigshospitalet, Denmark
1989-1990 Visiting scientist, Stanford University and Receptron Inc., CA, USA
1990-1992 Resident in endocrinology, Steno Diabetes Center, Denmark
1992  Resident in internal medicine, Gentofte County Hospital, Denmark
1992-1997 Post Doc, Steno Diabetes Center, Denmark
1997  Visiting scientist, Genetics of Multifactorial Diseases Unit, Pasteur Institute, France 1997-1998 Resident in Clinical Genetics, J. F. Kennedy Institute, Denmark
1998-1999 Senior scientist, Steno Diabetes Center, Denmark
1999-2000 Resident, Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Rigshospitalet, Denmark
2000-2008 Senior scientist, Steno Diabetes Center, Denmark
2008-2011 Chief Physician, Steno Diabetes Center, Denmark
2008-2013 Professor of Molecular Diabetology (adjunct), University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
2015-  Professor of Molecular Diabetology (adjunct), University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
2009-2011 Research Director, Hagedorn Research Institute, Gentofte, Denmark
2011-  Consultant, Molecular Genetic Diagnostics, Steno Diabetes Center, Denmark
2011-   Professor of Genetics of Human Metabolism, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Honorary Awards

1986  University of Aarhus - Gold Medal Award for highest academic standing 1997  Annual Research Award of honour - Danish Diabetes Association 2001  Niels Schwartz-Sørensen Award 2002  Dandy Award
2014  Benjamin F. Stapleton, Jr. Lecture
2014, University of Colorado, Denver, USA
2015  Novo Nordisk Foundation Lecture 2015, Scandinavian Society for the Study of Diabetes, Oslo, Norway
2015  Erhoff Prize 2015
2016  Bagger Sørensens Fondens store Forskerpris 2016

Major Research Interest 

  • Pathophysiology and pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes mellitus and the metabolic syndrome
  • Identification of genetic determinants for both mono- and polygenic components of type 2 diabetes and obesity 
  • The impact of the gut microbiome on disease and health

Research supervision

Supervised 21 postgraduate students who have achieved the Ph.D. degree and 27 graduate students who had their master thesis

Publications per January 2017

425 peer-reviewed original scientific papers and 34 review papers, comments or book chapters. Total number of citations: 26,948.
H-index according to web of science: 67

Research management and coordination experience

Co-PI on a number of EU projects and currently PI on the project MicrobLiver (the influence of the gut-liver axis in development of early liver fibrosis), PI on TARGET (The impact of our genomes on individual treatment response in obese children) and co-PI on the project BIOCHILD (Genetics and Systems Biology of Childhood Obesity in India and Denmark), both projects sponsored by the Danish Strategic Research Council. Furthermore, co-PI on the EU-IMI (Innovative Medicines Initiative) project DIRECT (Diabetes research on patient stratification).

Other professional activities

Pre- and postgraduate educational activities at the universities of Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense and at Steno Education Center
More than 50 invited lectures at international and national scientific meetings
Opponent at Ph.D- and doctoral theses in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and UK Associate editor at Diabetologia, 2004-2007,
Advisory Board at Diabetologia, 2008-2014
Member of the board of “Det Medicinske Selskab I København”, 2008-2014
Head of the graduate PhD programme “Basic Metabolic Research”, University of Copenhagen, 2011-
Member of The Danish Strategic Research Council “Det Strategiske Forskningsråds programkomite for Individ, Sygdom og Samfund”, 2013-2015
Chairman ” The Education Committee, The Danish Diabetes Academy”, 2013-
Member of the EASD Council, 2014-

Selected recent publications

  1. Gjesing AP, Ekstrøm CT, Eiberg H et al.: Fasting and oral glucose-stimulated levels of glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) are highly familial traits. Diabetologia. 2012;55:1338-45 
  2. Le Chatelier E, Nielsen T, Qin J et al.: Richness of human gut microbiome correlates with metabolic markers. Nature. 2013;500:541-546 
  3. Torekov SS, Iepsen E, Christiansen M et al.: KCNQ1 long QT syndrome patients have hyperinsulinemia and symptomatic hypoglycemia. Diabetes. 2014;63:1315-25 
  4. Flannick J, Thorleifsson G, Beer NL et al.: Loss-of-function mutations in SLC30A8 protect against type 2 diabetes. Nat Genet. 2014;46:357-63. 
  5. Gjesing AP, Hornbak M, Allin KH et al.: High heritability and genetic correlation of intravenous glucose- and tolbutamide-induced insulin secretion among non-diabetic family members of type 2 diabetic patients. Diabetologia. 2014;57:1173-81. 
  6. Nielsen HB, Almeida M, Juncker AS et al.: Identification and assembly of genomes and genetic elements in complex metagenomic samples without using reference genomes. Nat Biotechnol. 2014;32:822-8. 
  7. Moltke I, Grarup N, Jørgensen ME et al.: A common Greenlandic TBC1D4 variant confers muscle insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Nature 2014;512:190-3 
  8. Moltke I, Fumagalli M, Korneliussen TS et al.: Uncovering the genetic history of the present-day Greenlandic population. Am J Hum Genet. 2015;96:54-69 
  9. Besenbacher S, Liu S, Izarzugaza JM et al.: Novel variation and de novo mutation rates in population-wide de novo assembled Danish trios. Nat Commun. 2015;6:5969 
  10. Fumagalli M, Moltke I, Grarup N et al.: Greenlandic Inuit show genetic signatures of diet and climate adaptation. Science. 2015;349:1343-1347
  11. Forslund K, Hildebrand F, Nielsen T et al.: Disentangling type 2 diabetes and metformin treatment signatures in the human gut microbiota. Nature. 2015; 528:262-6

Total list of publications can be obtained from PubMed using the following search criteria: “hansen t and (pedersen o or (bjerregaard p and albrechtsen a) or (schmitz and Li W) or pociot or stagsted or echwald or hattersley or mccarthy m or o'rahilly or faerch k or grarup n or damm p or (pers and brunak) or (gupta r and holm jc)) not videbaek”