Berit Lilienthal Heitmann
Professor, PhD, Director of Research
Tel.: (+45) 3816 3070
Professor Berit L. Heitmann, Research Unit for Dietary Studies, The Parker Institute, Bispebjerg and frederiksberg Hospital, The Capital Region, Denmark
Professor Heitmann was educated as dentist 1987 from the Dental School in Copenhagen. She defended her Ph.D thesis at the Department of Human Nutrition, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, in February 1993. Between 1996-98 and again between 1998-00 she was president of The Danish Association for the Study of Obesity.
In 1999, she founded of The Research Unit for Dietary Studies in Nutritional Epidemiology, made possible by a major grant from The Danish Medical Research Council.
Between 2001 and 2015 she was Director of Research, (and 2011-2012 acting Institute Director) at the Institute of Preventive Medicine, and from April 2015 she is Director of Research at the Research Unit for Dietary Studies at the Parker Institute, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospital – a part of Copenhagen University Hospitals, The Capital Region, Copenhagen.
Since 2001 Berit Heitmann has been professor in nutritional epidemiology, at the National Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, and since 2011 also Honorary Professor Sydney University, The Boden Institute, Sydney, Australia, and since 2016 furthermore Clinical Professor at the Department of Public Health at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
From 2003-8 she was appointed board member of The Danish Medical Research Board, and between 2004 and 2008 also member of the Executive Committee of The Danish Medical Research Council. In 2004-2007 she was appointed deputy chairman of the board of directors of Danish Institute of Food and Veterinary Research. Between 2007 and 2014 She was advisory committee member of the Research Council of Norway, and since 2012 Advisory board member of the Danish Diabetes Association Research Committee.
Professor Heitmann’s main areas of expertise include Diet and the determinants and consequences of obesity, and within these areas she has supervised 37 PhD students (33 already defended their thesis, and 4 in progress) and about 100 pre-graduates.
Professor Heitmann serves as referee for more than 30 scientific journals and is currently a member of the editorial boards for 4 International Scientific Journals. She has received in total around 100 mio DKK from grants in the previous 10 years (about 13 mio €), and has published more than 350 scientific peer-reviewed papers, app. 25 reviews and a similar number of book chapters/official reports.
Sofus Christian Larsen
MSc Health Science, PhD, Senior researcher
Sofus C. Larsen has a master’s degree in health science. In 2014 he received a PhD degree in Public Health and Epidemiology. To date, his research has largely been focused on different aspects body weight regulation, obesity and related disorders. From 2011 to 2015, Sofus was mainly conducting research on gene-diet interactions in relation to development or prevention of obesity. This research was conducted during employments in the GENDINOB project, where he was first working as a PhD student and later as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and scientific coordinator. Between 2015 and 2020, Sofus was employed as a Trial Manager for the Danish part of the NoHoW project, a large European RCT examining the effect of an evidence-based digital toolkit on weight loss maintenance. Since 2021, Sofus has been working as a senior researcher at the Research Unit for Dietary Studies where he is involved in several different projects, primarily, but not exclusively, within obesity research.
Ina Olmer Specht
MSc Health Science, PhD, Senior researcher
Ina Olmer Specht has a Master degree in Health Science and a PhD degree in Public Health and Epidemiology. Ina’s main research areas have been within reproductive toxicology and the working environment in relation to pregnancy outcomes. Currently Ina is employed as Postdoctoral Research Fellow and daily coordinator of the EnTrance project which is examining the relations between trans fatty acids and childhood cancer.
Nanna Julie Olsen
MSc Public Health, PhD, Senior researcher
Nanna Julie Olsen has a Master of Public Health degree, and a PhD degree in Public Health and Epidemiology. Nanna’s first years in research focused on intake of soft drinks in relation to health outcomes. Her PhD project was based on the Healthy Start intervention, and focused on primary prevention of childhood obesity, and sleep and stress as determinants of childhood obesity. Nanna is the principal investigator of the PANDORA cohort, and currently investigates the effects of exposure to antibiotics before conception and during pregnancy in relation to maternal gestational diabetes and child type-1 diabetes. The project is supported by the Danish Diabetes Association, and Kong Christian IX og Dronning Louises Jubilæumslegat. Nanna is also coordinating research activities related to the Healthy Start intervention.
Nanna is employed as Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the OBEAT feasibility trial, and is also the daily coordinator of the Healthy Start intervention.
Mina Nicole Holmgaard Händel
MSc Human Nutrition, PhD, Associate professor
Mina N. Händel has a Master degree in Human Nutrition and a PhD degree in Health Science and epidemiology. Mina has research experience in nutritional epidemiology, which has involved primary interventions among young obesity-prone children in a randomized controlled setting, as well as observational studies, examining the influence of maternal nutrient status during pregnancy and offspring bone health in childhood using Danish national registries, biobanks, as well as comprehensive longitudinal birth cohorts. Currently, Mina is principle investigator and daily coordinator of the fourth data collection of the Svendborg project (CHAMPS IV). The aim of the Svendborg project is to evaluate the long-term effects of increased physical education in primary school in order to examine the risk of lifestyle diseases among young adults. The Svendborg project is unique worldwide and is one of the largest and longest-standing research projects in Denmark that investigates the importance of physical activity for future health among children and young adults. Given the substantial increase in lifestyle-related diseases, such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis, both in Denmark and the rest of the Western world, it would be of great value if a reduction in the risk of lifestyle diseases can be induced by introducing just a few extra hours of physical education. Thus, the results from the Svendborg project can provide the necessary evidence-based knowledge that can be used as a basis for a health-promoting mass strategy in the education sector. Therefore, the expected research results not only have the potential to be anchored in all Danish primary schools but can also be crucial focus points in health professionals’ contact with citizens. The project is supported by Novo Nordisk Fonden, Interfond, Hjerteforeningen, Ethel Merete og Christian Pontoppidans Fond, Helsefonden, Danske Regioner, Snedkermester Sophus Jacobsen and hustru Astrid Jacobsen’s fund, Læge Sofus Carl Emil Friis og Hustru Olga Doris Friis’ Legat and Familien Hede Nielsen Fond.
Jeanett Friis Rohde
MSc Public Health, PhD, Postdoc
Jeanett Friis Rohde holds a Master degree in Public Health and a bachelor´s degree in Nutrition and Health. In 2017 she received a PhD degree in Health Science. Her research has mainly been within prevention of childhood obesity and focusing on early nutrition, eating environment and physical activity. She has also been teaching about nutrition and quantitative method to Nurses and physiotherapist students. Jeanett is currently employed as Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Furthermore, she is working as a method consultant at The Danish Health Authority developing National Clinical Guidelines and has expertise within the GRADE process (The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation).
MSc Human Nutritin, Postdoc
Karoline Winckler has a Master degree in Human Nutrition and a PhD degree in Cardiovascular Research from University of Copenhagen. Currently Karoline is employed as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow.
MScHealth, RN, Postdoc
Tel.: (+45) 3816 3102
Annette Mollerup was educated as a nurse in 1988. She is specialized in intensive care and has worked in various clinical positions. She has a master’s degree in Health Science and a PhD degree in Health Science, both from the University of Copenhagen. Annette’s main research has been related to self-management within hand eczema. She has conducted a large-scale randomized clinical trial of patient counselling involving an innovative eHealth-intervention. At present, she is project manager of a randomized clinical trial examining the effectiveness of a PEP-flute, a respiratory device, among COVID-19 patients.
MSc Public Health, PhD Student
Fanney Thorsteinsdottir holds a Master of Science degree in Public Health from Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden. Fanney is a PhD Student at the Research Unit for Dietary Studies, The Parker Institute and Copenhagen University, where she is looking at the influence of prenatal vitamin D on the development of asthma later in life.
Midwife, MSc in Midwifery, PhD Student
Tel.: (+45) 3816 3056
Monica Ladekarl was educated as midwife in 2003 and has since then worked in various positions at the maternity unit at Hvidovre Hospital. She holds a Master of Science in Health – Midwifery from University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark, 2017. Monica is a PhD Student at the Research Unit for Dietary Studies, The Parker Institute and Hvidovre Hospital, where she is doing a feasibility study of a stress reducing web-based intervention among normal weight pregnant women aimed to improve maternal gestational and post-partum weight and benefit childhood growth and later risk of overweight.
MSc Public Health, PhD Student
Tel.: (+45) 3816 3028
Christina Walker holds a Master of Science in Public Health from the University of Copenhagen. Christina Walker is a PhD student at the Research Unit for Dietary Studies, The Parker Institute and the University of Copenhagen where she is looking at the influence of early life exposure to low levels of vitamin D on the development of congenital heart disease.
MSc Medicinal plants and functional foods, PhD Student
Xuan Ren holds a master of science in medicinal plants and functional foods from Newcastle university, Newcastle, UK. Xuan Ren is a PhD student at the Research Unit for Dietary Studies, The Parker Institute and the University of Copenhagen where she is looking at the influence of early exposure to dietary fatty acids and weight gain during childhood.
MSc in Nutrition and Food science, PhD Student
Hanyue Zhang holds a Master of Public Health degree from Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China. Hanyue is a Ph.D. student at the Research Unit for Dietary Studies, The Parker Institute, and Copenhagen University, where she is looking at the role of the protein leverage hypothesis (PLH) on the development of obesity in children, adolescents, pregnant women and the offspring.
Kathrine Hansen Bukkehave
MSc in Odontology, Research assistant
Kathrine Bukkehave holds a Master of Odontology from the University of Copenhagen from 2016 and has been practicing dentistry since. Kathrine is a Ph.D.-student at the Research Unit for Dietary Studies, The Parker Institute and the University of Copenhagen, where she investigates whether periodontal treatment during pregnancy can reduce the systemic inflammation and influence fetal growth, birth weight and later development of childhood overweight.
MSc in Health Promotion & Health Strategies and Psychology, Research assistant
Karin Stuer-Lauridsen was educated as a nurse in 2017 and has primarily worked in obstetrics. Karin is doing a Master degree in Health Promotion & Health Strategies and Psychology at Roskilde Univsersity. Currently Karin is an intern at the Research Unit for Dietary Studies at The Parker Institute, where she is collaborating on a study that investigates the effect of peridontal treatment during pregnancy on adverse pregnancy and birth complications.
MSc Human Nutritin, Research assistant
Aikaterina Vasileiou, holds a master in Human nutrition from University of Copenhagen. Her interest focuses on maintaining health through nutrition and physical activity, and as a dietician, her goal is to improve peoples’ quality of life through changes on their way of living (changes on diet, physical activity and way of thinking). Research about obesity, nutrition and healthy ageing, eating behaviour, physical activity, child nutrition, clinical nutrition, gut microbiome and non-communicable diseases raise my interest.
MSc Human Nutritin, Research assistant
Dominique Searle is studying a master’s degree in Human Nutrition at Copenhagen University and holds a bachelor’s in Clinical Nutrition from UADY University, Yucatan, Mexico. She is currently an intern at the Research Unit for Dietary Studies, The Parker Institute, where she is collaborating in a systematic review about the protein leverage hypothesis (PLH) on the development of obesity in children and adolescents. Latterly she will start her master’s thesis at the institute as well, regarding the PLH in adults.
MSc Public Health, Research assistant
Abhilasha Akerkar holds a Bachelor’s degree in Dental Surgery from the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, India and is presently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Health Science at the University of Gothenburg. Currently, she is working as an intern at the Research Unit for Dietary Studies, the Parker Institute where she is involved with the investigation of the effect of periodontal treatment during pregnancy on adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes.
Mette Kildevæld Simonsen
Nurse, Research fellow
Tel.: (+45) 2489 2149
Mette Kildevæld Simonsen graduated as a nurse in 1993, MPH in 2005 and completed her PhD. in 2009. Since 2003, Mette has worked with data from the Danish Nurses Cohort and from 2013 she is the research leader for the Danish Nurses’ Cohort (chair of the steering group).