Thorkild I.A. Sørensen

Thorkild I.A. Sørensen

Professor emeritus

Revised January 6, 2020
Thorkild I.A. Sørensen
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Birthdate: December 7, 1945
Family: Married to Karen Bodil Valling Sørensen. Three children born 1972, 1974, and 1977.
Private address: Lønstrupvej 110, DK 2720 Vanløse, phone +45 93565934

Summary of CV for Thorkild I. A. Sørensen

1971 MD, Medicine. University of Copenhagen
1983 Dr Med Sci, Thesis in Medicine. University of Copenhagen Health Authorities of Denmark
1983 Specialist in medicine. Health Authorities of Denmark
1985 Specialist in hepatology. Health Authorities of Denmark


  • 1971-74 Resident, Department of Surgery, Gentofte University Hospital, Copenhagen.
  • 1974-78 Assistant Professor, Departments of Surgery, Gentofte and Herlev University Hospitals, Copenhagen.
  • 1978-80 Resident, Department of Medicine, Copenhagen Municipality Hospital, Copenhagen.
  • 1980-81 Senior Resident, Departments of Medicine, The State University Hospital, Copenhagen.
  • 1981-83 Senior Resident, Department of Medicine, Copenhagen Municipality Hospital, Copenhagen.
  • 1983-85 Senior Resident, Departments of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Hvidovre University Hospital, Copenhagen.
  • 1984-89 Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Copenhagen.
  • 1985-88 Acting Chief Physician, Department of Hepatology, Hvidovre University Hospital.
  • 1988-89 Chairman, Departments of Emergency Admissions and Hepatology, Hvidovre University Hospital, Copenhagen.
  • 1989-94 MRC Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, Danish Research Council, Copenhagen Health Services, from 1991 at the Institute of Preventive Medicine.
  • 1993-16 Director, Institute of Preventive Medicine, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen.
  • 1994-04 Co-Director of the Danish Epidemiology Science Center.
  • 1994-17 Chief Physician of Clinical Epidemiology, Institute of Preventive Medicine.
  • 1994-17 Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen.
  • 1995-96 Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen.
  • 2002-03 Director of Graduate School of Public Health affiliated with the University of Copenhagen.
  • 2011-17 Professor of metabolic epidemiology at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Centre for Basic metabolic Research, associated with the Section on Metabolic Genetics (half-time, permission from the other position).
  • 2017+ Professor of genetic and metabolic epidemiology, Department of Public Health & Novo Nordisk Foundation Centre for Basic metabolic Research, Fculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Main scientific steering, advisory, review, and consultative tasks

  • 1978+ Reviewer for multiple international scientific journals.
  • 1979-83 Member of the Board of The Danish Society for the Study of the Liver.
  • 1979-84 Co-ordinator of the multi-centre randomized clinical trial on sclerotherapy for bleeding oesophageal varices.
  • 1982-87 President of the Danish Epidemiology Society.
  • 1984-91 Co-ordinator of the multicentre randomized clinical trial on propranolol and/or sclerotherapy as prophylaxis against variceal bleeding.
  • 1984-13 Ad hoc expert advisor for the National Board of Health.
  • 1985-93 Member of the Editorial Board of Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology.
  • 1986-92 Member and President (1990-92) of The Danish Association for the Study of Obesity.
  • 1988-91 Research fellow committee, Faculty of Medicine, University of Copenhagen.
  • 1988-13 Reviewer of multiple doctoral and Ph.D. dissertations for the University of Copenhagen and other Danish and Nordic Universities.
  • 1988-94 Ad hoc expert advisor for Copenhagen Health Services.
  • 1989-92 Member and chairman (1991-92) of the Scientific Committee of The Danish Cancer Society.
  • 1989-91 Chairman of the review committee for the Danish Cancer Society on the grant 'Diet, Cancer and Health'.
  • 1988-93 Member of the steering committee of The Copenhagen City Heart Study.
  • 1989-94 Member of Epidemiology and clinical research advisory committees of the Commission of the European Community.
  • 1990-13 Reviewer of applicants for several positions as full or associate professor of the University of Copenhagen and other Danish and foreign Universities.
  • 1990-94 Vice-chairman (1990-92) and chairman (1992-93) of the Copenhagen Health Services Research Council.
  • 1990-93 Member of the Council of Glostrup Population Studies.
  • 1990-95 Ad hoc advisor for the Danish Medical Research Council.
  • 1991-99 Member of the Editorial Board of Alcologia.
  • 1991-99 Member of the Editorial Board of Danish Medical Bulletin.
  • 1992-95 Member of the Epidemiological review committee of the Swedish Cancer Foundations.
  • 1992-13 Reviewer of multiple Danish and foreign grant applications for various funding bodies.
  • 1992-95 President of the European Congress of Obesity 1995, Copenhagen.
  • 1992-03 Member of the Editorial Board of Clinical Methodology and Didactics.
  • 1993-07 Member and chairman (1993-97) of the Copenhagen Centre of Prospective Population Studies.
  • 1993-95 Member of the Government Council on Person Registers.
  • 1993-95 Member of the Scientific Committee, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen.
  • 1994-13 Member of the Board of Directors of the Danish National Birth Cohort ('Bedre Sundhed for Mor og Barn').
  • 1994 Member of the National Research Strategy Committee, Subcommittee on Prevention.
  • 1994-04 Member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Obesity.
  • 1994-02 Member of the Board and Vice-president (1999-02) of the Danish Association for Medical Priority Setting.
  • 1994-97 Member and Chairman (1994-95) of the Danish Nutritional Council's subcommittee on health implications of weight loss.
  • 1995-03 Member of the planning committee for establishing the 'Center for Sundhed og Samfund (Center for Health and Society)'.
  • 1996-01 President of The Danish Association for Medical Philosophy, Ethics and Methods.
  • 1996-01 Member of the scientific committee of the Danish Heart Foundation.
  • 1996-00 Scientific advisor for the Danish Insurance Industry Association.
  • 1997-99 Planning Committee for revision of the teaching curriculum of the medical study at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen.
  • 1997-00 Development Committee for the academic education of health service personnel (nurses, midwives etc.) at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen.
  • 1998-01 Member of the Danish Nutritional Council.
  • 1998-99 Ad hoc advisor for the Ministry of Health with regard to development of a governmental cross-disciplinary prevention programme.
  • 1998-00 Chairman of a subcommittee of the Danish Nutritional Council for development of guidelines for proper population information on nutrition issues.
  • 1999-04 Member of the Ph.D. Committee of the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, and Chairman of the local Ph.D. Committee of the Institute of Public Health.
  • 1999-01 International panel (member) for evaluation of the Swedish Twin Registry, Swedish Council for Planning and Coordination of Research.
  • 2000 International evaluation committee (Member) for the research Council of Norway / Medicine and Health.
  • 2001-04 Co-ordinator (P.I.) of the European Commission under the 5th Framework Programme project Nutrient-Gene Interactions in Human Obesity - Implications for Dietary Guidelines (NUGENOB).
  • 2001-03 Member of a working party of the National Board of Health for development of a national strategy to oppose the obesity epidemic.
  • 2002 Planning consultant on developing a European strategy on NCD prevention and control, WHO, Regional Office for Europe.
  • 2002 Reviewer for WHO Regional Office for Europe of the European Health Report 2001/2002.
  • 2002-05 Scientific expert for the Research Council for Health of the Academy of Finland.
  • 2002-06 President of the Danish Association for the Study of Obesity.
  • 2003-08 Member of the Honorary Editorial Board of Evidence-Based Preventive Medicine.
  • 2003-08 Member of the steering committee for the 'Center for Sundhed og Samfund' (Center for Health and Society) as collaboration between University of Copenhagen and sectorial research institute of public health.
  • 2003-08 Co-ordinator of the Nordic Longitudinal Epidemiology Research Programme "Prenatal and childhood growth in relation to risk of cardiovascular disease".
  • 2002-04 Member of the International Scientific Committee of the European Congress on Obesity, Prague, 2004
  • 2005 Chairman of a committee evaluating The Swedish National Biobank Program (joint Swegene and Wallenberg Consortium North).
  • 2005-10 Co-ordinator of Research Line on epidemiology in the European 6th Framework Programme 'Diet, Obesity and Genes' (DIOGENES).
  • 2005-11 Co-ordinator of the European 6th Framework Programme 'Hepatic and adipose tissue and functions in the metabolic syndrome' (HEPADIP).
  • 2006 Expert Advisor for the European Science and Technology Observatory project 'Biobanks in Europe: Prospects for coordination and networking for the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies.
  • 2006-08 Working Group (Chair) on monitoring the obesity epidemic in Denmark, Governmental Exercise and Nutritional Council.
  • 2006 Chairman of International Review Panel for UK Biobank and MRC, the Welcome Trust, Department of Health and the Scottish Executive.
  • 2007-13 Scientific Advisory Board, German Institute of Human Nutrition (DIfE), member.
  • 2007-11 Danish Obesity Research Center (DanOrc), Center leader.
  • 2007 Reviewer of the Clinical Trials Service Unit, Oxford, UK, for the Medical Research Council, the British Heart Foundation and the Cancer Research UK.
  • 2007-10 Academic Editor for Public Library of Science ONE.
  • 2007-13 Initiator and chairman of the Scientific Committee of the Per Björntorp Symposium, EASO.
  • 2007-13 Member of Scientific Advisory Boards for Nordic and European consortia (SYSDIET, ETHERPATH, ENGAGE, DORIAN, FULL4HEALTH, PREVIEW)
  • 2008 WHO expert consultation on waist circumference and waist/hip ratio.
  • 2008-13 Editorial representative for the European Association for the Study of Obesity and Associate Editor of 'Obesity Facts: The European Journal of Obesity'.
  • 2009-11 Chair of the Board of the Danish National Institute of Public Health.
  • 2009-13 Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the European Association for the Study of Obesity.
  • 2009-13 Chair of the external advisory board of the German Competence Network of Obesity Research.
  • 2010-13 EU Liaison Officer for the European Association for the Study of Obesity.
  • 2011-12 Member of scientific panel for major UK initiative to support e-health informatics research, MRC, Wellcome Trust, etc. UK.
  • 2011-13 Member of the External Advisory Board of IFB Adiposity Diseases, University of Leipzig, Germany.
  • 2011-17 Member of the International Scientific Advisory Board of ICAN Institute of Cardiometabolism & Nutrition, Paris, France.
  • 2011-13 Member of the Editorial Board of Obesity Reviews.
  • 2011-13 Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Folkehälsan Research Center, Finland.
  • 2011-13 Member of Working Party of the Knowledge Council for Prevention about adult overweight and weight loss.
  • 2011-13 Member of the Editorial Board of the quarterly review journal 'Current Obesity Reports'.
  • 2011-13 Member of the EU Advisory Board of the Capital Region of Denmark.
  • 2011-13 Member of the FøSu Academy.
  • 2012-13 Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Faculty of Medicine of University of Helsinki, Finland.
  • 2012-13 Chairman of "Independent Expert Group for the future of public health research in Europe" established by the EU Commis-sion.
  • 2013-13 Advisory Committee (chair) for the IMI/EU project EMIF focusing on ‘Metabolic complications of obesity’.
  • 2013-17 International Scientific Panel (Chair) reviewing proposals for "University/hospital departments (DHU)" in Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP).
  • 2013-13 Member of the Editorial Board of the journal 'Global Epidemic of Obesity'.
  • 2013-13 Member of the Editorial Board of Journal of Obesity and Metabolic Research. The official journal of All India Association
  • For the Advancement of Research in Obesity.
  • 2018 Search Committee (chair) for a position as professor in epidemiology at the Section of Epidemiology, Department of Public Heath, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen.
  • 2019+ Member of Steering Committees for the Danish Adoption Register (chair), the Copenhagen School Health Records register, and the Infant Health Records Register.

Note: In 2013, being 67 years old, I decided to stop most external commitments not directly related to my research and my position in order to get a more flexible workload and time for research and family life.

Supervision of PhD & MPH students

  • 1993-96 Jørgen Holm-Petersen: Analyzing genetic and environmental influences on mortality.
  • 1993-95 Morten Grønbæk: Alcohol and mortality: explanations of the U-shaped risk function.
  • 1995-98 Torben Martinussen: Statistical analysis based on incomplete longitudinal data with mortality follow-up.
  • 1996-99 Merete Hippe: Familial predisposition to myocardial infarction and cardiovascular risk factors.
  • 1996-00 Anne Torgny Andersen: Alcoholconsumption 1976-1992 - predictors of changes in overconsumption and abstention. Danish: Alcoholforbruget 1976-1992 - prædiktorer for ændringer i storforbrug og afholdenhed.
  • 1996-00 Kim Lyngby Mikkelsen: Weight, weight changes and mortality. Danish: Vægt, vægtændringer og dødelighed.
  • 1996-01 Charlotte Hindsberger: Robust analysis of quantitative twin data.
  • 1996-03 Jens-Christian Holm: Changes in leptin and its soluble receptor during weight loss in children.
  • 1999-03 Karoline Schousboe, University of Southern Denmark: Influence of heritability, family environment and individual environment on development of insulin resistance and abdominal obesity.
  • 1999-03 Per Togo: Food intake patterns and development of obesity.
  • 2000-03 Janne Bigaard: Waist circumferene as risk factor for breast cancer ant total mortality.
  • 2000-05 Susanne Reindahl Rasmussen: Life style socioeconomic consequences of smoking, alcohol consumption and obesity in Denmark.
  • 2001-04 Martin Ahlgren: Birth weight and growth during school years and risk of cancer.
  • 2001-02 Lise Lotte Kjærgård: The randomised clinical trial - a validation of quality from theory to practice. (withdrawn)
  • 2003-04 Péter Makáry:Perspectives of Public Health in the Postgenomic Era (European Master of Public Health)
  • 2002-05 Jytte Halkjær: The influence of diet on development and incidence of abdominal obesity - an important risk factor for the development of cardiovascular diseases.
  • 2002-05 Liselotte Petersen: Analysis of the significance of genetic and family environment on morbidity and mortality in an adoption study using different epidemiological statistical methods.
  • 2002-08 Lene Schack-Nielsen: Early life obesity risk factors.
  • 2002-06 Lesli Hingstrup Larsen: Genetic aspects of human obesity - studies of the candidate genes: MC4R, GHSR, ghrelin, PPARG2 and ESRRA.
  • 2003-05 Susanne Rugholm Jensen: The association between birth weight and childhood overweight and obesity - Assessment of the theoretical contribution from a public health aspect. (Master of Public Health thesis).
  • 2005-09 Michael Gamborg: Statistical methods in life course epidemiology: Body weight, systolic blood pressure and the risk of coronary heart disease.
  • 2005-09 Ann Louise Worre-Jensen: Gene-nutrient interaction associated with obesity - assessed in twins.
  • 2005-08 Majken Karoline Jensen, Aarhus University: Genetic variation related to high-density lipoprotein metabolism and risk of coronary heart disease.
  • 2005-09 Sofia Inez Iqbal: Genetic variations, specific phenotypes of obesity and metabolic diseases.
  • 2006-12 Camilla Schou Andersen: Maternal intrauterine factors & childhood BMI.
  • 2006-09 Katrine Grau: Gene-diet interactions in human obesity: the NuGENOB study.
  • 2006-12 Merethe Kousgaard Andersen, Aarhus University: Child overweight in general practice.
  • 2006-10 Tina Berentzen: Long-term health consequences of changes in waist circumference.
  • 2007-11 Anne Brødsgaard: A childhood with or without overweight - Mother's action competence, health behaviour and relationships with their children.
  • 2007-13 Camilla Schmidt Morgen: Epidemiological studies of overweight in children and adolescents.
  • 2007-12 Esther Zimmermann: Morbidity and mortality throughout life in men entering adult life as obese.
  • 2007-13 Ida R. Lou: The early mother/child relationship, 1920-1995. Norms and practice in childcare and nutrition before birth and during the child's first years.
  • 2007-11 Mette Kildevæld Simonsen: Intentional weight loss and mortality among healthy women.
  • 2007-09 Silja Niemelä Harboe: Dynamic effects of body weight changes on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease beyond the effect of current body weight (withdrawn due to illness).
  • 2008-12 Jakob Stegger, Aarhus University: Antropometry and polymorphisms in inflammatory genes in relation to acute coronary syndrome.
  • 2008-11 Tune Pers, Denmarks Technical University: Integrative analysis for finding genes and protein complexes involved in obesity and obesity related risk-phenotypes.
  • 2009-13 Lise Geisler Andersen: Effects of early infant growth and its determinants on development of obesity later in life.
  • 2009-14 Marie Villumsen: Non-specific effects of Bacille Calmette-Guérin and smallpox vaccination on morbidity and mortality.
  • 2009-14 Teresa Adeltoft Ajslev: Pre- and postnatal determinants for childhood overweight in preterm children.
  • 2010-13 Benjamin Rokholm: The role of gene-environment interaction in the evolving obesity epidemic.
  • 2010-14 Camilla Plambeck Hansen, Aarhus University: Intake of dairy products and changes in anthropometry
  • 2010-14 Lise Graversen, Aarhus University: An algorithm to identify preschool children at risk of developing overweight- development and test of a new tool to be used in a general practice setting.
  • 2011-14 Mikkel Zöllner Ankerfeldt: Reconciling conflicting evidence from observational studies and randomized controlled trials.
  • 2011-14 Lena Hohwü, Aarhus University: Psychological exposures early in life and child growth with specific focus on the risk of
  • overweight.
  • 2011-14 Sofus Christian Larsen, University of Copenhagen: Micronutrients, genetic predisposition to obesity and changes in
  • measures of adiposity.
  • 2011-15 Helene Kirkegaard, Aarhus University: Health in obese women after pregnancy: A 10-year follow-up study of weight change and obesity-related diseases.
  • 2012-15 Julie Aarestrup: Childhood body size and associations with prostate and endometrial cancer risks and adult body size.
  • 2011-16 Elina Scheers Andersson, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm: Pregnancy weight gain – Family studies on the effects on offspring’s body size and blood pressure.
  • 2012-17 Camilla Bjørn Jensen: Prenatal vitamin D exposure, birth weight and BMI at 7 years of age.
  • 2013-16 Jeppe Schultz Christensen: Adverse Health effects of traffic noise – adiposity and fecundity. 2013-17 Kathrine Damm Meyle: Childhood body mass index, height and growth and the risk of melanoma in adulthood.
  • 2014-18 Line Klingen Haugaard: Childhood body size and growth: associations with early cardiometabolic health and later stroke.

Honours, awards

  • 1986+ Elected member of the Danish Society for Theoretical Medicine and Clinical Science.
  • 1988 Hagedorn Award, Danish Society of Internal Medicine.
  • 1989-94 Visiting Professor of Epidemiology, Associated Faculty of the School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.
  • 1993-05 Member of the Danish Academy for Technical Sciences.
  • 1999 Codan Award, Medical Association of Codan Insurance and the Medical Society of Copenhagen.
  • 2008 Knight of the Order of the Dannebrog, assigned by the Queen.
  • 2009 Erhoff Award, Direktør Thor O.A. Erhoffs Familiefond.
  • 2010 Honorary Doctor of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland.
  • 2010 Population Science and Public Health Award by the International Association for the Study of Obesity.
  • 2010 Honorary member of the Association of Masters of Public Health Science. 2011+ Honorary Visiting Professor at the School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, UK 2011 Courtesy Professor at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA. 2011 Doctorem Medicinae Honoris Causa, University of Southern Denmark
  • 2015 Mickey Stunkard Lifetime Achievement Award by The Obesity Society, U.S.A.
  • 2016 Honorary member of The Danish Society for the Study of Obesity. 2016+ Honorary Adjunct Professor in Public Health at Aarhus University.
  • 2018+ Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Univeristy of Southern Denmark.

Previous major grants

  • 2005-09 EU/FP6: Diet Genes and Obesity (DiOGenes), centre grant; DKK 9 864 812
  • 2005-10 EU/FP6: Hepatic and Adipose tissue and functions in Metabolic Syndrome (HEPADIP), Center grant; DKK 89 520 000
  • 2007-11 Danish Strategic Research Council: Danish Obesity Research Centre (DanORC, Center grant; DKK 40 000 000
  • 2010-15 Danish Strategic Research Council: Gene-diet interactions in obesity; DKK 23 145 300

Total number of publications are 1038, of which 672 are original articles (3 in press), 110 reviews (2 in press), 31 editorials, and 225 miscellaneous articles (not including abstracts). I have 9 papers (7 original articles, 2 editorials) in New England Journal of Medicine, the journal with the highest impact factor (72.5). Bibliometric analysis (April 2021) based on Web of Science gave an H index at 97. 

Note about publication strategy: My authorship/co-authorship always implies to the extent possible fulfilment of the requirements of the ICMJE ( During the recent decade, I very rarely have had the duties of the first author, and my preferred position in the author sequence has been second last in cases, where I had a senior responsibility together with the last author. I prefer to publish in international peer-reviewed open-access journals with rapid editorial and technical processing and allowance for extensive supplementary documentations, and without any editorial constraints by space, area or topics, served readerships, expected citation rates, and apparent news values. In spite of their impact in the real world, all these aspects are in my opinion irrelevant in scientific communication, the focus of which should be to present the research in such a way that its contribution to advancement of our knowledge is clear.

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