New Team of Professors Places Denmark at the Forefront Within Children’s Surgery – University of Copenhagen

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02 May 2019

New Team of Professors Places Denmark at the Forefront Within Children’s Surgery

Grant

A DKK 60-million grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation has paved the way for the recruitment of three professors at the Department of Clinical Medicine at SUND and Rigshospitalet. The new team of professors will place Denmark at the forefront within three fields: tissue reconstruction, treatment of foetuses and treatment of children suffering from heart disease.


As of 1 May and 1 June, the three professional spearheads, Professor Magdalena Fossum, Professor Olav Bjørn Petersen and Professor Vibeke E. Hjortdal, have been engaged by SUND and Rigshospitalet to help place Denmark at the forefront within reconstruction surgery (treatment with own tissue), research, diagnostics and treatment of foetuses (foetal therapy) and heart disease in children and young people.

The professorships were realised thanks to a DKK 60-million grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The goal is to ensure continued development of Rigshospitalet’s highly specialised functions within the three fields and to establish an international centre of excellence for children’s surgery in the Capital Region of Denmark through close collaboration between SUND and Rigshospitalet.

As the only hospital in Denmark, Rigshospitalet offers highly specialised surgery for children and young people within all medical specialties. In 2025, treatment of all children and young people will be compiled in the new hospital building, BørneRiget. This is a unique opportunity to strengthen collaboration on research, treatment and education within the fields of surgery, paediatrics and anaesthesiology.

’BørneRiget does not open until 2025, but the fact that we are able to hire the professors at this early stage says something about the main function of BørneRiget, namely to gather all children and young people under one roof and coordinate diagnostics, research and development across specialties and professions of benefit to children, young people, women in labour and their families. The grant provided by the Novo Nordisk Foundation is a unique opportunity to further develop and future-proof research on foetal therapy and children and young people suffering from heart disease and to develop and implement modern tissue techniques such as reconstruction therapy’, says Professor at the Department of Clinical Medicine and Medical Director at BørneRiget Bent Ottesen.

The three newly appointed professors have research experience from Karolinska University Hospital and Aarhus University Hospital, and they each have large national and international networks, which together with the existing research and development at SUND and Rigshospitalet will help make Denmark a leading international player within diagnostics and treatment of foetuses, treatment and follow-up of children suffering from heart disease and reconstruction therapy.

The vision behind BørneRiget is to create a forum for treating children, young people and families from all over the country, which is just as exploratory as learning, and which combines research, care, education and treatment. The objective is to create a safe environment for treatment with room for playing, personal attention and distractions, enabling the families to lead as normal and safe a life as possible during birth, hospitalisation and treatment.

Read more about the three researchers here (in Danish).