Staff – University of Copenhagen

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Lars Ove Dragsted

Lars Ove Dragsted

Professor, Head of Section

  • Preventive and Clinical Nutrition

    Rolighedsvej 30, 1958 Frederiksberg C

Education 1981: M.Sc. in Biochemistry 1994: Ph.D. in Biochemical Toxicology

Employment 1981 -1984: Chemist, Danish Institute of Occupational Health 1984 - 1988: Research assistant, Laboratory of Environment and Health, Fibiger Institute, Danish Cancer Society 1988 - 2001. Head of Laboratory for Biochemical and Genetic Toxicology at the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, Institute of Food Safety and Toxicology. 2002-2003. Head of Department, Biochemical Toxicology and Molecular Biology at the Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition, Danish Veterinary and Food Administration. 2004-2006. Research Professor in Toxicology, Danish Institute for Food and Veterinary Research. 2007-2014 Professor mso in Biomedicine and Nutrigenomics, Department of Human Nutrition, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen. 2015- Full Professor and head of section for Bioactive Foods in Health and Disease, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen.

Research fields Bioactive compounds in food with an ability to prevent or alter the risk of life style disease. Early nutrition-related studies are focused on health effects of fruit, vegetables and on organoselenium compounds. More recent work is focusing on the development and application of biomarkers for intake also of other specific kinds of food and for their effects on health. The establishment of an LC-MS based metabolomics platform and an experimental bio-bank has had particular focus in the last years.

Markers are applied primarily in human studies, including dietary intervention studies, environmental studies and biobank-based cohort studies.

Other tasks Graduate and post-graduate teaching of students in areas of nutrition, metabolomics biochemistry, and toxicology related to bioactive food components.

Present chairman of the participants assembly in the Nutrigenomics Organization (2014- ) and member of the Scientific Advisory Board for JPI-HDHL (2015-).

Member of several national and international expert working groups on bioactives. Member of International Editorial Board for Food and Chemical Toxicology.

Current/recent research projects

MetAl, Metabolic effects of Alcohol, is a post-doc project for Rastislav Monosik funded by the Carlsberg Foundation starting Jan 2015. The aim is to set up a panel of biomarkers for alcohol intake and early biological effects and for intake of alcohol containing beverages covering different absorption and excretion kinetics. The purpose is to be able to use these markers with a variety of human samples to provide a tool for different sciences, where alcohol use and abuse are of interest, including health and social sciences, and humanities.

FoodBAll, the Food Biomarker Alliance, is an activity under the Bio-NH call of the Joint Programming Initiative, A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life, was launched in December 2014 for a 3-year period, during which each partner is funded by their country-specific strategic research councils. Lars O. Dragsted is a Danish partner and WP leader. The background is that dietary assessment methods are currently subjective and better tools are needed to improve the quality of nutritional studies. FoodBAll aims to identify, validate and organize food intake and nutrient biomarkers for use in nutrition research. The primary tool for identifying new biomarkers of intake is untargeted metabolomics. The research in food intake biomarkers has recently been reviewed.

DASH-IN, Data Sharing Initiative, is an activity under the ENPADASI call of the Joint Programming Initiative, A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life, was launched in December 2014 for a 2-year period, during which each partner is funded by their country-specific strategic research councils. Lars O. Dragsted is a Danish partner and WP leader. The background is that a large number of publicly funded studies in nutrition result in useful data beyond their primary purpose and this data can and should be shared more broadly between researchers, however databases for this purpose are not available. The consortium will set up a nutritional study database where is will be possible to share data from partner studies. The purpose is to set up a prototype database, include a number of partner studies and showcase the potentials of better data sharing between research groups in Europe or even across the world.

PREVIEW, Prevention of diabetes through lifestyle Intervention and population studies in Europe and around the World, is an European research integrated project funded under FP7 and launched in Jan 2013. It includes a 3-year multicentre study on the effects of a high-protein, low GI diet on diabetes. The project is coordinated by Anne Raben, NEXS. Our role is to investigate biomarkers of compliance, of dietary effects and biomarkers potentially related to colon cancer risk.

CWS, Copenhagen Womens Study, coordinated by Erik Richter was launched in 2013 to facilitate research collaboration across the faculties at the University of Copenhagen. The focus is on the effects of exercise on health around and after menopause. Our role is to investigate biomarkers of exercise, of compliance and of dietary effects.

Metabeer, Metabolomics of Beer intake, is a study coordinated by Lars Ove Dragsted and launched in December 2012 to investigate potential intake biomarkers of beer intake based on a meal trial. The project is funded by the Carlsberg Breweries.

UNIK, Food Fitness and Pharma for Health and Disease, was a project running 2009-2014 coordinated by Thue Schwarz and funded by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education to increase the capacity for intra-university synergy. The project was a large, interdisciplinary research initiative at University of Copenhagen, which aimed to understand, prevent and treat lifestyle diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes. Our role was to set up an experimental biobank (CUBE) and to investigate effects on insulin sensitivity and satiety of advanced glycation endproducts (AGE’s)and fiber and to validate incretin biomarkers.

OPUS, ‘Optimal well-being, development and health for Danish children through a healthy New Nordic Diet’ was running from 2009 till 2013, funded by the Nordea Foundation and coordinated by Arne Astrup. The major focus was the investigation of the New Nordic Diet, a diet defined to be at the same time healthy, sustainable, respecting Nordic food culture and not least, tasty. The study included several dietary intervention studies. Our role was to help define the New Nordic Diet and to find biomarkers of dietary intake in order to assess compliance.

SYSDIET, ‘Systems biology in controlled dietary interventions and cohort studies’, was a Nordic Centre of Excellence running from 2007-2012 and funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers. A multicentre study with a healthy Nordic diet according to recommendations was conducted within this collaboration. Our role was to investigate by metabolomics the markers of a healthy Nordic diet and after fiber-rich or whole-grain foods and the variation across countries of dietary markers.

PROF, was a study conducted in 2011-2012 together with Chr. Hansen A/S to investigate health effects of a well-defined probiotic strain.

DANORC, The Danish Obesity Research Centre, was funded by the Danish Strategic Research Council and coordinated by Thorkil I.A. Sørensen 2007-2011. Several metabolomics studies based on a trans-fat intervention and on an observational study, the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort were initiated through this project.

NuBI - Nutritional Biomics and Innovation, Funded by the Danish Ministry of Agriculture (coordinator 2007-2010); This project laid the foundation for visions of data fusion and data sharing that have recently led to work on forecasting breast cancer risk and to participation in the Dash-In project.

ISAFRUIT (EU FP6), a large integrated project on fruit; coordinator of the fruit and health pillar - 2006- 2010. This project supported human and animal trials with fruit and fruit products related to cancer and cardiovascular risk factors, including metabolic profiling studies of collected samples.

BEST – Build a Healthy Diet – (2006-2009) was a project funded by the former Faculty of LIFE Sciences to improve collaboration across departments. The project supported investments in equipment for LC-MS metabolomics to investigate effects of fibre intake and laid the ground for establishing a metabolomics platform at the department.

YESSEL and other selenium projects on selenium and enzyme induction - funded by the Danish Research Councils, WP leader 2004-2008

Links to additional information Full publication list

ID: 986471