This year’s Marie and August Krogh Prize of DKK 1.5 million is awarded to Christian Torp-Pedersen – professor, senior physician, MD and specialist in internal medicine and cardiology – for his immense research effort throughout a long career. The prize is awarded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation and the Organization of Danish Medical Societies.
“I prefer everyday life to parties,” says Torp-Pedersen. Every morning he rides his bicycle to Lyngby station, north of Copenhagen, where he takes the train to Nordsjællands Hospital in Hillerød. There he is joined by “ambitious, talented and friendly people,” and at the end of the day, he cycles back home to his wife. “The perfect day, if you ask me,” he says with a smile.
Still, he will have to put up with the celebrations now that he is being awarded the Marie and August Krogh Prize of DKK 1.5 million for his many years of substantial and pioneering research. Torp-Pedersen has helped establish new treatment methods in heart failure, arrhythmia and cardiac arrest, and his research has influenced many international guidelines for treatment of heart disorders. Not only is he co-author of more than a thousand peer-reviewed articles in international journals, but since 2014, he has also been on the recognised Clarivate Analytics (formerly Thomson Reuters) list of the most highly cited researchers in the world.
A beacon in the research environment
There is no doubt that Torp-Pedersen has a significant role in the research environment. He heads a network of around 300 researchers from Danish hospitals who are connected to servers at Statistics Denmark and carry out research based on national registers.
“Being so many, it’s truly an impressive team effort to produce the research articles,” he says, referring to the 150 publications he has co-authored annually.
Currently, he is involved in studies in the field of anticoagulant treatment for kidney patients and patients with arrhythmia, treatment with beta blockers for coronary thrombosis and citizen responders who help people with cardiac arrest. “I have many ambitions for the future,” he says. “For instance, I want to do more research into the role of female hormones in heart diseases.”
Torp-Pedersen is also heavily involved in developing new research talents and has supervised more than 50 doctoral students.
“I systematically try to equip the PhD students I supervise to become capable clinical epidemiologists,” he says. By the time they graduate, he wants them to have acquired an understanding of interdisciplinary collaboration, methodology, statistics and scientific writing.
“I try to create an environment where they are able to teach themselves to become good researchers. That doesn’t mean that I don’t give all sorts of advice and guidance, but some of the advice I give is that you should never do as your supervisor says. Obviously, they should take it in, but they should never accept it without raising questions,” he says.
Extraordinary career in research
Although Torp-Pedersen prefers the more mundane side of life, he is grateful to be awarded the Marie and August Krogh Prize. “It’s wonderful to be recognised by one’s peers; I truly appreciate it,” he says.
Susanne Axelsen, Senior Medical Officer and chairman of the Organization of Danish Medical Societies, which serves as the prize committee, says: “Christian Torp-Pedersen is one of those shining examples of an extraordinary research career. Not ‘only’ has he been extremely productive as a researcher, but he has also had a real impact on the development of many new research talents. His work is impressive and of inestimable value for patients in Denmark and worldwide. I am extremely pleased that this year’s prize goes to Christian Torp-Pedersen.”
Torp-Pedersen will receive the prize at the Organization of Danish Medical Societies annual conference on 25 January 2024.
About the Marie and August Krogh Prize
The Marie and August Krogh Prize was established in 1969 and is awarded annually to an outstanding health researcher in Denmark.
The Novo Nordisk Foundation and the Organization of Danish Medical Societies award the 1.5 million DKK prize, comprising a personal award of 250,000 DKK and a research grant of 1.25 million DKK. The Board of the Organization acts as the prize committee, and the Foundation provides the accompanying funds.
Affiliated members of the Organization of Danish Medical Societies may nominate candidates for the prize.
About the Organization of Danish Medical Societies
The Organization of Danish Medical Societies is an umbrella organisation for the 127 medical societies in Denmark and represents nearly 26,000 members. The objective of the Organization is to promote medical science in Denmark and to manage the overall interests of its constituent societies in relation to Denmark’s health authorities and national health policies. The Organization also promotes an understanding of Danish medical science and medical research in the public sector. The Organization was founded in 1919 as the Danish Medical Society.