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Prize recipient has put Danish research on heart disease on the world map

Hans Erik Bøtker from Aarhus University Hospital is receiving the 2019 Hagedorn Prize for his research on heart disease and his other contributions to this field. The Prize is accompanied by DKK 1.5 million.

Throughout his career, Hans Erik Bøtker has put his passion and expertise into understanding how the human heart works and what happens when it does not. This has led to several innovative insights and technical initiatives that have increased the potential of surviving a heart attack.

In addition, many researchers and physicians have benefited from Hans Erik Bøtker’s expert guidance as PhD students or doctoral students, and he has managed to put Danish heart research on the world map through his network of international collaborators.

Hans Erik Bøtker, Professor and Chief Physician, Aarhus University Hospital, is receiving the 2019 Hagedorn Prize for his untiring research and his passion for educating the next generation of experts. The Prize is accompanied by DKK 1.5 million and is awarded annually to recognize excellent research or development efforts within internal medicine in Denmark.

The Danish Society of Internal Medicine and the Novo Nordisk Foundation award the Prize. The Prize also includes the Hagedorn Medal.

“I am both proud and touched to be receiving this Prize, which I really did not expect, because I received the Marie and August Krogh Prize last year. I did not think that you could receive both Prizes,” says Hans Erik Bøtker.

A major impact on heart research in Denmark and internationally

Hans Erik Bøtker’s achievements speak for themselves. In the course of 35 years as a doctor and researcher, he has published 441 scientific articles in highly respected journals and supervised 37 PhD students and four doctoral students at his laboratory or at the Department of Cardiology of Aarhus University Hospital.

Hans Erik Bøtker’s research has also had a major impact on international heart research. The following are three highlights of his career.

  • The discovery that applying a blood pressure cuff to the arm of patients experiencing a heart attack can substantially increase their chances of surviving the event and lowering their risk of subsequent ill effects. Hans Erik Bøtker’s initial work in Aarhus has recently expanded into a major international research collaboration, which potentially can change practice among all ambulance personnel worldwide when they are called to patients having a heart attack.
  • The development of a method for measuring glucose uptake in the myocardium (heart muscle). The metabolism of the heart was largely unknown until Hans Erik Bøtker launched into this field and developed methods to quantify the glucose uptake in the myocardium. This method has enabled the glucose intake to be measured when oxygen is lacking and enabled the discovery that various types of medication for people with diabetes not only help them to control their metabolic disease but also protect their hearts.
  • The establishment of algorithms for diagnosing coronary artery spasm disease and microvascular angina pectoris and improved treatment of these diseases.

“These are the three highlights of my career of which I am most proud. Of course, I have not been alone in carrying out the research. I have been fortunate to be surrounded by talented colleagues and talented students, and I have stood on the shoulders of the talented researchers who preceded me,” says Hans Erik Bøtker.

Chosen based on his commitment to PhD students

The collaboration with colleagues in Denmark and abroad and the commitment to guiding the researchers and physicians of the future are among the reasons why the Danish Society of Internal Medicine selected Hans Erik Bøtker to receive the 2019 Hagedorn Prize.

The Chair of the Danish Society of Internal Medicine, Pia Nimann Kannegaard, says: “Hans Erik Bøtker’s internationally recognized and extensive research speaks for itself, but in selecting Hans Erik Bøtker as the recipient of the 2019 Hagedorn Prize, the Board of the Danish Society of Internal Medicine has also emphasized Hans Erik Bøtker’s great importance for his field. Through his great activity as a supervisor, Hans Erik Bøtker has been crucial for many younger colleagues.”

About Hans Erik Bøtker

Hans Erik Bøtker is Clinical Professor at Aarhus University and Chief Physician at Aarhus University Hospital. He is also an expert adviser in internal medicine: cardiology for the Danish Health Authority.

He received an MD degree in 1983 and PhD degree in 1995. He has been a specialist physician in cardiology and internal medicine since 1999. He has been a physician at Aarhus University Hospital since 1990 and became Chief Physician in the Department of Cardiology in 2002.

In addition to the 2019 Hagedorn Prize, Hans Henrik Bøtker has received the 2018 Marie and August Krogh Prize, the 2012 Odd Fellow Order Research Prize and the 2005 Research Prize from the Danish Society of Cardiology.

About the Hagedorn Prize

The Hagedorn Prize was established by the Danish Society of Internal Medicine in 1966 and is awarded at the Society’s annual general meeting to recognize excellent research or development efforts within internal medicine in Denmark. The accompanying award of DKK 1.5 million includes a personal award of DKK 250,000 and an award for research or development work of DKK 1.25 million. The Prize also includes the Hagedorn Medal.

About the Danish Society of Internal Medicine
The Danish Society of Internal Medicine (DSIM), which has almost 4500 members , is an umbrella organization for the nine internal medicine specialties in Denmark. DSIM aims to promote scientific research in internal medicine and the continuing education of the specialist physicians in internal medicine.

DSIM was established in 1916 and has a Board of Directors of nine members selected by the boards of each of the nine internal medicine specialities.

Further information

Hans Erik Bøtker, phone: +45 4029 3389, [email protected]

Christian Mostrup Scheel, Senior Press Officer, phone: +45 3067 4805, [email protected]