Aarhus University Seal

Meet the THOR team

Atherosclerotic vascular diseases are the leading cause of death and disabilities in the world. Although a range of different drugs are available to lower the risk factors for the diseases – i.e. treatments for high cholesterol and blood pressure, it is immensely important that new treatment strategies are identified. The THOR team holds expertise within the areas of atherosclerosis, smooth muscle cells, genetics and drug development. Together they aim to identify key disease mechanisms involving smooth muscle cells, which can be targeted in the treatment of these diseases.

PETER LOOF MØLLER is a PhD student at the Department of Biomedicine with a background in molecular medicine. His research focus is genetic fine mapping, i.e. using an array of statistical genetics analysis to move from risk gene to function. His role is to analyse genetic data from the UK Biobank and Dan Nicad to identify rare risk variants with large effect on disease risk.

SIDSEL HAUGE BØTTCHER is a medical student. Her role is to analyse images from coronary CT scans to determine detailed plaque composition in patients from the DAN Nicad trials as well as assisting in expanding the Dan NICAD biobank.

METTE NYEGAARD is an associate professor at the Department of Biomedicine with a background in human genetics. Her research focus is how genetic variation shapes human health. Mette’s role is to coordinate the genetic part of the THOR project and providing the strongest genetic findings from existing and new large datasets, including findings from well-characterized patients in the DAN-Nicad cohort.

JULIAN ALBARRÁN JUÁREZ is a vascular biology scientist and assistant professor at Department of Clinical Medicine with expertise in smooth muscle cell function and biomechanics. Together with LISA MARIA RØGE, who is a biomedical laboratory technologist, he will manipulate genes in human smooth muscle cells in several assays designed to model key functions in atherosclerosis.

JACOB FOG BENTZON is a professor of experimental atherosclerosis at the Department of Clinical Medicine. His role is to coordinate the experimental part of the project and integrate findings into the current understanding of atherosclerosis pathophysiology. 

MICHAEL NYBERG is head of THE Heart and Vascular Biology department at Novo Nordisk A/S, which is a leading developer of drugs for cardiometabolic disease. He leads a team that will analyze gene expression in human plaques and assess the druggability and safety profiles of candidate target genes. The team includes cell biologists GIULIA BORGHETTI, KATE HERUM, ANNA URYGA, and JULIAN BACHMANN whose combined experience covers all relevant cardiovascular cell types involved in atherosclerosis. Furthermore, DJORDE DJORDEVIC will provide bioinformatic support to the project.

Read more about the first five projects funded in ODIN.