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Fish Immunologist appointed as professor at Department of Animal Science

Niels Lorenzen from the Department of Animal Science, Aarhus University, has been appointed as professor with effect from 1 November 2013.

[Translate to English:] Niels Lorenzen er blevet udpeget til ny professor på Institut for Husdyrvidenskab ved Aarhus Universitet.

Research into fish health became an integral part of the Department of Animal Science in mid-2013 when a former section at the Technical University of Denmark was moved to Aarhus University. Now the very same research group will have a new professor, since the leader of the unit, 53-year-old Niels Lorenzen, was appointed as professor of host-pathogen interactions in fish with effect from 1 November 2013.


Niels Lorenzen welcomes the appointment, which he hopes will have a positive effect on his efforts on attracting external research funding.


- A professorship can help to set applications for external financing into perspective, but otherwise I first and foremost perceive the appointment as a professional recognition of our research activities, he says.


Niels Lorenzen has spent years working on fish immunology research with special focus on how the fish defind themselves against viruses, and how protection against disease can be established by vaccination.

Niels Lorenzen has extensive experience as a partner and manager of collaborative research projects and has, for example, headed the EC FP6 project "IMAQUANIM" from 2005-2010, which included 22 partners and a support of  8 million euros from the European Commission.


Currently, his unit that consists of approx. 10 members of staff is participating in a large new EC FP7 project in addition to several Danish research projects – these include e.g.  "HabFish", which focuses on elucidating and preventing the impact of toxic algae on aquaculture fish, and "ProFish" where Niels Lorenzen and his colleagues are seeking to develop improved vaccination strategies for the marine farming of rainbow trout.


Despite the focus on fish, Niels Lorenzen also sees promising perspectives with his research in the prevention of disease in other animals, and here the new anchoring in a department that works with farm animals on many levels will be interesting.


- The vaccine concepts and strategies that we work on in the Fish Health group are based on fundamental technologies that can also be tested in other animals such as cattle and pigs. There are many exciting prospects in cross-species research where the elucidation of specialised and general mechanisms significantly improves our understanding of how animal and human immune systems work, states Niels Lorenzen.


The head of the department, Klaus Lønne Ingvartsen, is thrilled that the appointment of Niels Lorenzen increases the number of professors in the department to six.


- We are delighted with the appointment of Niels Lorenzen as a professor. He is in charge of an important and exciting field of research, which we hope can be further developed and expanded in the coming years. Niels has many years’ experience in research, carried out at a high level, and the post is fully deserved, says Klaus Lønne Ingvartsen.


An inaugural lecture will be held in connection with the appointment and is scheduled for 31 January 2014.


The title of the lecture, which will take place at 13:00 hours in the Auditorium at Blichers Allé 20, 8830 Tjele, is: "Vaccination of fish: Feasibility and rationale".


Further information: Professor Niels Lorenzen, unit for Fish Health, Department of Animal Science, telephone: +45 2552 0730, email: niels.lorenzen@agrsci.dk


CV - Niels Lorenzen


Professional experience


2013 - Professor at the Department of Animal Science


2013-2013 - Senior scientist at the Department of Animal Science


1995-2013 – Senior scientist at the National Veterinary Institute, DTU


1991-1995 – Post doc Scientist at the Danish Biotechnology Centre for Livestock and Fish Production


1988-1990 – PhD student at the Danish Biotechnology Centre for Fish Biology




1988 - Master's degree in biology from the University of Copenhagen


1991 – PhD from University of Copenhagen