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Steering Group

Rudi Westendorp

Principal Investigator


As a medical doctor and professor of medicine in old age, Rudi has extensive experience in clinical practice as well as research on ageing. He also authored inspiring books on growing older, including a bestseller ‘Growing Older without Feeling Old: On Vitality and Ageing’ that has been translated into nine languages. As co-director of Center for Healthy Aging, University of Copenhagen, he performs state-of-the-art, interdisciplinary education and research. Combining biological, medical, economic, and societal insights, Rudi explores ageing and vitality from cells to society to pursue innovations that can help enable people to live healthier for longer.

Jeanette Therming Jørgensen

Post doc & project manager

More: Copenhagen University

Laust Hvas Mortensen

Data & Epidemiology

LinkedIn: laust-mortensen-627a8073

As chief advisor in the Office of Methodology and Analysis at Statistics Denmark, Laust constantly explores new ways in producing evidence base from population registers. He aims to further utilize and combine all available data across topics to turn data in to knowledge to the benefit of the society. Statistics Denmark is committed to providing safe and secure access to the data repositories and methodological expertise necessary to conduct the analyses. Having previously worked in academia, Laust has years of experience in epidemiology, most notably social and perinatal epidemiology, and managing various research projects.

Majken Karoline Jensen

Epidemiology into Biology of Ageing


Majken is an associate professor of Genetic Epidemiology & Nutrition at the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health and will be professor of epidemiology into biology of ageing at Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen. Her research includes identification and evaluation of biomarkers and novel metabolic markers of cardiometabolic diseases. She also works with investigations of lifestyle and diet in combination with high-dimensional methods (genome-wide association studies, metabolomics and proteomics) in observational epidemiology. Her work also involves advancement of methodological approaches for the epidemiological investigation of biomarkers in chronic diseases (Mendelian Randomization, pathway analyses, and layering of high-dimensional data) in traditional observational study design.

Zorana Jovanovic Andersen

Environmental Epidemiology


Zorana is Professor in Environmental Epidemiology and Leader of Environmental Epidemiology Group at the Section of Environmental Health, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen. Her main research area is within health effects related to exposure to air pollution, both short- and long-term, and has worked with a number of health outcomes, including asthma in children, chronic respiratory and cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and all-cause and cause specific mortality. She mainly works with large Danish nationwide register data, and cohorts including Diet, Cancer and Health Cohort and Danish Nurse Cohort, and actively participates in European projects ESCAPE and ELAPSE.

Morten Scheibye-Knudsen

Ageing Interventions


As a medical doctor, associate professor, and research group leader at the Center for Healthy Aging, University of Copenhagen, Morten’s work focuses on the very basic building blocks of life: our DNA. Particularly, he studies on how damages in our DNA may contribute to age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and cardiovascular diseases. He combines both computer modeling and laboratory experiments to better understand the ageing process. With this knowledge, he aims to modify the consequences of ageing by developing interventions that will allow everyone to live healthier, happier, and more productive lives.

Pernille Tranberg

Public outreach & data ethics

LinkedIn: pernilletranberg

Pernille is an independent advisor on data and AI ethics, data understanding, data democracy and digital selfdefense for companies, authorities, organisations and individuals. She is co-founder of the European think-tank and she has written 8 books: the latest is ‘A Data Democracy Come With Individual Data Control’ (2021), and ‘DataEthics – The New Competitive Advantage’ (2016) with Gry Hasselbalch. She co-authored with Steffan Heuer ‘Fake It’ (2012, Peoples Press) about big data and digital self-defense. She holds a Master in journalism from Columbia University in New York City and is a former tech and investigative reporter at Politiken and editor-in-chief of a Danish consumer magasine Tænk.

Mette Nordahl Svendsen

Personalised Medicine


As an anthropologist, Mette explores how human life is evolving in light of new advances in modern biomedicine. In her role as professor in the Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, she combines anthropology, sociology, science and technology studies to investigate how tailoring prevention and treatment to individuals shape the relationship between citizen and society and pose ethical challenges. Within the context of ageing, personalised medicine is increasingly gaining importance due to the stark differences in the needs and capabilities of one older person to another. Mette’s work will help facilitate a socially robust integration of personalised health care in the context of ageing populations. Considering that the CHALLENGE platform aims to contribute to personalized medicine, all ethical conducts are monitored by Mette’s project ”Personalized Medicine in the Danish Welfare State (MeInWe)”

Lene Juel Rasmussen

Genetic Origins of Ageing


Lene is a professor and also executive director at the interdisciplinary Center for Healthy Aging at University of Copenhagen. The center was launched in recognition of the challenges and opportunities due to increasing life expectancy in nowadays ageing population. The overarching aim is for the citizens to live longer, healthier lives and for the society to benefit from the citizens’ extended, active contributions. Lene’s own research focuses on unraveling the complex genetic origins of ageing and the development of age-related diseases, as well as the impact of environmental factors on human cells.

Theis Lange

Statistical Analysis


Theis is an associate professor in biostatistics and vice head of Department of Public Health. His research involves theoretical research within statistics as well as a wide range of applied collaborations with medical doctors, epidemiologists, psychologists, etc. His theoretical work is focused on developing methods that allow us to draw causal conclusions from observational data. The novelty of his methods was recognized when he was awarded the 2012 Kenneth Rothman Prize. Until the summer of 2019 he held a dual position at Section of Biostatistics, University of Copenhagen and Center for Statistical Science, Peking University. He has also served on the Danish Heart Association and Statistics Denmark research boards, as well as having worked in the private sector BeiGene, a Chinese company working on novel oncology treatments, as their senior statistical methodology expert.