Inauguration day: 18 new Honorary Skou Professors for Health

18 new Honorary Skou Professors from all over the world received a warm welcome from their champions and were formally inaugurated as honorary professors by Dean Anne-Mette Hvas at a ceremony in the Merete Barker Auditorium. See the photos here.

Honorary Skou Professors and Champions
14 of the 18 new Honorary Skou Professors had made their way to the Inauguration Day in the Lakeside Lecture Theatres, and so had 10 of the reappointed Skou Professors from 2019. Here they are, along with their champions and parts of the Faculty Management Team. Photo: Lars Kruse

About the Honorary Skou Professors

  • The objectives of the Honorary Skou initiative are to introduce new perspectives to teaching, strengthen relations with leading research units abroad and establish joint research projects and funding applications.
  • The Honorary Skou professors all come from the top-100 universities around the world and they are recognised experts within their respective fields.
  • Each Honorary Skou professor has a so-called champion affiliated – a colleague from within the same academic field who comes from one of the departments. The affiliated champion acts as host for his or her Skou professor and ensures that the international colleague is integrated in the academic environments and that the collaboration gets off to a smooth start.
  • In 2019, Health appointed 47 Honorary Skou professors. The 18 newly appointed Skou professors are now joining the original group. See the full list of Skou professors on the faculty website:
  • Since 2019, the international Skou professors have taught on PhD courses, contributed to joint research projects, been co-supervisors on PhD projects, held journal clubs, been co-applicants for funding and much more. Read or re-read the article on the evaluation of the first three years with Honorary Skou professors.

Tuesday 3 October 2023 marked a festive kick-off for stronger collaboration across national and academic borders. In the spring, 18 top international researchers were appointed as honorary professors at Health, and 14 of them made their way to Aarhus to be officially inaugurated as the faculty's Honorary Skou Professors at an elegant but unpretentious ceremony.

The departments and the Skou Professors' Danish collaborators (their champions, as they are called) hosted the first part of the Inauguration Day, which included everything from clinic and lab visits to lectures and guided tours.

At 14:00, the joint programme began in the Merete Barker Auditorium, where, besides welcoming the audience with a brief introduction to Aarhus University and the Faculty of Health Sciences, Dean Anne-Mette Hvas also reiterated how important research collaboration and mutual exchange had been for Nobel Prize Laureate Jens Christian Skou, after whom the honorary title is named:

“Significant results are nearly always achieved by a joint effort, with many scientists all over the world contributing to a common discovery,” quoted Anne-Mette Hvas from Jens Christian Skou’s memoirs and stated: “This sentiment is at the core of our Academy of Honorary Skou Professors.”

Subsequently, five of the new Honorary Skou Professors - one affiliated with each of Health's five departments - presented their research area for ten minutes and demonstrated the breadth and depth of research and teaching collaborations called for by the Honorary Skou initiative. The presentations were moderated by Professor Cecilia Høst Ramlau-Hansen from the Department of Public Health and Christian Lindholst, head of the Department of Forensic Medicine.

Afterwards, snacks were served at a reception in the Lakeside Lecture Theatres, and the day ended with a dinner at AROS for the Skou Professors and their champions.

List of Health’s 18 new Honorary Skou Professors:

Department of Dentistry and Oral health

  • Carlalberta Verna, University of Basel
    • Champion: Peter Stoustrup
  • Egija Zaura, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam
    • Champion: Irene Dige and Anne Birkeholm Jensen
  • Falk Schwendicke, Charité University Medicine Berlin
    • Champion: Jan Wolff
  • Hyun (Michel) Koo, University of Pennsylvania
    • Champion: Sebastian Schlafer

Department of Public Health

  • Ann Bonner, Griffith University
    • Champion: Jeanette Finderup
  • Håkan Westerblad, Karolinska Instituttet
    • Champion: Kristian Overgaard
  • Anna Peeters, Deakin University
    • Champion: Helle Terkildsen Maindal

Department of Clinical Medicine

  • Christian Otte, Charité University Medicine Berlin
    • Champion: Ole Köhler-Forsberg
  • Christoph U Correll, Charité University Medicine Berlin
    • Champion: Søren Dinesen Østergaard
  • David Burgner, University of Melbourne
    • Champion: Lars Henning Pedersen
  • Ferdia Aidan Gallagher, Cambridge University
    • Champion: Christoffer Laustsen
  • Timothy L. Lash, Emory University
    • Champion: Deirdre Cronin-Fenton:
  • Andrew Harkin, Trinity College Dublin
    • Champion: Cecilie Bay-Richter
  • Simon Lal, University of Manchester
    • Champion: Christian Lodberg Hvas

Department of Forensic Medicine

  • Dirk Trauner, University of Pennsylvania
    • Champion: Steffen Sinning

Department of Biomedicine


International Advisor Tanja Hansen
Aarhus University, HE Administrative Centre - Dean’s Secretariat
Mobile: +45 93508108