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New professor of lifestyle and cancer joins Aarhus University

Senior researcher and group leader at the Danish Cancer Society Anja Olsen has been appointed as Aarhus University’s new professor of lifestyle and cancer.

The appointment as professor at the Department of Public Health was made on the basis of Anja Olsen’s strong research career in precisely lifestyle and cancer. Much of her research is based on the Danish Cancer Society’s large-scale population study “Diet, Cancer and Health”, which has, thanks in part to Anja Olsen’s research, provided important knowledge about the causes of cancer.

Anja Olsen's research has demonstrated how wholegrains affect our health and that wholegrains can reduce the risk of developing bowel cancer. Another of her research fields covers plant oestrogens which are hormone-like substances found in many of the plants we eat. In this field Anja Olsen has conducted research into whether there is a correlation between plant oestrogens and in particular breast cancer and its development, while also focusing on the prognosis for women who have breast cancer.

Professorship strengthens research

In recent years, the “Diet, Cancer and Health” population study has been continued with the establishment of the population study “Diet, Cancer and Health – Next Generations”, in which the children and grandchildren of the original participants have been invited to take part.

This means that knowledge and biological samples that transcend generations and years are now available. Knowledge and samples that provide unique opportunities to learn about how our lifestyle affects us from generation to generation and to study the correlation with completely new life-style related conditions such as e.g. intestinal bacteria. However, managing this type of epidemiological data is extremely complex – and this is an area in which researchers at Department of Publich Health can make a big difference.

"Aarhus University has a strong environment for methodological epidemiology and this will be a valuable tool for future research based on ‘Diet, Cancer and Health – Next Generations’. For myself personally, I’m really looking forward to the collaboration and to the new opportunities it gives to learn and absorb new knowledge. An exciting opportunity with new colleagues and relations," says Anja Olsen.

With her appointment at Aarhus University, Anja Olsen will be affiliated with the Department of Public Health while simultaneously remaining in her position as group leader in the Danish Cancer Society Research Center.


Professor Anja Olsen
Aarhus University, Department of Public Health
Mobile: (+45) 3525 7606
Email: anja@cancer.dk