Jan Sørensen

Jan Sørensen

Professor emeritus

Jan Sørensen (JS) was born in 1950. Cand. Scient (1974), Lic. Scient. (1979) and Dr. Scient. (1989) from University of Aarhus. The MSc thesis deals with phosphorus cycling in lake sediments. The topic of the Licentiate thesis (now PhD thesis) is bacterial denitrification in the seafloor. The experimental work was carried out at Aarhus University, Department of Genetics and Microbiology, under the supervision of Prof. T. Henry Blackburn. The following year, JS was Postdoctoral Fellow at Prof. J.M. Tiedje's laboratory, Crop and Soil Sciences, Michigan State University, where he studied the pathway of bacterial denitrification using the short-lived N-13 radioisotope. From 1979 to 1989, JS was Associate Professor at Aarhus University, Department of Genetics and Microbiology, where he worked on a number of microbial processes forming the oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, iron and sulfur cycling in marine sediments. The doctoral thesis of JS is based on this work. In 1989, JS came to Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University (since 2007 University of Copenhagen) as Professor of General Microbiology and Microbial Ecology. Since 2006, JS has been director of the Center for Environmental and Agricultural Microbiology - VKR Center of Excellence (CREAM - Center for Miljø- og Jordbundsmikrobiologi, see http://www.cream.life.ku.dk), supported by a 43 million DKK grant from Villum Kann Rasmussen Foundation (now Villum Foundation). Since 2006, JS has also headed the DANIDA project Integrated Disease and Nutrient Management in Rice Production Systems (Vietnam) supported by a 11 million DKK grant. In 2012, JS has become head of the Copenhagen Microbiology Center (CMC), University of Copenhagen (website under construction, see http://www.microbiology.ku.dk) where the goal is to strengthen microbiological research at the university. JS is chairman of the Danish organising committee for International Society for Microbial Ecology Symposium 14 in Bella Center, Copenhagen, 19 -24 august 2012, see http://www.isme-microbes.org/isme14. One of Jan Sørensen's main interests in environmental and soil microbiology is bacterial degradation of xenobiotics such as pesticides and oil products. The research is focused on the regulatory mechanisms for bacterial growth and metabolism under natural soil conditions, and the goal is to clarify degradation pathways and regulation of the genes and enzymes involved. Another main interest is the use of soil bacteria to form new bio-industrial processes and products, e.g. protection of plants against diseases, removal of soil contaminants and production of novel substances such as detergents and biopolymers. The research is supported by state-of-the-art platforms in genomics and transcriptomics. JS cooperates with a number of colleagues at Danish and foreign universities and research institutions, as well as with colleagues in the environmental and bio-industrial sectors. JS has published more than 125 scientific papers in international journals and a number of proceedings and reviews by international scientific publishers.

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