Jørgen Kurtzhals

Jørgen Kurtzhals

Associate dean for education

  • Dean´s office

    Blegdamsvej 3, 2200 København N., 01 Bygning 1, Building: 01-2-15

    Phone: +4535326187Mobile: +4526290039

Member of:


Vice dean for education, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen – since July 2022.

Professor, Centre for Medical Parasitology, Department of Immunology and Microbiology (ISIM), Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen (KU) – since May 2013

Consultant, Dept. of Clinical Microbiology 7602, Rigshospitalet (RH) – since Nov 2009

Consultant and shareholder in the travel clinic, ‘Udlandsvaccinationen’ – Since 2000



  • MD, KU 1987.
  • Diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene, KU 1993.
  • PhD Faculty of Health Sciences, KU 1994.
  • Specialist in clinical microbiology, Danish Board of Health 2003.


Additional clinical experience and scientific positions prior to present employment:

  • Clinical Microbiology (RH, Statens Serum Institut and Hvidovre Hospital), totally 11 years
  • Other clinical positions totally 3½ years
  • PhD student, RH, post doc and research lecturer, KU, totally 8 years
  • The PhD included a total of 6 months stay (including field work) at Kenya Medical Research Institute
  • 4½ years of the post doc/research lecturer employment I was posted in Accra where I lived and worked as visiting scholar at University of Ghana and research officer at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital


Administrative experience:

  • Head of medical studies and chairman of staff student committee (studienævnet), Medical school, KU
  • Head of parasitology, member of ‘sundhedsfagligt råd’, and clinic-appointed professor, Department of Clinical Microbiology, RH
  • Leader of the Pathogenesis team at Centre for Medical Parasitology (CMP, cmp.ku.dk)
  • Past president World Federation of Parasitologists (wfpnet.org)
  • Acting vice-dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, KU – 3 months (March-May 2017)
  • Implementing partner in phase 1 of the Building Stronger Universities initiative of DANIDA
  • Development and administration of research laboratories in Ghana (1994-98 and 2013-2018 mavareca.cmp.ku.dk). Collaborator in HAI-Ghana (https://haiproject.org/) and the ICARS-funded demonstration program ‘Facilitating appropriate antibiotic use in respiratory tract infections in children in Kyrgyzstan’
  • Administration and co-adminstration of more than 20 grants, including IPR and patent negotiations
  • Grant reviewing for Danish and international agencies
  • Member of the committee for national (Danish) guidelines in travel medicine.


Teaching, supervision and research collaborations:

  • Course leader in clinical microbiology for medical students 2009-2015.
  • Supervision of 16 PhD projects and >40 master and bachelor projects (Danish and international)
  • Responsible for expert education in parasitology for specialist registrars in clinical microbiology
  • Advanced technology collaboration with Grundfos and Unisensor plus Danish Technical University on water safety device (parasite sensor)
  • Collaboration on drug development with Vifor Pharma Int., Switzerland and Novo Nordisk AS, Denmark
  • Research collaborations with University of Ghana, University of Amsterdam, University of Sydney, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Institut Pasteur Paris, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Ebonyi State University Nigeria, University of Leipzig, Jimma University Hospital Ethiopia, Republican Research Centre of Pulmonology and Rehabilitation the Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic and others.


Major research areas:

Malaria pathogenesis and experimental therapy

  • Clinical malaria research
  • Biomedical research connected with clinical and epidemiological studies
  • Animal and in vitro models of cerebral malaria and malarial anaemia


Childhood infections in developing countries

  • Neonatal infections
  • Infections and their relationship with nutrition with special focus on iron deficiency
  • Hospital-acquired infections
  • Antimicrobial resistance


General parasitology

  • Novel diagnostic techniques
  • Parasitic diseases and pneumocystis in immunocompromised patients



164 scientific papers plus 10 letters, editorials etc. in journals with peer review since 1988.

Orcid-link: orcid.org/0000-0003-2760-8713

Scopus author ID: 10238852300


Kurtzhals JAL. Immuno-epidemiology of visceral leishmaniasis. A model for the study of immune responses to Leishmania donovani infection in humans. PhD thesis; KU: 1993.


  1. Burckhardt S, Funk F, Kurtzhals J & Sørensen LM. Iron carbohydrate complex compounds for the intravenous therapy of malaria. WO/2012/104204
  2. Andersen JG, Enemark HL, Al-Sabi MNS & Kurtzhals J. Detection device and method. PCT/DK2012/050497.

Selected papers:

  1. Kurtzhals JAL, Hey AS, Jardim A, Kemp M, Schaefer K-U, Odera EO, Christensen CBV, Githure JI, Olafson RW, Theander TG & Kharazmi A. Dichotomy of the human T-cell response to Leishmania antigens. II. Absent or TH2-like response to gp63 and TH1-like response to lipophosphoglycan-associated protein in cells from cured visceral leishmaniasis patients. Clin Exp Immunol 1994; 96: 416-421.
  2. Kurtzhals JAL, Rodrigues O, Addae M, Commey JOO, Nkrumah FK & Hviid L. Reversible suppression of bone marrow response to erythropoietin in Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Br J Haematol 1997; 97: 169-174.
  3. Kurtzhals JAL, Adabayeri V, Goka BQ, Akanmori BD, Oliver-commey JO, Nkrumah FK, Behr C & Hviid L. Low plasma concentrations of interleukin 10 in severe malarial anaemia compared with cerebral and uncomplicated malaria. Lancet 1998; 351: 1768-1772.
  4. Nielsen MA, Staalsoe T, Kurtzhals JAL, Goka BQ, Dodoo D, Theander TG, Akanmori BD & Hviid L. Plasmodium falciparum variant surface antigen expression varies between isolates causing severe and non-severe malaria and is modified by acquired immunity. J Immunol 2002; 168: 3444-3450.
  5. Adjei GO, Kristensen K, Goka BQ, Høgberg LCG, Alifrangis M, Rodrigues OP & Kurtzhals JAL. Effect of concomitant artesunate administration and CYP2C8 polymorphisms on the pharmacokinetics of amodiaquine in Ghanaian children with uncomplicated malaria. Antimicrobial Agents Chemother 2008; 52: 4400-4406.
  6. Hempel C, Combes V, Hunt NH, Kurtzhals JAL, Grau GER. CNS hypoxia is more pronounced in murine cerebral than non-cerebral malaria and reversed by erythropoietin. Am J Pathol 2011; 179: 1939-1950.
  7. Rostved AA, Sassi M, Kurtzhals JAL, Sørensen SS, Rasmussen A, Ross C, Gogineni E, Huber C, Kutty G, Kovacs JA & Helweg-Larsen J. Outbreak of Pneumocystis pneumonia in renal and liver transplant patients caused by genotypically distinct strains of Pneumocystis jirovecii. Transplantation 2013; 96:834-842
  8. DellaValle B, Hempel C, Staalsø T, Johansen FF & Kurtzhals JAL. Glucagon-like peptide-1 analogue, liraglutide, in experimental cerebral malaria: implications for the role of oxidative stress in cerebral malaria. Malaria J 2016; 15: 427.
  9. Hempel C, Pasini E & Kurtzhals JAL. Endothelial Glycocalyx: Shedding Light on Malaria Pathogenesis. Trends Mol Med 2016; 22: 453-457.
  10. Castberg FC, Maretty L, Staalsoe T, Hempel C, Clasen-Linde E, Hviid L, Kurtzhals JAL. Increased Plasmodium chabaudi malaria mortality in mice with nutritional iron deficiency can be reduced by short-term adjunctive iron supplementation. Malaria J 2017; Malar J 2018;17:34.
  11. Stauning MT, Bediako-Bowan A, Andersen LP, Opintan JA, Labi A-K, Kurtzhals J & Bjerrum S. Traffic flow and microbial air contamination in operating rooms at a major teaching hospital in Ghana. J Hosp Inf; 2018; 99: 263-270. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2017.12.010.
  12. Hempel C, Sporring C & Kurtzhals JAL. Experimental cerebral malaria is associated with profound loss of both glycan and protein components of the endothelial glycocalyx. FASEB J 2019; 33: 2058-2071. DOI: 10.1096/fj.201800657R.
  13. Zangenberg M, Abdissa A, Johansen ØH, Tesfaw G, Friis H, Briend A, Eshetu B, Kurtzhals JAL & Girma T. Critical evaluation of the appetite test for children with severe acute malnutrition. Trop Med Int Health 2020; 25: 424-432. doi: 10.1111/tmi.13360.
  14. Labi A-K, Nielsen KL, Marvig RL, Bjerrum S, Enweronu-Laryea C, Bennedbæk M, Newman MJ, Ayibor PK, Andersen LP, Kurtzhals JAL. Oxacillinase-181 carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae in neonatal intensive care unit, Ghana, 2017–2019. Emerg Infect Dis 2020; 26: 2235-2238. doi: 10.3201/eid2609.200562.
  15. Van der Puije W, Wang C, Sudharson S, Hempel C, Olsen R, Dalgaard N, Ofori M, Hviid L, Kurtzhals J & Staalsoe T. In vitro selection for adhesion of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes to ABO antigens does not affect PfEMP1 and RIFIN expression. Sci Rep 2020; 10:12871. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-69666-9.
  16. Nardo-Marino A, Petersen J, Brewin J, Birgens H, Williams TN, Kurtzhals JAL, Rees D & Glenthøj A. Oxygen gradient ektacytometry does no predict pain in children with sickle cell anaemia. Br J Haematol 2022, 197, 609–617. Doi: 10.1111/bjh.17975
  17. Khurana MP, Raaschou-PedersenD, Kurtzhals J, Bardram JE, Ostrowski SR & Bundgaard JS. Digital health competencies in medical school education: a scoping review and Delphi method study. BMC Med Educ 2022; 26: 129. doi: 10.1186/s12909-022-03163-7.
  18. Adjei GO, Sulley AM, Goka BQ, Enweronu-Laryea C, Renner L, Alifrangis M & Kurtzhals JAL. Performance of an HRP-2 based (First Response®) and p-LDH-based (Optimal®) rapid diagnostic tests for diagnosis of malaria in paediatric sickle cell disease patients. Clin Infect Dis 2022, ePub ahead of press. Doi: 10.1093/cid/ciab977



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