Jørgen Kurtzhals

Jørgen Kurtzhals

Associate dean for education

  • Dean´s office

    Blegdamsvej 3, 2200 København N.

    Phone: +4535326187Mobile: +4526290039

Member of:


Head of medical studies and director of Med School.

Senior consultant in Clinical Microbiology at Rigshospitalet.

Professor of Clinical Parasitology and International Health at Department of Immunology and Microbiology and team leader at Centre for Medical Parasitology.

Chairman of the Staff-Student Committee (studienævnet) for medicine and chairman of the Educational Council for Human Health and Medicine.

Participant in Building Stronger Universities with Ghanaian universities.

Past president World Federation of Parasitologists.

Primary fields of research

Malaria pathogenesis and experimental treatment

The interplay between infection and nutrition with focus on iron and hepcidin

Clinical and diagnostic parasitology

Bacterial sepsis in children and neonates in low-income countries

I work with malaria pathogenesis with the aim of improving management of patients in malaria-endemic parts of the world, in particular Sub-Saharan Africa. In this connection I have studied the pathogenesis of two major malaria complications, cerebral malaria and severe anaemia, and how these can be targeted by EPO and iron given as supplement to antimalarial treatment in experimental models.

My present research in this field takes place in the Volta Region of Ghana where I collaborate with other researchers at ISIM together with researchers at University of Ghana and University of Health and Allied Sciences in a large research capacity building project. My group in Copenhagen is primarily working on experimental malaria in vitro and in animal models.

I also participate in development of new diagnostic methods including collaborations with manufacturers of diagnostic and other equipment. In this connection we have set up molecular methods for some parasites, and we hope soon to be able to offer hepcidin measurement in blood and urine by mass spectrometry.

I have been involved in studies of etiology of bacterial sepsis in neonates in Vietnam and Ghana and now extending this to infections in malnourished children in Ethiopia. Recently, I have started to collaborate with University of Ghana Medical School on a project aiming at reducing healthcare associated infections with special focus on the neonatal intensive care unit.


I have the overall responsibility for the medical studies at University of Copenhagen with more than 3800 students and an annual enrollment of appr. 550. This is a fascinating teamwork between faculty leadership, study administration, seven university departments, numerous teachers in basic sciences, clinical and sociological fields - and not least our students who play an important role via our staff-student committee.

As previous course leader in clinical microbiology for medical students I have developed teaching materials, lectures and laboratory practicals, and I have written text book chapters on parasitology. I am still teaching in the course.

I have supervised a high number of pre- and postgraduate students at Danish, Ghanaian, German, French, and Swedish Universities and continue my role as supervisor that I find highly rewarding.

Selected publications

  1. Published

    Endothelial glycocalyx: shedding light on malaria pathogenesis

    Hempel, C., Pasini, E. M. & Kurtzhals, Jørgen, Jun 2016, In: Trends in Molecular Medicine. 22, 6, p. 453-457 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  2. Published

    Reversible audiometric threshold changes in children with uncomplicated malaria

    Adjei, G. O., Goka, B. Q., Kitcher, E., Rodrigues, O. P., Badoe, E. & Kurtzhals, Jørgen, 2013, In: Journal of Tropical Medicine. 2013, p. 360540

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  3. Published

    Outbreak of Pneumocystis Pneumonia in Renal and Liver Transplant Patients Caused by Genotypically Distinct Strains of Pneumocystis jirovecii

    Rostved, A. A., Sassi, M., Kurtzhals, Jørgen, Sørensen, Søren Schwartz, Rasmussen, A., Ross, C., Gogineni, E., Huber, C., Kutty, G., Kovacs, J. A. & Helweg-Larsen, J., 15 Nov 2013, In: Transplantation. 96, 9, p. 834-42 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  4. Published

    Intravenous ferric carboxymaltose accelerates erythropoietic recovery from experimental malarial anemia

    Maretty, L., Sharp, R. E., Andersson, M. & Kurtzhals, Jørgen, 2012, In: Journal of Infectious Diseases. 205, 7, p. 1173-7 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  5. Published

    CNS hypoxia is more pronounced in murine cerebral than noncerebral malaria and is reversed by erythropoietin

    Hempel, C., Combes, V., Hunt, N. H., Kurtzhals, Jørgen & Grau, G. E. R., 1 Oct 2011, In: American Journal of Pathology. 179, 4, p. 1939-50 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  6. Published

    Low plasma concentrations of interleukin 10 in severe malarial anaemia compared with cerebral and uncomplicated malaria

    Kurtzhals, Jørgen, Adabayeri, V., Goka, B. Q., Akanmori, B. D., Oliver-Commey, J. O., Nkrumah, F. K., Behr, C. & Hviid, Lars, 1998, In: Lancet. 351, 9118, p. 1768-72 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  7. Published

    Reversible suppression of bone marrow response to erythropoietin in Plasmodium falciparum malaria

    Kurtzhals, Jørgen, Rodrigues, O., Addae, M., Commey, J. O., Nkrumah, F. K. & Hviid, Lars, 1997, In: British Journal of Haematology. 97, 1, p. 169-74 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  8. Published

    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

    Kurtzhals, Jørgen, Hey, A. S., Jardim, A., Kemp, M., Schaefer, K. U., Odera, E. O., Christensen, C. B., Githure, J. I., Olafson, R. W. & Theander, Thor Grundtvig, 1994, In: Clinical and Experimental Immunology. 96, 3, p. 416-21 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

ID: 923250