Naja Hulvej Rod

Naja Hulvej Rod

Professor, Head of Section, Professor

Member of:

    Naja Hulvej Rod is Professor of Epidemiology and Director of the Copenhagen Health Complexity Center at the University of Copenhagen, which is a multi-disciplinary research hub dedicated to developing a systematic scientific approach for understanding and addressing complex public health problems. Her expertise spans various domains including sleep, health inequality, young adult health, and early life adversity, with a focus on health complexity, causal inference, and life course mechanisms. She is leading the interdisciplinary Complexity and Big Data Group, which aims at studying the social and biological factors determining health and disease across the life span. She has a particular interest in complex systems theory and how it intersects with methodological insights from causal inference theory. She has extensive expertise in working with longitudinal datasets and register-based research. She is elected Chair of Council for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, and she has participated in numerous boards and committees across Europe, including the Swedish Research Council, the Finnish Research Council, and the French Health Data Hub. She has been awarded several prestigious grants and awards including the Sapere Aude starting grant, the Elite Researcher Prize 2022, and an ERC consolidator grant.


    Primary Investigator of the Danish Life Course (DANLIFE) Cohort (, which is a register-based cohort of more than 2 million individuals with multi-dimensional exposome data covering the totality of measured lifetime exposures across multiple social, environmental and biological dimensions to study the health consequences of social and environmental adversities. 

    Primary investigator for the citizen science research project ‘Standing together – at a distance: How Danes are living with the Corona Crisis’ (, which documents the public health effects of the crisis.

    Primary investigator for the SmartSleep program (, which is a multi-sourced study on mobile phone use, sleep and health.


    1. Rod NH, Bengtsson J, Budtz-Jørgensen E, Clipet-Jensen C, Taylor-Robinson D, Nybo Andersen AM, PhD, Dich N, Rieckmann A. Trajectories of childhood adversity and mortality in early adulthood: A population-based cohort study. The Lancet 2020;396:489-497.
    2. Rod NH, Broadbent A, Rod MH, Russo F, Arah OA, Stronks K. Complexity in Epidemiology and Public Health. Addressing Complex Health Problems Through a Mix of Epidemiologic Methods and Data. Epidemiology 2023 Jul 1;34(4):505-514.
    3. Elsenburg LK, Rieckmann A, Nguyen TL, Bengtsson J, Andersen AN, Taylor-Robinson D, Lange T, Rod NH. Mediation of the parental education gradient in early adult mortality by childhood adversity: a population-based cohort study of more than 1 million children. Lancet Public Health. 2022 Feb;7(2):e146-e155. doi: 10.1016/S2468-2667(21)00275-9. PMID: 35122758.
    4. Otte Andersen T, Skovlund Dissing A, Rosenbek Severinsen E, Kryger Jensen A, Thanh Pham V, Varga TV, Hulvej Rod N. Predicting stress and depressive symptoms using high-resolution smartphone data and sleep behavior in Danish adults. Sleep 2022 Jun 13;45(6):zsac067. doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsac067. PMID: 35298650.
    5. Rod NH, Bengtsson J, Elsenburg LK, Taylor-Robinson D, Rieckmann Hospitalisation patterns among children exposed to childhood adversities: a population-based cohort study of half a million children. The Lancet Publ Health 2021.


    PhD courses

    • Introduction to complex systems approaches in public health
    • Drawing Causal Inference from Epidemiological Data
    • Introduction to Directed Acyclic Graphs

    ID: 928500