Christian Würtz Heegaard

Seniorforsker, PhD, Seniorforsker

Profile photo

Christian Würtz Heegaard

Seniorforsker

  • Institut for Molekylærbiologi og Genetik - Molekylær Ernæring
Postaddresse:
Gustav Wieds Vej 10
3133, 223
8000
Aarhus C
Danmark

E-mail: cwh@mbg.au.dk

Telefon: +4587155463

Personal information

Christian Würtz Heegaard
Born October 8th 1958, Danish citizen
Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University, Gustav Wieds Vej 10C, DK-8000 Århus C
Tel. +45 87155462 Mobile Tel. +45 21584117
E-mail cwh@mbg.au.dk

Positions

2006- Senior Scientist (tenured), group leader, Molecular Nutrition, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University (AU)
1999-2006 Associate Professor (non-tenured), Laboratory for Protein Chemistry, Dept. Mol. Biol., AU.
1995-1999 Assistant Professor, Laboratory for Protein Chemistry, Dept. Mol. Biol., AU.
1990-1995 Research Assistant, Laboratory for Cellular Protein, Dept. Mol. Biol., AU.

Education

1995 PhD. Molecular Biology, University of Aarhus.
1990 cand Scient (M.Sc.) Medical Biochemistry, University of Aarhus.
1985 Diploma Course in Journalism, Danish School of Journalism, Aarhus.

Area of research

Basic and applied interdisciplinary research related to protein structure and function. Biochemical techniques, cell culture, animal- and clinical studies are used in determining the efficacy, pharmacodynamics, and mechanism of action of selected proteins involved in apoptosis, cholesterol transport, and vitamin uptake.

Bibliometric summary

42 original research articles in international peer-reviewed journals, >1300 citations, H-index 22 (Web of Science, Jan 2016). Inventor on one patent. Invited speaker at >25 research conferences and seminars.

Public outreach

2002: Den livsnødvendige mælk. Petersen, T.E.; Sørensen, E.S.; Rasmussen, J.T.; Heegaard, C.W.; Fedosov, Sergey; Berglund, L. Naturens Verden, s. 58-65.
2011: Mælkeprotein afhjælper kolesterolophobning, Ingeniøren
2011: Fremtidens fødevarer i Danmark, Landstingssalen ”Mælkeproteiner med specielle biologiske egenskaber – fra reagensglas til pipeline”.
2012: Træt og slidt? Nu skal mælk med B12-vitamin give dig et løft, Ingeniøren.

Evaluation of others work

Reviewer for International Dairy Journal, Journal of Dairy Research, Journal of Dairy Science, Recent Patents on Endocrine Metabolic & Immune Drug Discovery, Science Translational Medicine,

Current international collaborators

Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital and Research Centre, Erandawane, Pune, India, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), University of California, Davis, The Nordic-Baltic Dairy Network.

Major research area

The main research activity in my group involves the identification, purification, and structural characterisation of bioactive nutrients. Their functionality and influence on biological processes, such as cholesterol homeostasis, infectivity, apoptosis, and vitamin uptake, are investigated using cell culture techniques, animal models, and human clinical trials.

Research funding

1994-1996 The Danish Food Science and Technology program. ”Proteolytiske enzyme i mælk.” Principal applicant Torben E. Petersen. Co-applicant Christian W. Heegaard, 100% effort, J.no. 93S-2464-Å91-00022. Budget: DKK 4.44 M.

1996-1999 The Danish Food Science and Technology program ”Proteolytiske enzymer og Bioaktive Peptider. Principal applicant Torben E. Petersen. Co-applicant Christian W. Heegaard, 100% effort, J.no. 93S-2469-Å96-00130. Budget: DKK 7.497 M.

2000–2002: The Danish Food Science and Technology program “Bovin Lactadherin som antiviral komponent.” Principal applicants Jan T. Rasmussen and Christian W. Heegaard, 50% effort. J. no. 93S-2444-Å00-00073. Budget: DKK. 2.257 M.

2001–2003: The Danish Food Science and Technology program “MUC1's virkning som bakteriel receptoranalog.” Principal applicants Jan T. Rasmussen and Christian W. Heegaard, 50% effort. J. no. 93S-2444-Å00-0089. Budget: DKK 2.552 M.

2001–2003: The Danish Food Science and Technology program “Osteopontin - en aktivator af det cellulære immunforsvar.” Principal applicants Esben Skipper Sørensen and Christian W. Heegaard. J. no. 93S-2444-Å00-00088. Budget: DKK 1.944 M.

2002-2004: The Danish Heart Association ”Undersøgelse af NPC2’s effekt på kolesterolakkumulation i makrofager og skumceller.” Principal applicant Christian W. Heegaard. Budget DKK 0.06 M.

2003–2005: The Danish Food Science and Technology program ”Bioaktivt mælkeprotein, undersøgelse af EPV20's effekt på cellepatologisk kolesterolophobning” Principal applicant Christian W. Heegaard, 100% effort. J. no. 93S-24F4-Å0200012. Budget: DKK 4.274 M.

2005–2008: The Danish Technical Research Council, the University of Aarhus, the Technical University of Denmark, and the three industrial partners Arla Foods, Semper and UpFront. “The Milk Protein Research Consortium - Purification of Bioactive Milk Proteins” Principal applicants Torben E. Petersen, Esben S. Sørensen, Jan T. Rasmussen and Christian W. Heegaard. 100% effort. Budget: DKK 18.83 M.

2007-2009: The Lundbeck Foundation, Preclinical assessment of replacement therapy and functional
characterization of NPC2 in maintenance of cellular cholesterol homeostasis. Principal applicant Christian W. Heegaard. J. no. A682-B187. Budget DKK 0.98 million.

2008-2011: The Danish Council for Strategic Research. Tailored Milk and Human Health” Principal applicant Kristen Sejrsen. Co-applicant Christian W. Heegaard, 100% effort. J.no. 2101-07-0094. Budget: DKK 23.30 M.

2012-2014 Mælkeafgiftsfonden and Arla Foods. Identification and characterisation of weight-regulating components in whey. Principal applicant Christian W. Heegaard, 100% effort. J. no. 93S-24F4-Å0200012. Budget: DKK 1.50 M.

2013-2018 The Danish Council for Strategic Research. Transcobalamin in milk and optimal vitamin B12 uptake (TRIM). Principal applicant Christian W. Heegaard, 50% effort. J. nr.
12-132437. Budget: DKK 14.27 M.

2014-2015 Arla Foods Ingredients. Effects of NPC2 on the development of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in a rat model. Principal applicant Christian W. Heegaard, 10%. Budget: DKK 0.30 M

2015- 2018 Indian Department of Biotechnology and Innovation Fond Denmark. Identification of a suitable milk-derived product, the consumption of which could prevent vitamin B12 deficiency (IMPROVIT). Principal applicant Christian W. Heegaard, 50% effort. J. no. 4096-00003B. Budget: DKK 8.08 M

Formal pedagogical training

The teacher training programme for assistant professors and postdocs.

Pedagogic activities

Lecture in General Biochemistry and in Molecular Nutrition. Supervisor for BS, MSc and Phd-students. Number of thesis 28.

Experience at leading level

Currently heading the interdisciplinary research consortia TRIM (participating entities: University of California, Davis, USA, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus University and Arla Foods Ingredients) and IMPROVIT (participating entities: Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital and Research Centre, Erandawane, Pune, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus University, Arla Foods Ingredients, and Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition).