Torben Sigsgaard

PhD, Professor

Curriculum Vitae

Education / professional studies    

MD University of Odense                                                                  1981

Ph.D. Respiratory Epi/tox, University of Aarhus                                1993

Clinical training in Surgery, Pulmonary- & Occupational Medicine    1981 - 1987

Fellow, Social Med & Env. & Occup. Med, Aarhus University              1987 - 1991

Ass professor, Inst of Env. & Occup. Medicine, Aarhus  University     1991 – 2004

Professor, Inst of Env. & Occup. Medicine, Aarhus  University           2004 - 2005

Professor, Inst of Public Health, Section f Environment, Occupation
& Health, Aarhus  University                                                            2005 -


Present position

Professor of Environmental & occupational medicine, heading the research section of Environment,  Occupation & Health. Chairing the PhD program in Public Health, Faculty of Health, Aarhus Uni.



Dansk Lungemedicinsk Hæderspris 2012

European Respiratory Society Service award 2011

ICOH Service Award 2008


  • Co-Pi for the Big Data Environment and HeAlth BERTHA Novo Nordisk Fonden
  • Director of Center for health in homes. Realdania. CISBO 2012-2017
  • Co-Director of Center f Energy, Environment and Health 2007-12


Popular scientific research communication and contact to stakeholders

I have participated in seminars, workshops and conferences with the industry in DK. Also I’m regularly presenting for the committees at the Parliament concerned about the environment at large. My communication to stakeholders has been part of the research programs CISBO, CEEH,  “Danish Mould in Building” and Center for “Lung and the Environment” in S SWECIAC2004 and Allergistämman 2005. Since 2004 I have been a member of the scientific advisory board of ROCKWOOL International.


My primary research activities are all concerned with non-communicable diseases within the framework of gene environment interaction - primarily inflammatory airway diseases including asthma and allergy and MAMPs’ influence on allergy induction. The research can be divided into three main areas: 1) Epidemiological studies; 2) Exposure studies and 3) Experimental toxicological studies.

The epidemiological studies include airway symptoms, function and allergy in several cohorts, occupational as well as population based. The studies are concerned with the risk identification, dose response as well as the gene environment interaction. Presently we are investigating allergy and environment in adult Danes (ECRHS) in Jutland Funen and together with the Glostrup-team , in farming students and in children on Funen, asthma in wood workers and in crab-workers in Greenland. I have just initiated a range of  studies within the framework of CIRRAU and The NovoNordicFund project on Big Data  BERTHA concerning combined genetic and environmental exposures e.g. air-pollution, drinking water quality and EMF on health and biomarkers in the general population. Further we are involved in studies of the microbiome and health with a collaboration in the BRUSH ERC-study.

The exposure studies are primarily situated in our climate chamber. The indoor air experimental studies in the climate chamber include different exposure combinations ranging from single exposures to dust, microbiological components, aldehydes and Ozone to interaction studies involving combinations of these compounds. The outcomes are cytokine release and mRNA activation as well as more classical effect measures. Presently we are running studies of elderly persons exposed to house-dust,  Ozone and the combined exposure.

We are involved in more intervention studies on asthma and the environment. Presently we are conducting the world’s largest intervention study with ventilation in childrens’ bedrooms AstmaVen. Also I’’m part of the Cochrane review board on remediatingf of mouldy houses and health benefit.

The toxicological studies involve analyses of cytokines at the protein level by chemiluminescens technique as well as gene-activation level by mRNA-analyses in a real-time online RT-PCR. These techniques has a potential for screening of unknown components from the environment for inflammagenic potential, by testing different environmental relevant components in a panel of donors and on cell cultures e.g. alveolar epithelial cells (A54). Further we are conducting a series of studies of the toxicity of nanoparticles.


Publications and Impact:

My h-factor is 42 web of science (Google Scholar 54). My publication record comprises 245+ refs in int’l peer reviewed papers of which most can be accessed from Pubmed:


Key qualifications:

Research area: OEH Organic Dust and Lung Diseases, Occupational asthma, The Impact of Microorganism-Exposure on Respiratory Health, Indoor Air, Individual Susceptibility, & The Environmental Impact on Respiratory Health. Drinking water and health. EMF and health. Techniques available for epidemiological, in vivo, ex vivo and in vitro studies of inflammation. Techniques available for environmental monitoring for microorganisms and allergens.

 Post graduate teaching.

Presently 6 PhD students. Since 1999 26 PhD’s finished.