Aarhus University Seal

Preben Bo Mortensen

Head, Professor, DrMedSc, Professor

Curriculum Vitae



Born on January 18, 1959

E-mail: pbm@econ.au.dk



  • Summer 1986 Medical Doctor at Aarhus University
  • 1986 Gold Medal, Aarhus University, prize paper in psychiatry on the relation between schizophrenia and cancer
  • WHO-fellowship including studies at Johns Hopkins University, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Department of Mental Hygiene, National Institute of Mental Health, and Columbia University, New York Institute of Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology Training Program. 


  • February 1995, Aarhus Universitet, Doctor of Medical Science. Title “The Epidemiology of Cancer in Schizophrenic Patients”



  • 2012- Head of Centre for Integrated Register-based Research, Aarhus Universitry (CIRRAU)
  • 2012- Scientific Director, iPSYCH, coordinating 6 national groups with app 150 members
  • 2000-: Head and Professor at the National Centre for Register-based Research, BSS, Aarhus University
  • 1999-: Adjunct Professor at Johns Hopkins University, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Department of Mental Hygiene
  • 1995: Consultant at the Department of Psychiatric Demography, Psychiatric Hospital in Aarhus
  • 1990-97: External Associate Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, Aarhus University
  • 1986-1995: junior clinical and research positions


Positions of trust and supervision

  • 1993 Member of the Task Group regarding Suicide Mortality, under the National Danish Health Ministry
  • Referee on European and American medical, psychiatric, and epidemiological journals
  • 1997-1998: Member of the National Board of Health Group regarding Proposals to strategies in the prevention of suicide and suicide attempts in Denmark
  • Since 2000 Member of the ministerial task force(s) on register-based research
  • Member of the Evaluation Committee for assessment of applications for Funding of Reinforcement of Psychiatric Basic Research
  • External assessor of applications submitted to the Wellcome Trust, UK, Deutsches Forschungsgemeinschaft and ERC.
  • Evaluation of Dr.Med.Sc. and PhD theses at Aarhus University, University of Copenhagen, Odense University, University of Oulu, Johns Hopkins University, Cambridge University
  • Chairman of/member of Evaluation Committees on scientific appointments at Aarhus University, University of Copenhagen, University of Lund, and Karolinska Institutionen, Sweden, Bristol University, Harvard University,
  • Supervision of about 35 PhD-students and 30 postdocs


Awards and honours

  • Spring 2000: the Kurt Schneider Scientific Award
  • January 2004: the August Krogh prize
  • 2005: Thomson Scientific Award for the most cited Danish researcher in psychiatry and psychology based on publications from 1990 to 2004
  • 2010: Knight of the Order of the Dannebrog
  • 2012: The Danish Medical Insurance Club SEB/CODAN Honorary Award
  • 2018, 2019: Highly Cited Researcher
  • 2020 The Novo Nordisk Prize (shared with Merete Nordentoft)


Invited and keynote lectures

Multiple in Denmark, Scandinavia, UK, Europe, USA, China and Australia.


International collaboration

I have collaborated internationally throughout my career, starting with my WHO fellowship in 1988, at Johns Hopkins University, NIMH and Columbia University. I have since then collaborated extensively with groups at Johns Hopkins University, where I have been Adjunct professor since 1999, Broad Institute, MIT, Harvard and MGH in Cambridge, Mass., Karolinska Institute, University of Manchester,Kings College, London Bristol University and Cardiff University, and groups at QueenslandUniversity. The latter collaboration has been  highly intensified with John McGrath’s appointment as a Niels Bohr professor with us since 2016. With all collaborators we have published, generated joint funding, and exchange ph.d.-students and other researchers on all levels, creating an international environment at NCRR.

Total number publications: 788; 200+ as first or senior author; H-index: 97; Av. Cit.: 63.43 https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5230-9865 


Mortensen PB, Pedersen CB, Westergaard T, Wohlfahrt J, Ewald H, Mors O, Andersen PK, Melbye M. Effects of family history and place and season of birth of the risk of schizophrenia. N Eng J Med 1999; 340:603-8

Mortensen PB, Agerbo E, Erikson T, Qin P, Westergaard-Nielsen N. Psychiatric illness and other risk factors for suicide in Denmark. Lancet 2000; 355: 9-12.

The first study to assess the relative effect of individual and familial psychiatric and social risk factorsfor suicide.

Eaton WW, Byrne M, Ewald H, Mors O, Chen CY, Agerbo E, Mortensen PB. Association of schizophrenia and autoimmune diseases: linkage of Danish national registers. Am J Psychiatry. 2006;163(3):521-8.

Schizophrenia Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. Biological insights from 108 schizophrenia-associated genetic loci. Nature. 2014;511(7510):421-7. 

McGrath JJ, Eyles DW, Pedersen CB, Anderson C, Ko P, Burne TH, Nøgaard-Pedersen B, Hougaard DM, Mortensen PB. Neonatal vitamin D status and risk of schizophrenia. A populationbased case-control study. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2010: 67(9): 889-894.

Agerbo E, Sullivan PF, Vilhjálmsson BJ, Pedersen CB, Mors O, Børglum AD, Hougaard DM, Hollegaard MV, Meier S, Mattheisen M, Ripke S, Wray NR, Mortensen PB. Polygenic Risk Score, Parental Socioeconomic Status, Family History of Psychiatric Disorders, and the Risk for Schizophrenia: A Danish Population-Based Study and Meta-analysis. JAMA Psychiatry. 2015;72(7):635-41

Musliner KL, Munk-Olsen T, Laursen TM, Eaton WW, Zandi PP, Mortensen PB. Heterogeneity in 10-Year Course Trajectories of Moderate to Severe Major Depressive Disorder: A Danish National Register-Based Study. JAMA Psychiatry. 2016 Apr;73(4):346-53.

Pedersen CB, Bybjerg-Grauholm J, Pedersen MG, Grove J, Agerbo E, Bækvad-Hansen M, Poulsen JB, Hansen CS, McGrath JJ, Als TD, Goldstein JI, Neale BM, Daly MJ, Hougaard DM, Mors O, Nordentoft M, Børglum AD, Werge T, Mortensen PB. The iPSYCH2012 case-cohort sample: new directions for unravelling genetic and environmental architectures of severe mental disorders. Mol Psychiatry. 2018 Jan;23(1):6-14.

Engemann K, Pedersen CB, Arge L, Tsirogiannis C, Mortensen PB, Svenning JC. Residential green space in childhood is associated with lower risk of psychiatric disorders from adolescence into adulthood. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2019;116(11):5188-5193

Plana-Ripoll O, Pedersen CB, Holtz Y, Benros ME, Dalsgaard S, de Jonge P, Fan CC, Degenhardt L, Ganna A, Greve AN, Gunn J, Iburg KM, Kessing LV, Lee BK, Lim CCW, Mors O, Nordentoft M, Prior A, Roest AM, Saha S, Schork A, Scott JG, Scott KM, Stedman T, Sørensen HJ, Werge T, Whiteford HA, Laursen TM, Agerbo E, Kessler RC, Mortensen PB, McGrath JJ. Exploring Comorbidity Within Previous and Current Grants from NNF Mental Disorders Among a Danish National Population. JAMA Psychiatry. 2019;76(3):259-270