Hans Bisgaard, MD, DMSc has been a Professor of Paediatrics at the Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark, since 1998. He is specialized in paediatric pulmonology and allergology receiving both his Medical and Doctor of Medical Science degrees from the University of Copenhagen.
Dr Bisgaard worked as visiting professor at the prestigious National Jewish Medical and Research Centre in Denver, Colorado (2003-2004), and maintains wide international research collaborations including Medical Schools at Harvard, London, Manchester and Dundee and several other centres at the forefront of asthma and pediatric research.
The clinical aspects and basic mechanisms of asthma, allergy and eczema, are the cornerstone of Dr Bisgaards research. His pivotal work on the mediating role of leukotrienes underpinned the later development of successful asthma treatment with anti-leukotrienes. Dr Bisgaard also led the way in inhaled drug delivery and aerosol treatment of young children, instrumental in the improvement of asthma management and leading to several key patents. The development of methods for lung function measurement in young children, including whole-body plethysmography, objectively assessing airway resistance and bronchial responsiveness were likewise pioneering. Importantly, Dr Bisgaard is considered first mover in conducting randomized controlled clinical trials of inhaled corticosteroids and leukotriene receptor antagonists in young asthmatic children.
The recent 15 years have been devoted to unravelling the origins of asthma and allergy in comprehensive birth cohort studies, the Copenhagen Prospective Study on Asthma in Childhood (COPSAC), recruiting 1100 pregnant women and their children, driven by the hypothesis that chronic asthma is determined in early life. The aim is to translate this into clinical practice to improve disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment. The children are being followed closely at the research clinic according to strict guidelines and with extensive objective assessments. These unique, longitudinal, clinical data and comprehensive bio-bank are combined with cutting-edge interdisciplinary basic research, including genome wide scanning, sequencing of the microbiome in multiple compartments, immune profiling and metabolomics to develop a differentiated characterization of the disease processes.
Several breakthroughs like the demonstration of bacterial colonization of the airways of neonates on the trajectory to asthma and of environmental exposures interacting with the genetic make-up in modulating disease development have been key discoveries. Not least, the staggering protective effect of fish oil supplementation in pregnancy was recently revealed in the COPSAC cohort.
The COPSAC studies, with their long-term effort invested in translational science hold the promise to improve our understanding of the processes leading towards health or disease in an interaction between heredity and environment, like the human microbiome and the diet. Importantly, the research strategy is emphasizing asthma, eczema and allergy as early indicators of a range of non-communicable diseases, which have risen in parallel during the recent half-century. Therefore, the research has expanded to include infections, deontology, growth, cognitive and motor development as well as immune maturation.
The resonance of these results is illustrated by an increasing number of key index publications in the highest-ranking international journals as well as patent applications. Dr Bisgaard has published 270 research papers reaching an H-index (WoS) of 55. He is a very frequent lecturer at international meetings as well as chairman and organizer at international scientific assemblies.
Today, Dr Bisgaard relentlessly heads the Danish Paediatric Asthma Centre, which he initiated in 2002, funded on the Danish State Budget and now counting 40 deeply engaged employees. The Centre is a Danish Network of Excellence in collaboration with 3 Danish Universities with the aim to further quality in research and management of paediatric asthma.
His long-term research commitment has built an international standing, which today assures Dr Bisgaard the position as one of the absolute leading researchers of paediatric asthma.