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The cork pops for BERTHA

A newly opened research centre is to investigate how modern life affects our health and illness by bringing together expertise from three out of four faculties. The new centre is called BERTHA, and it was officially opened on Monday 10 December in Roskilde.

2018.12.14 | Rasmus Rørbæk

From left: Professor Torben Sigsgaard - Department of Public Health, Carsten Suhr Jacobsen, head of department - Department of Environmental Science, Professor Carsten Bøcker Pedersen - Department of Economics and Business Economics, Professor Clive Eric Sabel - director of BERTHA , Rikke Dalgaard, centre manager - BERTHA, Professor Ole Hertel - Department of Environmental Science, Dean Niels Christian Nielsen - Science and Technology, Clinical Professor Christian Erikstrup - Department of Clinical Medicine. (Photo: Rasmus Rørbæk)

Spirits were high, despite the serious background, as visitors from Denmark and abroad gathered in Roskilde for the official opening of the Big Data Centre for Environment and Health, BERTHA, which, over the next five years, will to attempt to identify how modern lifestyle affects our lives and health.



The research centre will be taking the first steps towards answering some very serious questions: What is the interaction between our way of life, what we do, and the environment on the one hand, and our health and quality of life on the other? Can we change our behaviour and thereby reduce the incidence of diseases and improve our quality of life?

Every year, around 40 million people die globally as a result of heart disease, cancer or diabetes, for example. According to the WHO, this corresponds to 70% of global mortality. But we understand very little about the factors involved in non-communicable diseases such as cancer, allergies and cardiovascular diseases. Dean, Science and Technology, Niels Christian Nielsen, took the opportunity to acknowledge the centre's unique approach, which combines healthcare and technology sciences.

"With our strong focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and on strong research and educating new talent, I’m happy to be here at the opening of the BERTHA research centre. The centre contains innovative, deep and interdisciplinary expertise, which will be focusing on socially relevant research on public health and reducing mortality, as mentioned in the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Many thanks to Professor Clive Sabel, whose vision has put together this research team. We’re all looking forward to hearing about the discoveries ahead," says Niels Christian Nielsen.

The Big Data Centre for Environment and Health is being coordinated by Professor Clive Sabel, Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University. He is an environmental geographer with a Master's thesis in the analysis of spatial data at individual level. Management of the centre also includes:

- Professor Torben Sigsgaard, Department of Public Health, Aarhus University.

- Professor Carsten Bøcker Pedersen, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.

- Professor Ole Hertel, Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University.

- Clinical Professor Christian Erikstrup, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University.

- Rikke Dalgaard PhD, centre manager, Big Data Centre for Environment and Health, Aarhus University.

Read more about BERTHA

Read more about one of the projects that will examine the correlations between biomarkers in blood and air pollution.

Public / media, Staff