Anitschkow Prize 2022

2022 Anitschkow Award recognises Professor Børge G. Nordestgaard, MD DMSc

The European Atherosclerosis Society is delighted to announce Professor Børge G. Nordestgaard as the recipient of the 2022 Anitschkow Award. The Award recognises his outstanding contributions to the field of atherosclerosis and linked metabolic disturbances.

About Professor Nordestgaard

Børge G. Nordestgaard is Professor of Genetic Epidemiology, University of Copenhagen, and since 1999, Chief physician, Clinical Biochemistry, Herlev Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark. He obtained his medical degree in 1985 and subsequently undertook postgraduate studies at Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, and 2-year fellowships with Professor Donald Zilversmit at Cornell University in New York, and Professor Barry Lewis at St. Thomas’ Hospital, London University, UK.
He was awarded his doctorate from the University of Copenhagen in 1990. His H-index is 137 in Web of Knowledge, 138 in Scopus and 155 in Google Scholar, with publications in high-impact journals including The New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, JAMA, Science and Nature.

In his most important research contributions, Professor Nordestgaard utilised the strengths of large-scale prospective observational population studies, randomised intervention trials (JUPITER, PROMINENT, and HORIZON), and genetic epidemiology to investigate the association of biochemical and genetic biomarkers with human disease, especially cardiovascular disease. Collaborations with the Copenhagen City Heart Study, the Emerging Risk factor Collaboration, the JUPITER Trial, the UK Biobank, several large multinational consortia within cancer and pulmonary research, and several large cohorts of patients from the Copenhagen area including the entire Danish population via Statistics Denmark have been foundational to his studies. In 2003 he founded the Copenhagen General Population Study, which now includes more than 150,000 participants.

Mechanistic, epidemiologic, and genetic research by Professor Nordestgaard has prompted a reappraisal of the role of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins, including remnant lipoproteins, in the causal pathway of atherosclerosis. Notably, Professor Nordestgaard showed that levels of non-fasting triglycerides above 5 mmol/L associate with increased risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, and all-cause mortality. Using a Mendelian randomization strategy, Professor Nordestgaard demonstrated the impact of genetic variants influencing expression of key proteins involved in triglyceride metabolism on the associated risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. These findings have been pivotal to consideration of lipid lowering therapy for elevated triglycerides and remnant lipoprotein cholesterol to prevent cardiovascular disease, as well as the development of novel therapeutic agents for the management of elevated triglycerides.

Other key contributions include documentation of clinically relevant genetic variants for cardiovascular disease, obstructive pulmonary disease, and cancer.
His research was pivotal to recognition of lipoprotein(a) as a causal risk factor for cardiovascular disease and aortic valvular calcification and stenosis.
As a key member of expert consensus groups, including European Atherosclerosis Society-led initiatives on lipoprotein(a), triglycerides, and familial hypercholesterolemia, Professor Nordestgaard has made important contributions to guidelines for the management of dyslipidaemia. In particular, in the Joint consensus statement from the European Atherosclerosis Society and European Federation of Laboratory Medicine on quantifying atherogenic lipoproteins for lipid-lowering strategies, he challenged the need for fasting prior to a lipid profile measurement, which was crucial to changing conventional thinking in clinical practice. His research impacted the 2019 European Society of Cardiology/European Atherosclerosis Society Dyslipidaemia Guidelines.
Beyond his innovative research and academic commendations, Professor Nordestgaard is an active mentor of many PhD students and post-doctoral fellows and an excellent communicator.

Professor Nordestgaard’s research has influenced and continues to influence atherosclerosis societies at both national and international levels. He is a worthy recipient of this prestigious award from the European Atherosclerosis Society.