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New names

New professor to strengthen research in child and adolescent health

Trine Flensborg-Madsen takes up the position as Professor of Child and Adolescent Health at the National Institute of Public Health (SIF), University of Southern Denmark, on 1 February 2024.

By Tomas Homburg, , 2/5/2024

The professorship will strengthen research in child and adolescent health and expand collaboration with other research environments nationally and internationally.

The guiding principle of Trine Flensborg-Madsen’s research is: ‘to understand how factors early in life affect health and psychological development in children, and to understand how these factors in childhood may have an impact that lasts into adulthood. The goal is to enable children to reach the full potential that they were born with’.

Trine Flensborg-Madsen has a special interest in the relationship between psychology and public health science and how social and environmental factors may affect children throughout their lives. For example, she has published the first studies ever that show links between developmental milestones (such as walking or speaking) in the early years of life and intelligence levels and personality in adulthood.

The professorship will provide SIF with a strengthened platform for interdisciplinary research in child and adolescent health which integrates contributions from psychology, epidemiology and public health sciences in the exploration of challenges in the field of child and adolescent health and development. There are plenty of these, including the decline in mental health and health inequalities.

Trine Flensborg-Madsen will continue her collaboration with the University of Copenhagen where she was previously a professor, heading the research group for epidemiological developmental psychology for a number of years, as well as her collaborations with a number of other national partners. She will also remain chair of the steering committee of Rigshospitalet’s Mother-Child cohort and a member of the steering committee for Copenhagen Aging and Midlife Biobank. Both are unique cohorts in terms of studying developmental factors. Trine Flensborg-Madsen has also been involved in developing of recommendations for screen use for the Danish Health Authority, participating in several programmes about the development and importance of intelligence.

Trine collaborates closely with several international partners, most notably Deakin University in Australia, with whom she collaborates on research into screen use in children and projects to uncover the impact of environmental factors on cognitive development. The latter also includes a collaboration with the ISGlobal Institute in Barcelona and the University of Edinburgh.

In addition to her medical doctorate and her PhD, Trine holds two master’s degrees in psychology and public health science. The interdisciplinary approach has characterised her work from her first studies in quality of life to her health science PhD in psychiatric epidemiology and her doctoral dissertation on developmental milestones in children in relation to psychological traits in adulthood. Ongoing projects include air pollution and noise in relation to cognitive development, psychological consequences of screen use in children, and the development of a tool to promote mental health in school children. All of these are threads that weave into the department's goal of providing knowledge and initiatives that promote public health in children and adolescents.

Meet the Researcher

Trine Flensborg-Madsen was born on 21 September 1979. She lives in central Copenhagen with her three boys who make sure that she is up to date on much more than research, including superheroes and footballers.


Editing was completed: 05.02.2024