The Center’s leaders have been at the forefront of musculoskeletal research for many years. They have focused their efforts on interdisciplinary translational research, where implementation of research findings into policy change and clinical practice guidelines has been shown to make a real difference

All three professors leading and managing the Center have an international reputation for high quality research and leadership in the field of musculoskeletal health and disease. Each heads a research unit - Physical Activity and Health in Working Life, Clinical Biomechanics, and Musculoskeletal Function and Physiotherapy – with its own particular research focus. But they all share a common vision and passion for advancing the frontiers of knowledge in muscle and joint health to improve the quality of life of those with musculoskeletal disease and to improve health care delivery for these conditions.

The three Center leaders: Professor Karen Søgaard (Left), Professor Jan Hartvigsen (Centre) and Professor Ewa Roos (Right).

Professor Karen Søgaard is an exercise physiologist and prominent researcher in the field of occupational health. She heads the Research Unit for Physical Activity and Health in Working Life, which focuses on exploring the workplace as a setting for health-enhancing physical activity to prevent or better manage musculoskeletal disease. She has a strong record of collaborating with Danish municipalities in preventing and treating work- related muscle and joint disorders. Karen is also a visiting professor at NTNU in Trondheim, Norway.

Professor Jan Hartvigsen has a background in clinical practice and has been an influential leader and clinical scientist in the field of musculoskeletal health for many years. He heads the Research Unit for Clinical Biomechanics, which investigates the public health implications, treatments, and physiological and behavioural mechanisms affecting the onset and outcome of spinal pain and disability from a life course perspective. Jan is a visiting professor at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.

Professor Ewa Roos has a background in clinical practice, research and teaching as a leading physiotherapist and scientist. She heads the Research Unit for Musculoskeletal Function and Physiotherapy, which enjoys international recognition for its involvement in evidence-based medicine, development of patient-reported outcome measures and pioneering research in the field of joint injury and osteoarthritis. Ewa is an honorary professorial fellow at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

These three research leaders synergistically combine their respective units’ expertise in evidence synthesis, trial/study design, bio-psycho-social approaches, analytical methodology, patient-reported outcomes and translational research models to optimize the Center’s capacity for high impact research.

They currently collaborate with a number of partners in other academic institutions and clinical settings across Denmark and internationally to address key research questions about muscle and joint disease. In doing so, they work with people from a variety of professions including physiotherapy, chiropractic, orthopedics, rheumatology, family medicine, work physiology, occupational medicine and health economics.

Our operational framework.

The research leaders have developed an operational framework to guide their activities and make explicit their culture and ethos. They support the following five principles:

  • With all research programs, they adhere to strict ethical standards and strive to ensure that the design, conduct and reporting of all their research will be free from bias, and any conflict of interest, financial or otherwise, will be transparent, regardless of the funding source.
  • The Center is an advocate of the principle and practice of patient and public involvement. This entails a genuine commitment by researchers to actively involve the patient and the public in aspects of a research project, where their input is critical for the relevance, quality, and timely delivery of the research outcomes and more importantly, their acceptance and uptake by the target end user group in question.
  • Diversity of professional backgrounds is valued highly by the Center and sought for its capacity to bring to all decisions different experiences, opinions and perspectives and a challenge to ingrained status quo thinking. The Center believes in the synergistic potential of interdisciplinary effort. It aims to be open to all those who are interested to participate, regardless of profession or background.
  • The Center supports gender equality in all its activities. Women will be well represented and enjoy the same rights and opportunities in the Center’s projects as decision-makers, senior researchers, students, clinicians and participants. In addition, we actively investigate if gender differences exist in care-seeking, health literacy, treatment response, and engagement in active living, and seek appropriate responses to these differences.
  • The Center has translational research as its cornerstone. That is, all research projects led by the Center will need to demonstrate that they have the potential to make a difference to the end user’s health and well-being.