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Hendrik Vilstrup has been a Professor of Hepatology and Internal Medicine at Aarhus University since 1993. He studied medicine at Copenhagen University and graduated in 1975. He received general specialist education and advanced hepatology training at the Copenhagen University Hospitals. His mentor in Hepatology was Professor Niels Tygstrup.
He moved to Aarhus in 1991 to found a new referral center for Hepatology and Gastroenterology in Western Denmark. Since then he has been Head of Department of Medicine, Hepatology and Gastroenterology, Aarhus University Hospital.
From his early days as a student, Prof. Vilstrup has been fascinated by regulation of hepatic urea synthesis and its importance for body composition under influence of hormones, stress, and inflammation. He now also works with clinical epidemiology of liver diseases.
He is involved in organization of Hepatology and Gastroenterology in Denmark and Europe, and in pre- and postgraduate education. He sits in several research organizations in Denmark. He has been chairman of Danish Association for the Study of the Liver and a committee member of the European Association for the Study of the Liver.
He is married to Mette von Arenstorff, a clinical research coordinator, and has 3 children. His preferred recreational activity is yachting.
- What made you decide to become a hepatologist?
- Chance - a research job as a student.
- Who was the teacher you admired the most?
- Niels Tygstrup and his concept of “quantitative hepatology”.
- Which research paper (by another person) influenced you the most?
- Rudman D, DiFulco TJ, Galambos JT, Smith RB, Salam AA, Warren WD. Maximal rates of excretion and synthesis of urea in normal and cirrhotic subjects. J Clin Invest 1973; 52: 2241-49.
- What is the most important fact that you have discovered?
- That regulation of hepatic urea synthesis plays a primary role for whole body nitrogen homeostasis.
- What is the biggest mistake that you have made?
- To start a liver transplant program in a hostile environment.
- What is your unfulfilled ambition?
- To make a revolutionary discovery within hepatology, and to sail the high seas.
- What is your greatest regret?
- That I didn’t go abroad for longer time to visit foreign laboratories when I was young.
- How do you relax?
- Home and family.
- What is your favorite sport?
- What is your best place in the world?
- My sailboat.
- What is your favorite film?
- No single one
- What car do you drive?
- A Mercedes station car with 7 seats.
- What is your best electronic 'toy'?
- My GPS-navigator.
- What book are you reading at the moment?
- Black Dogs by Ian McEwan.
- Why did you get in involved in GastroHep.com?
- I was invited by Roy Pounder.