Researcher profile of the month: Hannelouise Kissow – University of Copenhagen

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18 December 2017

Researcher profile of the month: Hannelouise Kissow

Researcher profile

Associate professor Hannelouise Kissow often visited Professor Jens Juul Holst’s lab during her medical studies. Here, she found an interest in the GLP-1 hormone that she could not let go of. Today, Hannelouise is a researcher at BMI who enjoys teaching.

Hannelouise KissowDuring her studies, medical student Hannelouise Kissow was a frequent visitor in the laboratory of Professor Jens Juul Holst and Associate professor Bolette Hartmann. Here she participated in projects involving the intestinal hormone GLP-1. Therefore, it was natural for Hannelouise to later do a PhD, but it was important for her to finish her rotation first.

“I was a little afraid that I was going to stick around after my PhD so it was very important for me to do my rotation and try to work as a doctor. Today, I have my B authorization and I can work as a doctor if I want to. But once I had finished my PhD, I could not let go of GLP-1 and intestinal diseases,” says Hannelouise and smilingly adds: “Someone once told me that it is not hard to start doing research, however it is really hard to stop. And that is exactly how I feel – whenever you get a result, a new project arises. It’s a bit like doing detective work where you need to solve things, and it is extremely stimulating to get results”.

Associate professor Hannelouise Kissow does research that primarily focuses on the extra pancreatic effects of GLP-1 in relation to lungs and intestinal diseases. Hannelouise is currently working on two main projects, one of which is based on a previous project where lung diseased mice were injected with GLP-1 and suddenly became well. Derived from this project, Hannelouise now explores what GLP-1 really does to the lungs. The second project investigates how chemotherapy affects the intestines of people with intestinal diseases:

“1 in 100 patients treated for colon cancer dies from the side effects of chemotherapy and that is simply too many. Therefore, it is extremely important that we take care of the side effects especially those in the intestine that can be horrible for patients. Most often, focus is on what chemotherapy does to the cancer but it is also important to know what it does to the rest of the body,” says Hannelouise.

It is our responsibility to prepare the future doctors

In addition to being a researcher at the Department, Associate professor Hannelouise Kissow also teaches at the anatomy course which is a course she has loved since she was a student herself.

Together with being a researcher, the role as teacher is one of the main reasons why Hannelouise is working at the University: “I really like the contact with the students both at lectures but especially in the classroom. I feel a great responsibility for properly equip and prepare the future doctors. I am very much committed to deliver skilled potential doctors. As a University, we must ensure that the future doctors are skilled and competent as it will have serious consequences if they are not”, says Hannelouise.

Hannelouise is also part of the study board for medicine where she devotes a lot of time trying to ensure that the students thrive during their education: “I am very interested in how we pedagogically can meet the students in a way so we do not increase their stress level. It turns out that 1/3 of the medical students is delayed in their studies due to stress and that is not good enough especially in relation to the educational progressive reform”, says Associate professor Hannelouise Kissow.

Read more about Hannelouise Kissow’s research