Gertrud Malene Hjortø

Gertrud Malene Hjortø


39 publications; 9 first authorships, 9 last authorships, 1 patent, H-index 15 (web of Science), total citations: 728. Orcid no.: 0000-0002-0057-6371

Personal data
Born: 1971, Hørsholm, DK-2970.


  • 2018 July-present Associate Prof., University of Copenhagen (KU), Dept. of Biomedicine.
  • 2013-18 Assistant Prof., KU, Dept. of Neuroscienc and Pharmacology/Biomedicine.
  • 2006-13 Scientist, Risø / DTU, Nanotech (Risø/DTU merged in 2008).
  • 2002-6 Post Doc., Hemostasis Biol., Novo Nordisk, DK/University of Texas HSCT, TX, USA.
  • 2002 Assistant Research Prof., Dept. of Mol. Biol., KU.
  • 2008 Maternity leave; 8 mo.
  • 2005-6 Maternity leave; 10 mo.


  • 1998-02 PhD, Dept. of Mol. Biol. and Virology, Novo Nordisk and Dept. of Mol. Biol., KU.
  • 1996-97 M.Sc., Novo Nordisk A/S and Dept. of Mol. Biology, KU.
  • 1992-97 KU, Biology.
  • 1991-92 KU, Biochemistry.

Innovation Foundation Denmark 2021(1.385.000 DKK), Novo Nordisk BII 2020 (952.000 DKK), Carlsberg 2018 (600.000 DKK), PoC KU 2018 (225.000 DKK), Gangsted 2015 (340.000 DKK), AP Møller 2014, (46.000 DKK), Carlsberg 2013 (380.000 DKK).

Scientific focus & International relations
In the Hjortø group, we focus on chemokine receptors in immune cell recruitment, with emphasis on CCR7. CCR7 and its ligands CCL19/CCL21 orchestrate a central immune hub through controlled recruitment of Dendritic cells (DCs) and various T cell subsets to the lymph nodes (LN) for following T cell activation. Thus CCR7 effectively controls the onset of various immune responses. We have a patent application that covers composition of matter and method of use of variants of a naturally occurring peptide C21-TP. C21-TP interacts with CCR7 to boosts ligand induced signaling and DC LN homing in vivo, with the potential to amplify immune responses. We currently investigate the ability of C21-TP to improve DC-based anti-cancer vaccines in the fight against cancer. I collaborate with key investigators within: CCR7 pharmacology, Brian F. Volkman & Christopher T. Veldkamp (Wisconsin, US), in vivo nutritional immunology Benjamin A.H. Jensen (KU), Cancer Immune Therapy Prof. Med. Inge Marie Svane (Center for Cancer Immune Therapy, Herlev Hospital) & Prof. Med. Pawel Kalinski (Roswell park Comprehensive Cancer Center) NY, US.

Management, Teaching/supervision and Conferences/talks 

Head of research group since 2016, present 4 people.

Teaching; KU: 
General priniples of Chemotherapeutics and Molecular Pharmacology B. Sc. Medicine (Med.) 2014-2021, Cancer chemotherapy/Cancer chemotherapy & immunomodulation M.Sc. Med. 2015-21. Allergy and medical treatment of asthma B. Sc. Med. 2018-19. Basal Human Biology B. Sc. Med. 2019-21. General principles of chemotherapeutics B. Sc. and Cancer chemotherapy M.Sc., Odont. (2015-21). Basal pharmacology M.Sc. Human Biology 2015-21.

I teach 550 UR hours per year (lectures and classroom teaching).


  • PhD.: Immune boosting peptides for improved immune cell activation (active).
  • M.Sc.: The Immunomodulatory Properties of C21-TP and Biased Signaling at CCR7, Grade 12.
  • M.Sc.:  New GPR183 biased agonist in B-cell activation, Grade 12.
  • B.Sc.: Chemokine derived peptides in signaling, Grade12.
  • M.Sc.: Manipulation of CCR7, a GPCR driving DC and T cell lymph node homing. Grade12.
  • M.Sc.: US28 and CX3CR1 induced cell migration. Grade 12.
  • B.Sc.: Mathematical analysis and modeling of DC migration. Grade 12.
  • B.Sc.: Comparative study on migration behavior of DCs matured using different maturation strategies inside complex microstructured polymer scaffolds. Grade 12.
  • PhD.: Microshaping hydrogels and their chemistry in 3D for optimizing/validating DC migration.

Conferences and talks:

Poster and talk, Gordon Research Conference; Chemotactic Cytokines, Positioning Cells in Immunity and Disease, 2014. Poster and talk, European Cell Migration Conference (ECMC) 2017. Poster and talk, ECMC 2019.

ID: 113657078