Jensen Group – Nutritional Immunology

The Jensen Group study how dietary factors affect gut barrier integrity and host-microbe interactions at the onset, prevention, and treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases.





Diet components may causally affect host-microbe interactions turning commensal friends into disease promoting foes or vice versa.

To interrogate how these interactions take place and more importantly how they can be manipulated to benefit the host, the Jensen Group combines fundamental and translational research approaches with a focus on gut barrier function and compartmentalized immunology.

We develop and use experimental systems tailored to model human disease with unmet medical needs; first and foremost, to improve our molecular understanding of disease progression, and secondly to identify biological factors of therapeutic relevance. Human samples, supported by proof-of-concept experiments in relevant animal models enables clinical testing and/or confirmation in partnership with clinical collaborators.

Our research spans from diet-induced liver complications over gastrointestinal dysfunction to respiratory complications. We are characterized by an innovative mindset and thus – when relevant – strive to identify key (inter)national industry partners to co-develop early discoveries/molecular drug targets to curb human diseases

Please review individual group members profile for an up-to-date overview of current projects.



  • Animal Models (DIO, NASH, Barrier integrity, Colitis, Abx, Viral infections, and more)
  • Hot N’ Cold – Room temperature versus thermoneutral housing to manipulate host immunocompetence.
  • Immune characterization (Multicolor single cell flow cytometry, ELISA’s, etc.).
  • In vivo Imaging (e.g., tracking viral loads in real time).
  • Gut microbiome functionality (FMT, Bioinformatics).
  • Host-Microbe Interactions.
  • Histology.
  • Standard biochemistry assays.









A) Host defense peptides in mucosal immunology, including the seminal discovery of how enzymatic digestion of these peptides liberated bioactive fragments (PNAS, 2019), encompassing therapeutic potential to curb some of the most pertinent global health threats. A biological concept that has now been used by others to propose new treatments against both obesity and multidrug resistant bacteria and viruses.

B) Rewiring mucosal immunology by use of postbiotics as a sustainable nutrient source. With a required landmass of 0.03% compared to plant protein, this novel nutrient source is a sustainable candidate for alternative protein production. We were further able to correct a dysregulated microbiota as well as selectively increase the magnitude of peripherally induced regulatory T cells (Tregs) in small and large intestine (Nature Comms, 2021). These tissue-specific Tregs are uniquely equipped so suppress gastrointestinal inflammation. The technique has been patented and a License agreement between UCPH and an American startup has been signed.

C) Corroborating bacterial translocation in human obesity using strict contamination aware techniques (Nature Metab, 2020; 6th most cited paper in #BestofNatMetab2020). Cited >100 times the first two years post publication.

D) First to report a commensal gut microbiota species fueling human and mouse insulin resistance (Nature, 2016). Data from this seminal paper (cited >1.350 times) fostered the conceptual idea of how some commensal microbes may diet-dependently turn from friends to foes.

E) Development of a humanized fast-food mimicking diet capable of phenocopying human NASH and barrier dysfunction (manuscript in preparation). Key Opinion Leaders confirmed the superiority of this model. The model has further been utilized to corroborate diet-dependency in probiotic performance (Manuscript in revision).









Benjamin Jensen

Group Leader

Benjamin AH Jensen
Associate Professor

Phone +4535330188

ORCID: 0000-0001-6991-0828 
Researcher ID: M-4661-2014
Google scholar

Group members

Name Title Phone E-mail
Anne Huse Gaarde-Hansen Bachelor student   E-mail
August Toft Bentsen Bachelor student   E-mail
Beatrice Choi Postdoc +4535327121 E-mail
Benjamin Anderschou Holbech Jensen Associate Professor +4535330188 E-mail
Emil Fuhr Nielsen Bachelor student   E-mail
Flora Gro Lorentzen Thomassen Master Student +4535322686 E-mail
Gustav Thomsen Purreskov Bachelor student   E-mail
Hannah Gilliam-Vigh Guest Researcher   E-mail
Nazuk Gupta Master Student   E-mail
Nora Silvana Nägele PhD Fellow +4535337431 E-mail
Sharon Muccinelli Visiting Student   E-mail
Si Brask Sonne Research Coordinator   E-mail
Sune Kjærsgaard Yang-Jensen PhD Fellow   E-mail