Statens Serum Institut, Department of Infectious Disease Immunology

Department of Infectious Disease Immunology is internationally recognized for its work on M.tb. antigen discovery as well as vaccine design and development which so far have resulted in three TB vaccine candidates in clinical development and three first-in-man trials of novel CMI-inducing adjuvants. The department has served as a leading partner in various multi-partner projects e.g. EDCTP, EU Framework programs, Gates Grand Challenge. The department has a staff of approximately 40 and direct access to state-of-the-art animal facilities including BSLIII containment. The department is located on the main campus of Statens Serum Institut (SSI), a government-funded public health institute, with strong links to both academic groups and commercial partners. The department has an active research program with strong expertise in:

  1. Identification of vaccine antigens from different pathogens, in particular M.tb.
  2. Analysis of immune responses to mycobacterial infections/vaccination, and
  3. design of CMI-inducing liposomal adjuvants


The main principal scientific personnel in the TBVAC2020 project are:

Peter L. Andersen
Vice President of Vaccine R&D at Statens Serum Institut. His research has been focused on the identification and characterisation of antigens, immune mechanisms and vaccine delivery systems that mediate protection against important pathogens such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Chlamydia trachomatis and Influenza. He has pioneered work on TB vaccines, the CAF series of liposomal adjuvants and novel TB diagnostic assays and reagents.

Rasmus Skaarup Mortensen
Head of Section, TB vaccine research, Department of Infectious Disease Immunology, Statens Serum Institut. His research is focused on pre-clinical development of vaccines against bacterial pathogens and the therapeutic potential of vaccination against tuberculosis.

Claus Aagaard
Senior Scientist, Department of Infectious Immunology, Statens Serum Institut. He has extensive experience in TB animal models, design of new vaccines and immunological readouts after vaccination/challenge including human TB diagnostic. The identification of the world’s first multi-stage TB vaccine that is currently in clinical trial in South Africa was based on Claus Aagaard’s ideas and research and he is a co-inventor on several filed patent applications relating to TB vaccines.

Dennis Christensen
Senior Scientist, Department of Infectious Immunology, Statens Serum Institut. His research has in particular focused around the use of liposomes as delivery systems for immunostimulators and vaccine-antigens and how physico-chemical properties of liposomes and antigens as well as different routes of delivery and delivery devises can influence the immunological outcome.

Morten Ruhwald
Head of section, Human Immunology, Dept. Infectious disease immunology, Statens Serum Institut. His main focus is translational research, clinical development of vaccines for TB and diagnostic tests for latent TB. Our group has strong ties to our international partners Aeras, Gates Foundation and clinical trial sites mainly in Africa.

Thomas Lindenstrøm
Senior Scientist, Department of Infectious Immunology, Statens Serum Institut. He has a special interest in the area of Host-Pathogen Interactions and Vaccine Development. With a particular focus on tuberculosis immunology, he has gained specific experiences in vaccine promoted T cell memory.

Joshua Woodworth
Post. Doc., Department of Infectious Immunology, Statens Serum Institut. His research has focused on the protective mechanisms of the T cell response against M.tuberculosis (Mtb) infection using the model mouse of tuberculosis (TB). This has included both the mechanisms of protection from the endogenous response to infection, as well as vaccine-elicited protection.