René S. Hendriksen

Professor, Head of Research Group

René S. Hendriksen

DTU National Food Institute

Research Group for Global Capacity Building

Henrik Dams Allé

Building 204 Room 137

2800 Kgs. Lyngby




René S. Hendriksen


Antimicrobial resistance Emerging infectious diseases WHO Advisory Group on Integrated Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance (AGISAR) network Salmonella, Shigella and V.cholerae WHO Collaborating Centre of AMR Populations structures European Union Reference Laboratory on Antimicrobial resistance WHO Global Foodborne Infections Network (GFN) Foodborne Pathogens

Career In 1993, I was employed at the Natio nal Veterinary Institute (formerly known as Statens Veterinære Serumlaboratorium) as laboratory technologist working with prevention strategies of bovine mastitis. In 1995, the awareness related to the use of growth promoters in the food animal production emerged and the technical staff increased from one to 14 technicians for whom I became responsible for coordinating all daily duties. In 1999, our institute was appointed as World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre (CC) for antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in foodborne pathogens and my duties and responsibility were transferred to building up laboratory capacity and developing teaching curricula conducting training around the world in relation to the WHO Global Foodborne Infections Network (WHO GFN). During those years, I became actively involved in several research projects. In 2006, DTU Food was appointed as European Union Reference Laboratory (EURL) for AMR in feed, food and animal health. I was from the beginning the daily responsible for the designation. In July 2007, I enrolled a PhD-programme at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) with a defence of my thesis “Global epidemiology of non-typhoidal Salmonella infections in humans” in January 2010. Subsequently, I was employed as scientist in February 2010 at DTU, National Food Institute (DTU Food) and senior scientist in August 2011. In 2016, DTU Food was designated as WHO CC also in “Genomics” due to my application. In 2018, I was offered a position as professor MSO at DTU Food in the Research Group of Genomic Epidemiology. In 2019, the Research Group of Genomic Epidemiology was appointed as also the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reference center for AMR. In July 2020, I was employed as head of unit, Research Group for Global Capacity Building, at DTU Food. The Research Group for Global Capacity Building was co-designated in 2024 as European Union Reference Laboratory (EURL) for AMR in public health led by the Statens Serum Institute and the EUCAST Development Laboratory (EDL). Soft skills and competencies I possess the following soft skills needed for the future work in 2025 according to World Economic Forum’s report “Future of Jobs 2020 report”: Problem solving: Complex problem-solving Critical thinking and analysis Self-management: Resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility Reasoning, problem-solving and ideation Working with people: Leadership and social influence Emotional intelligence Service orientation Persuasion and negotiation Technological use and development: Technology use, monitoring and control Languages Skills Mother tongue(s) Danish Foreign language(s) Understanding Speaking Writing Listening Reading Spoken interaction Spoken production English C1 C1 C1 C1 C1 German A1 A2 A2 - - French A2 A2 - - - Levels: A1 and A2: Basic user - B1 and B2: Independent user - C1 and C2: Proficient user Common European Framework of Reference for Languages Communication Management experience Currently, I am the head of unit, the Research Group of Global Capacity Building and act as director for reference centres in antimicrobial resistance: WHO CC, EURL and FAO Reference Laboratory (FAO RL). In addition, I am and have been the primary investigator / project owner of a number of projects and programmes involving national and international institutions. Currently, this includes in addition of the reference centres, UK AID Fleming Fund regional grants: SeqAfrica and EQASIA as well as serving as a Fleming Fund fellowship host institute. Furthermore, I am leading the following European Union (EU) projects and programmes: EURgen-RefLabCap, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) EARsNet EQA, ECDC GenEpi-BioTrain well as co-lead of the EU FWD AMR-RefLabCap. Moreover, the United States of America (USA) State Department project UNSGM “Dry lab EQA”. I am and have been the chair or lead work packages in several initiatives from WHO, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), ECDC, FAO, and European Commission (EC). Currently, this includes:Member of the WHO GLASS Target Product 2 (Network supranational laboratories to provide reference testing of unusual AMR)Lead on the WHO GLASS Target Product 4 (Technical Guidance on detection and reporting of colistin resistance)Chair of WHO Tricycle WP 4 (Molecular biology) of the joint WHO, FAO and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) programmeMember of the EURLs WG on Next Generation SequencingMember of the EFSA “Advisory Board on the management and sharing of molecular typing data of isolates from human, food, feed, animal, and the related environment for public health purposes" to provide technical and scientific advice to ECDC and EFSA in the area of molecular typing of foodborne pathogens and the modality of participation.Appointment to the Quadripartite Technical Group on Antimicrobial Resistance and Use Integrated Surveillance (QTG-AIS) (2022- 2024)WP 3 chair of the Quadripartite Technical Group on Antimicrobial Resistance and Use Integrated Surveillance (QTG-AIS) (2022-2024)Member of the EFSA WG to address the EC mandate “Request for scientific and technical assistance to collect and analyse antimicrobial resistance data on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from food-producing animals and food (2021-2022)Member of the EFSA WG to address the EC mandate “Request for EFSA technical and scientific support to collect and analyse antimicrobial resistance (AMR) data of bacteria isolated from aquaculture animals (2023- 2024)IAEA Chief Scientific Investigator for Agreement No. 27020 concerning Research Project: “Provision of Technical Advisor Service Within AMR to Public Health Laboratories” (2023-2028).Member of the WHO AMR Multi-Stakeholder Partnership platform for Research and Academic organizations cluster.Co-lead of WHO AMR Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Platform - Action Group on “Integrated AMR Surveillance across One Health Sectors in West Africa, Asia and Caribbean”.Member of the PHA4GE Infrastructure working group and platforms.Representing DTU in the WHO International Pathogen Surveillance NetworkParticipating in the UK CIAG international interactions advisory group: PATH-SAFE project.Participating in the working group of the ISO Standard on AMR typing using WGS data ISO/TC 34/SC 9. My main duties and responsibilities as primary investigator / project owner includes in addition to being the subject matter expert also overseeing project delivery, quality control of delivered services and activities, client orientation and conflict resolution experience. I have participated in several courses in project management and team building. In my early carrier, I was the informal staff manager e.g. daily responsible for project activities and up to 14 technicians. I have in several periods e.g. 26th of February to the 31st of May, 2016 been the acting head of the unit - Group of Genomic Epidemiology in the absence of Prof. Frank Aarestrup. The Group of Genomic Epidemiology consisted at that time of approximately 35 employees.  Currently (Oct 2023), I am responsible for 26 employees of the Research Group of Global Capacity Building which include in addition to me - three senior scientific officer, five post-docs, one PhD student, two research assistances, seven project managers/ special consultants, five lab. technicians and two financial officers administrative staff bridging across the disciplines of clinical and molecular microbiology, epidemiology and bioinformatics. Advisory Service Since 1999, I have been provided advisory service to the WHO and since 2006 also to the EC including Directorate F of the Directorate General for Health and Consumers as well as to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Recently, I also provides advisory service to FAO and ECDC. The advisory service to the organizations includes advice in training and capacity building in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC) and Europe, identification of foodborne pathogens, antimicrobial susceptibility testing, molecular biology, whole genome sequencing (WGS), surveillance and outbreak detection. Furthermore, I represented DTU Food as, steering committee member (1999 - 2017) in the WHO Global Foodborne Infections Network (WHO GFN), steering committee member (2009 – 2014 - 2021) of the WHO Advisory Group on Integrated Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance (AGISAR) network. Between 2016 to 2021, I provided advisory service to the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA), the Ministry of Environment and Food in questions related to antimicrobial resistance and whole genome sequencing. In addition, I participated in the national consultation relating to Codex Alimentarius in relation to the advisory service for DVFA. The service terminated due to transfer of basic funding to other research groups. Currently, I am appointed as the International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) focal points as well as an ECDC and EFSA external experts. In addition, I am one out of five members of the Fleming Fund Alumni Network Steering Committee to guide the Fleming Fund to shape the future Fleming Fund fellowships to ensure sustainability and impact. In 2023, I was designated as chair for Activity 3 “Technology/laboratory & diagnostics/epidemiology for AMU and AMR” for Quadripartite Technical Group on Integrated Surveillance (QTG-AIS) as well as IAEA Chief Scientific Investigator for “Provision of Technical Advisor Service Within AMR to Public Health Laboratories”. Capacity building/ Teaching Since 1999, I have organized, facilitated and conducted more than 40 international laboratory training courses for WHO. This included training more than 800 scientists from more than 70 countries in primarily LMIC, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, China, Eastern Africa, the Middle East, and Europe in antimicrobial susceptibility testing, detection of foodborne pathogens and molecular techniques including WGS. Since 2006, I have organized, facilitated and conducted at least one laboratory training course and workshop for all EU member state’s national reference laboratories within the area of AMR and WGS. In addition, I have organized, facilitated and conducted other training courses or workshops in relation to other projects or programmes such as within the EFSA project ENGAGE, OHEJP CARE, Fleming Fund SeqAfrica and EQASIA, the Fleming Fund fellowship scheme. I have been and still are responsible for the mentoring of 12 Fleming Fund fellows from Nigeria and Ghana. The fellowships have been in AMR surveillance, AMU surveillance, Laboratory and quality control, and whole genome sequencing and genomic epidemiology. In addition, I am responsible for the subcontract of additional three fellows. Since 2000, I have responsible for conducting national and international proficiency test programs (External Quality Assurance Systems (EQAS)) for WHO, EU, GMI, ECDC in the area of antimicrobial susceptibility testing, identification and serotyping of SalmonellaShigella, Campylobacter and mastitis pathogens, and latest quality metrics and prediction of phenotypic resistance based on WGS. I was one of the leads in initiating DTU Food’s efforts to set up e-learning. The AMR e-learning component was part of the EURL workplan and budget and was based on many of my presentations within the area of AMR and surveillance. I am responsible for the AMR e-learning component which is an official DTU Coursera course and has 242,613 unique visitors, 60,921 enrolled with 13,075 completing the course (1 Oct 2023). Recently, I was in the capacity as head of FAO reference laboratory invited to provide a technical review the FAO Academy e-learning course on “Understanding antimicrobial resistance in food and agriculture”. I am responsible for the DTU summer-school course 23255 of 5 ECTS “The threat from antimicrobial resistance” which is a three weeks course bridging between phenotypic antimicrobial susceptibility testing to genomics. In addition, I am guest lecturer and censor for the DTU course 23258; General Medical Microbiology presenting “Vibrio, Neisseria, and Legionella and “Gram negatives; Enterobacteriaceae and other Proteobacteriaceae. In the past, I have been teaching also in the DTU course 23210. DTU Food’s Global Capacity Building unit was appointed as a Collaborative Centre of the European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) in 2023. The ESCMID Collaborative Centers (ECC) are clinical microbiology and/or infectious disease centers of excellence in Europe and beyond. ECCs welcome professionals from abroad to learn about diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and organizing services, as well as to establish professional networks and foster international exchange. As ECC, the Research Group of Global Capacity Building will be able to host visiting professionals for a period of up to 1 month within the ESCMID Observership programme. The observers will have the opportunity to get a more detailed insight of the activities of group, incl. external quality assessment panels provision, surveillance and confirmatory testing and whole genome sequencing. I have participated in several DTU courses for supervision of PhD students such as “Teaching & Learning” (UDTU Module 1). I have been responsible for several DTU students for minor projects. I have not been official supervisor or co-supervisor for many PhD students but been involved in quite a number in the later phase of their studies. Due to the role as the WHO CC, EURL, FAO RL, I have hosted a number of guest students or researchers whom I have been teaching. Innovation Innovation is an abstract term and I have always perceived our approach in setting up External Quality Assessment schemes as innovation. The EQA in assessing the WGS quality is vital to ensure good quality sequencing data in which all future surveillance and diagnostic will be based upon. In light of WGS being used more and more for surveillance purposes none will trust the data generated without the EQA organized by my research group. Funding and applications Annually, I receive app. € 1.25mill from the EC to cover the EURL activities and the staff costs. Since 2010, I have received app. € 242.000 from the WHO to cover my advisory service and research activities including the WHO EQA programme. Since 2019, I have received a total of £ 11.689.982 from Fleming Fund (2019-2022) related to the following grants: EQASIA (£ 3.856.958) (Phase I: 2020-2022) and £2,497,995 (Phase II: 2023-2025), SeqAfrica (£ 6.766.636) (Phase I: 2019-2023) and £ 3.595.802 (Phase II: 2023-2025), EQAFRICA (£ 255.578) (2020-2022) fellowships (app. £ 810.810) (2019-2022). In addition from the EC, €4.1 mill incl. co-funding for the OHEJP CARE project (2019-2022), €3.8 mill to support the two projects, EU EURGEN-RefLabCap and EU FWD AMR-RefLabCap (2021-2024), € 609.000 to cover the EARsNet EQA support (2021-2024), € 5.243.000 in support of GenEpi-BioTrain, € 357.000 in support of the EFSA project CarbaCamp as well as $207,845 for the UNSGM. Research In the early days of my research, I have used conventional and molecular microbiology. Since 2010, I have embraced the new era of genomics. My main focus is implementing research building global capacity for surveillance and outbreak detection enabling the assessment of reliable data. In addition, my focus is also in global epidemiology, surveillance, antimicrobial resistance, and population structure of mainly food and waterborne pathogens. I have been working with the most important food and waterborne pathogens including a long range of Salmonella serovars including S. Typhi, E. coli, Campylobacter spp., Listeria monocytogenes, Shigella spp., Staphylocuccus aureus, Klebsiella pneumonia, Vibrio cholera, and Enterocuccus spp.. My research expertise related to 17 UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals SDG(s) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all are towards the following ranking: SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being, SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation, and SDG 14 - Life Below Water. Of personal scientific highlights were linking the cholera outbreak in Haiti to sources in Nepal using WGS published as first author in Mbio; “Population genetics of Vibrio cholerae from Nepal, year 2010 - An identical clone in Nepal and the Haiti outbreak” (279 citations by 26 May 2023). The evidence provided had a major international impact and led to the United Nation apologize for its role in Haiti’s 2010 cholera outbreak and subsequently reimbursed Haiti with an aid package of 400 million USD. The incidence led to UN aid workers being screened for the presence of infectious diseases prior to deployment. Another personal highlight was the discovery of Ethiopian adoptees carrying ESBL producing Salmonella Concord published as first author in Pediatr Infect Dis J. “Emergence of Multidrug-Resistant Salmonella Concord Infections in Europe and the United States in Children Adopted From Ethiopia, 2003-2007” (46 citations by 26 May 2023) which led to the implementation of screening adoptees in Denmark for infectious diseases. In addition, I was the editor of the book entitled “Applied Genomics of Foodborne Pathogens” (Springer) (>10k downloads between 2017 to 2023) as well as co-author of an invited review about “Typhoid Fever” published in Lancet (201 citations by 26 May 2023) and first author of the publication “Global monitoring of antimicrobial resistance based on human sewage” in Nature Communication (373 citations by 26 May 2023). It is also noteworthy to mention following highly cited articles in which I am first and second author “Global monitoring of Salmonella serovar distribution from the World Health Organization Global Foodborne Infections Network Country Data Bank: results of quality assured laboratories from 2001 to 2007” published in Foodborne Pathog Dis. (431 citations by 26 May 2023) and “Multiplex PCR for detection of plasmid-mediated colistin resistance determinants, mcr-1, mcr-2, mcr-3, mcr-4 and mcr-5 for surveillance purposes” published in Euro Surveill. (343 citations by 26 May 2023). Recently, I was the co-author of two publications in Nat Commun. “Genomic analysis of sewage from 101 countries reveals global landscape of antimicrobial resistance” as well as in “A global genomic analysis of Salmonella Concord reveals lineages with high antimicrobial resistance in Ethiopia”. I am author of 164 peer-reviewed published and accepted articles in international refereed journals, 20 as first author and 39 as last author and conducted in collaboration with more than 500 scientists in more than UN 100 countries. (Orcid no.: 0000-0003-2934-8214). According to ISI Web of Knowledge (1 Oct 2023) and based on 151 publications, I have a “h-index” of 48, “sum of times cited without self-citations” of 7,080 “citing articles without self-citations” of 5,797 and “average citations per item” of 48.73. I am ranked #52 in Denmark and #3343 in the world “Ranking of Best Scientists in the field of Microbiology” based on a D-index of 50 in the Research.com.