22 January 2020

Sports physician receives major prize


Michael Kjær is receiving the 2020 Hagedorn Prize for research that has created pioneering new knowledge on rehabilitation and retraining after injuries. The Prize is accompanied by DKK 1.5 million.

Clinical Professor Michael Kjær

Regardless of whether we exercise for fun or at an elite level, we risk developing overuse injuries.

Michael Kjær, Clinical Professor from the Department of Clinical Medicine and Center for Healthy Aging at University of Copenhagen, as well as Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospital, has used most of his research career and life seeking to understand why.

His research has created new insight on the interaction between muscles, the brain and metabolism.

Likewise, his major impact on research in sports physiology has contributed to significantly better understanding of how exercise affects metabolic health and the health of joints and tendons.

For his commitment over many years, he will now receive the 2020 Hagedorn Prize.

About the prize

  • The Hagedorn Prize is accompanied by DKK 1.5 million.
  • It is awarded annually to recognize excellent research or development efforts within internal medicine in Denmark.
  • The Danish Society of Internal Medicine and the Novo Nordisk Foundation award the Prize.
  • The Prize also includes the Hagedorn Medal.

Personally and professionally proud

‘At a personal level, I am very proud and honoured to be receiving the Prize, and I am equally proud that the Prize is recognizing my research field’, says Michael Kjær, adding:

‘This type of prize is often awarded to researchers who focus on cancer, the brain, the heart and other parts of the body in which research can definitely save people’s lives. Sports medicine does not do this in the same way, but injuries in connective tissue affect many people, and I am pleased that the Prize is also acknowledging this’.

Lifelong passion contributed to nomination

Michael Kjær was nominated for the 2020 Hagedorn Prize because of his personal and tireless commitment to research in several fields according to Pia Nimann Kannegaard.

She is the Chair of the Board of the Danish Society of Internal Medicine (DSIM), which decides who receives the Prize based on nominations from the Society’s members.

‘Michael Kjær’s extensive research in sports physiology, rheumatology and healthy ageing reflects a lifelong passion for both basic and clinical research. Michael Kjær has made pioneering discoveries that have been recognized both in Denmark and internationally’, says Pia Nimann Kannegaard, adding:

As a researcher, clinician and teacher, Michael Kjær exhibits curiosity, integrity and perseverance, which is why the Society’s board of directors has decided to award him this year’s Hagedorn Prize’.

Michael Kjær will officially receive the Prize at the Society’s annual general meeting on 28 February.

Read the full press release and more about the Hagedorn Prize at the website of the Novo Nordisk Foundation.


Michael Kjær, Clinical Professor
(+45) 3863505