Photo: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Prize awarded for battle against global food challenges

Tuesday 21 Nov 17


Frank Møller Aarestrup
Professor, Head of Research Group
National Food Institute
+45 35 88 62 81

On Monday 20 November, Frank Møller Aarestrup received the Nils Foss Excellence Prize 2017 for his groundbreaking research within the field of antimicrobial resistance—research that has a direct impact on global food safety and health.

Professor Frank Møller Aarestrup from the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, has been awarded the Nils Foss Excellence Prize 2017. It is the second consecutive year that the prize has been awarded to a researcher, who has made a difference to food safety and quality. The prize is EUR 100,000 of which at least 75% must be used for further research.

For groundbreaking research within antimicrobial resistance

Frank Møller Aarestrup has received the prize for his groundbreaking research within antimicrobial resistance—research that has had a direct impact on global food safety and health.

One of the most important contributions has been to map and prove that the use of antimicrobials in animals has financial and health consequences and that we can reduce consumption of antimicrobials without it having an impact on food production. 

Working towards global surveillance of infectious diseases

Currently, Frank M. Aarestrup is working on building a global frame for surveillance of infectious diseases. In a press release from Foss issued in conjunction with the prize ceremony, he says: Bacteria travel across traditional borders with no need for passports.

An important starting point is that if we want to improve food safety in Denmark, we need to go to where the food is being produced and deal with the problems there.

The Research Group for Genomic Epidemiology, which Frank Møller Aarestrup is the head of, is e.g. currently working on collecting sewage water samples which make it possible to examine complex samples from large populations and not only from individuals. If many samples are collected from all of the world’s great cities, it would be possible to monitor infectious diseases in up to half of the global population.

Frank Aarestrup

Frank Møller Aarestrup (left) and Kristian Holst Larsen – recipients of the Nils Foss prizes in 2017.

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Frank Møller Aarestrup has been head of the Research Group for Genomic Epidemiology at the National Food Institute since 1995 and is responsible for the surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria in Danish animals.

Read more about the Nils Foss Excellence Prize and the prize winners at Foss’ website.

At the prize giving ceremony, which was held at FOSS Innovation Centre on 20 November 2017, the Nils Foss Talent Prize was awarded to Kristian Holst Laursen from University of Copenhagen.

Please also watch a video on Youtube about Frank Møller Aarestrupˈs research activities.