PhD student sees professional network as a unique showcase for early career researchers

Networks, contacts and collaboration across disciplines are crucial for high-level research, according to PhD student Morten Kelder Skouboe, who uses the Inflammation Network to get inspiration from other academic environments, and perhaps to home in on precisely the right thesis.

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[Translate to English:] Morten Kelder Skouboe håber, at Inflammationsnetværket kan være med til at spore ham ind på det helt rigtige speciale Photo: Jakob Binderup, AU Health

How do you deal yourself the best hand of cards when, as a young and ambitious PhD student or postdoc, you have to find a foothold in the world of research?

29-year-old Morten Kelder Skouboe is already well on his way to a blossoming career, and he is part of a research group at the Department of Biomedicine. The group has just published an article about genetic defects in the Inuit in a recognised journal.

The course seems to be set for Morten Kelder Skouboe. However, he insists on keeping his options open, not least because he recognises that he still has a lot to learn about his own research field and related fields.

This is one of the main reasons why Morten Kelder Skouboe has signed up for the Inflammation Network – an academic network of researchers at all levels with broad focus on inflammation and infectious diseases.

"I’ve signed up to get a better idea of what’s going on in other areas, and perhaps to get a clearer understanding of how my research skills can be used in other research groups working on things that I find really exciting," says Morten Kelder Skouboe.

Showcase for early career researchers

The Inflammation Network is one of Health's five professional networks established to stimulate mutual inspiration and to form networks across academic environments and research disciplines.

According to Morten Kelder Skouboe, the Inflammation Network is a unique showcase in which it is possible to meet and be inspired by researchers at all levels with widely differing backgrounds.

"It’s an especially good opportunity for early career researchers in training who have not established themselves in a specific field of research. I may well be working on immunodefects right now, but that doesn't mean that it has to be my whole career," he says and continues:

"I’ve intentionally tried to get a wide range of skills that I can use in many different contexts, and I hope to be able to work with a lot of areas and get an understanding of many things, so that I can ultimately choose the right thesis."

Eye openers at the annual meeting

The Inflammation Network was established in 2020, at almost the same time as the corona pandemic first appeared in Denmark. This means that, so far, network activities have been few and far between, but in autumn 2021, the network successfully held its first annual meeting.

Morten Kelder Skouboe was invited to present his research group's discovery of a rare genetic defect in Inuit children, which makes them extremely vulnerable to viral infections.

Besides being able to present their results to both Danish and international researchers, the annual meeting was also an opportunity to get inspiration from others researching infectious diseases and immunity.

"Inflammation is a theme that envelopes almost all organ systems, so there was a wide range of researchers at the meeting. Something I found really interesting came from the Department of Dermatology, and hearing about their psoriasis research was a great eye-opener for me. They have a completely different approach to research than we have in our group, and I'm convinced that this is something we can learn a lot from," says Morten Kelder Skouboe.

The next annual meeting of the Inflammation Network will be on 31 August. Trine Mogensen, chair of the network's steering committee, hopes to see many early career researchers at the meeting.

"We’d very much like to encourage early career researchers to become part of a network and can see their projects and research in a larger context. We want to be inclusive, and we hope that all researchers will be able to see themselves in one or more of the networks. The Inflammation Network aims to promote broad collaboration between the Department of Biomedicine, the Department of Clinical Medicine and Aarhus University Hospital to generate the best possible translational research," she says.

More information about the Inflammation Network:

The Inflammation Network was established in spring 2020.

The first annual meeting was held on 11 November 2021 and the next annual meeting will be on 31 August 2022.

Read more about the Inflammation Network here.

Sign up for the network via the faculty's website.



Morten Kelder Skouboe, PhD student at the Department of Biomedicine and doctor at the Department of Infectious Diseases at AUH.
Tel. no.: +45 2890 2806 


Prof. Trine Mogensen, Department of Biomedicine and chair of the steering committee of the Inflammation Network.
Tel. no.: +45 2012 5280