Centre for Clinical Research (In English)

The Centre for Clinical Research has been an established part of the North Denmark Regional Hospital since 2009 and marked an increased effort and desire to bring focus to research and research-based teaching.

The Centre aspires to maintain an accommodating and unique organisation with both inter- and multidisciplinary and highly specialized approach to research and development within the healthcare sector and strive to promote the recruitment and educational strategy for the North Denmark Regional Hospital.

The Centre’s mission is to acquire knowledge, competences and experience through research and development for the benefit of patients and citizens in our community in the effort to improve healthcare and to develop preventive treatments.

In pursuit of our mission, we have designed and nourished an environment based on commitment, respect, credibility, curiosity and professionalism, considering the individual as well as the collective of employees. Our research is grounded on scientific research methodology of the highest quality and with ethical integrity achieved through transparency, planning and dialog.



We offer a wide range of resources including specialized laboratories and employees with expert knowledge within their individual fields to support the research and development projects originating from the North Denmark Regional Hospital.
The Centre also mentors university medical students from both the bachelor’s and master’s programs in the Faculty of Medicine, Aalborg University assisting them in designing a project, teaching them the ethics and methodologies of research and supervises their papers.
The head of the Centre is a professor and medical doctor of infectious disease and manages a staff consisting of academics, nurses, doctors, therapists, lab technicians and PhD Fellows. The Centre’s professor, associate professors, and PhD Fellows became affiliated with the foundation of the Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University on January 1st, 2013.
To find out more about the staff and how they can assist you, please refer to our Danish site.


The Centre is committed to a multitude of different research and development areas throughout the hospital. We do, however, have certain areas of interest and expertise.

The Human Microbiome

The molecular biology laboratory at the Centre for Clinical Research has a great interest in the association between human health and the gut and urinary microbiome.
In 2019, we initiated the Danish Maternal and Offspring Microbiome Study (DANMOM), where pregnant women and their newborns are invited to participate. The participants are followed throughout pregnancy and during childhood. The purpose is to understand how the gut and urinary microbiome are affected during pregnancy, and which lifestyle and other factors are important for the establishment of a healthy gut microbiota in infants. This can help us to understand and identify microbial changes and imbalances before disease onset in both mother and child.
Several other studies are ongoing, including projects on the association and role of the gut or urinary microbiome in major depressive disorder, ADHD, autism, intensive care unit patients, and urinary incontinence.   
To learn more, please refer to our Danish site.

Fundamentals of Care

Fundamentals of Care is a cross-institutional partnership and research program. There is a call for a more explicit valuing and embedding of fundamental care in clinical practice, nursing education, and research. Therefore, it is essential that clinicians, leaders, policy makers, researchers and educators collaborate in addressing the challenges around fundamental nursing care. 
In the North Denmark Region, six healthcare and educational institutions have established a cross-institutional partnership comprising a research program around Fundamentals of Care. It was launched in 2019 with all the participating partners committing themselves to research collaboration for the upcoming five years. The research program encompasses three research areas: Reflective nursing in education and clinical practice; Continuity in nursing; Evidence-based nursing practice.
To learn more, please refer to our Danish site.


The Centre has launched a major research program with focus on use of cannabis medicine for relief of chronic pain and palliative care of patients with advanced cancer diseasestage. The program has been initiated by two successive interviews surveys with inclusion of cancer patients and health care professionals (HCPs), respectively. The surveys have been followed by a questionnaire study in a large group of cancer patients receiving palliative care. The purpose of the surveys and the questionnaires have been to uncover knowledge, attitude, practice, and experience (KAPE) among patients and HCPs regarding cannabis medicine. In addition, the Centre has also been responsible for a retrospective clinical study of more than 2500 patients being treated with cannabis medicine in a Danish pain clinic. Currently, a randomized controlled trial is under preparation with focus on patients with advanced prostate cancer receiving treatment with cannabis medicine (Pro-Can RCT). It is anticipated that the participants will be included in the trial from September 2023. In conjunction with the research activities, the department of clinical biochemistry in our institution is performing blood profiles of cannabinoids as part of safety and compliance evaluation. Individual concentrations profiles will be determined for THC, hydroxy-THC, carboxy-THC and CBD. The cannabinoids are determined by a validated method using ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS).

Machine Learning

Hospital-acquired infections (HAI) remain the most common adverse outcome within a hospital setting. Management of HAI is complex and relies on proper preventive measures and treatment with antibiotic therapy. To assist in the complex HAI management, we develop models from machine learning (ML) for early and accurate identification of patients at high risk of acquiring HAI. ML enables the utilization of patterns from massive datasets, hence big data, which also facilitates predictions and classification of patients at risk of suffering HAI. We also seek to address dimensions of interpretability. Our models aspire to targeted prevention measures in the future.


Aside from research, the Centre has another important function in organizing and overseeing the practical training of both bachelor’s and master’s students from the Faculty of Medicine, Aalborg University. This training offers the students experience in communicating with patients and to further their clinical skills based on the theorical lectures and case studies taught at the university. 
We have a specialized team at Centre for Clinical Research that ensures the quality and execution of the practical training in careful collaboration with the Faculty of Medicine and Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University.
To learn more, please refer to our Danish site.

Clinical Trial Unit

The centre’s clinical trial unit, known as ‘Enhed for Kliniske Forsøg’ (EKF), at the North Denmark Regional hospital is an established unit which governs the general administrative and operational tasks within the field of clinical testing of new medications and medical devices.

The unit consists of:

  • Professor Peter Leutscher
  • Research coordinator Dorthe Brønnum
  • Registered Nurse in Intensive Care Medicine Lillian Søndergaard Lundberg
  • Project coordinator Karoline Lichon Hesthaven

EKF possesses significant experience in managing clinical trials and projects within health sciences and development. All activities performed by EKF are completed in accordance with Danish law and the government’s requirements and they adhere to international and scientific standards for conducting clinical trials, Guideline for Good Clinical Practice (GCP).

To learn more, please refer to our Danish site.