Torben Laursen


Since 1990 I have been associated to a research group with a sustained tradition for studies of the impact of diabetes and other endocrine and metabolic disorders, and how to prevent or treat these conditions. In particular, clinical pharmacological aspects of treatment with growth hormone (GH) and insulins have been studied.

Research interests

Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic impact, e.g. circadian variation, of GH administered by means of pumps modelling short acting pulsatile delivery, or mimicking sustained release GH preparations by continuous infusion, by subcutaneous injection of sustained-release GH preparations, or by administration of oral GH preparations to patients with GH-deficiency - a model with minimal interference of endogenous pulsatile GH release.

Study of factors, e.g. binding proteins and formation of a stabile ternary complex that can modulate the half-life and bioactivity of insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I.

Epidemiological studies characteristizing GH deficiency and / or hypopituitarism.

Studies of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic effects of inhaled insulin in animal models, healthy subjects and subjects with type 1 diabetes mellitus.

Studies in type 1 diabetic patients of patterns of CSII, e.g. impact of frequency of micropulses, dose changes or pump arrest.

Studies in subjects with type 2 diabetes with some preserved insulin secretory capacity of the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic effects of different modes of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII), e.g. the impact of exogenous insulin on levels of endogenous insulin. Employing two different insulin assays allows discrimination between exogenous and endogenous insulin.

Elucidation of the effects of different types of insulin mediated via the insulin receptor, and the IGF-I receptor, the latter influencing the production of IGF-I and IGF binding proteins, which again regulates e.g. the half-life and tissue availability of IGF-I. As well diabetes, treatment with certain types of insulins as elevated circulating levels of IGF-I have been suggested to be associated with certain cancers.


Clinical studies in healthy subjects, patients with endocrine or metabolic diseases, e.g. type 1 or type 2 diabetes, patients with partial or total GH deficiency, either isolated or as part of hypopituritarism. The study subjects are studied during admission to a clinical research unit, allowing e.g. frequent blood samples 24 hour profiles of hormones and metabolites, measurement of energy expenditure, body composition and blood pressure. The studies are carried out during rest and exercise, during fasting or fed conditions, and with or without pharmacological treatment. Physiological or pharmacological doses of hormones are administered, in some cases during suppression of endogenous hormone secretion by different clamp techniques. Circulating concentrations of free and bound fractions of hormones and levels of metabolites can be assessed in the research laboratory associated to the department.

Collaborators and centres

  • Professor Jørgen Rungby, Center for Pharmacotherapy, Department of Biomedicine
  • Professor Jens Otto Lunde Jørgensen, Department of Endocrinology, MEA, Aarhus University Hospital
  • Professor Jan Frystyk, Department of Endocrinology, MEA, Aarhus University Hospital
  • Consultant Claus Gravholt, Department of Endocrinology, MEA, Aarhus University Hospital
  • Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Aarhus University Hospital
  • Department of Public Health, Institute of General Medical Practice,  Aarhus University

Research group members

Group leader

Torben Laursen

H bygn. 1242, 343
P +4587167689
P +4551539465


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