Statens Serum Institut - EUPHEM

acknowledged by EUPHEM
Department of Microbiology and Infection Control
Artillerivej 5
2300 Copenhagen

Available as a training site for Cohort 2018: YES

Contact person

Thea Kølsen Fischer

Tel : +45 3268 3443


Description of the institute

Statens Serum Institut (SSI) is a governmental public health and research institution under the Danish Ministry of Health, situated in the heart of Copenhagen. SSI prevents and controls infectious diseases, biological threats and congenital disorders based on core competencies within public health, microbiology, immunology, epidemiology and information and communication technology. SSI is the national reference laboratory for microbiology and is the national centre for epidemiology and surveillance of infectious diseases. SSI provides a wide range of services, nationally as well as internationally including consultancies on microbiological and epidemiological monitoring of infectious diseases. Within microbiology SSI holds the national World Health Organisation (WHO) reference laboratories for bacteriology, virology, parasitology, mycology and tuberculosis. In addition to reference activities SSI provides a variety of specialized microbiological diagnostic tests. Key features of the Reference Microbiology at SSI are the close collaboration with the infectious disease epidemiologists at SSI on infectious disease surveillance activities as well as the close ties to the authoritative and political level at the National Board of Health and the Ministry of Health and Prevention.

SSI provide educational, advisory and reference services, all directed mainly towards the national needs, but also with strong international scope. Internationally SSI carries out a large number of advisory and reference functions for the WHO and the EU. SSI is an official Danish contact point and Competent Body for the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, ECDC and the National Focal Point for WHO International Health Regulations 2005. Foreign health services and individual doctors may request for general advice or special analyses and expert typing of particular micro-organisms which defy identification in their own laboratories.

The SSI includes the Danish Centre for Biosecurity and Biopreparedness (CBB) which is the national authority that issues licenses to research institutions pharmaceutical companies, hospital laboratories etc. to allow then to work with biological dual use components. This centre also maintains a 24/7 response capability to counter the effects of a biological incident whether of accidental or malicious origins.

In March 2012, the authoritarian role of the SSI was further expanded to include the national board of e-Health and national health care and medication registries and statistics.

SSI is a major European research centre engaged in a broad array of collaborations with sister organizations in other countries, institutions, companies and health research centres throughout the world.

The main public health programmes are:

• Healthcare associated infections and antimicrobial resistance
• Gastrointestinal and foodborne infections
• Sexually transmitted infections
• Respiratory infections
• Vaccine preventable diseases
• Bacterial, viral, parasitological and mycological infections
• Emerging pathogen discovery
• Pandemic Preparedness

The main public health core-functions are:
• Surveillance of microbiological infections including vaccine preventable diseases
• Surveillance of resistant microorganisms
• Investigation and control of communicable disease.
• Public health microbiological research
• Teaching and training in public health microbiology

Training Opportunities

EUPHEM fellows will receive their training in Division for Diagnostics and Infection Control which holds a range of departments and specialized units covering all aspects of bacteriology including tuberculosis and biohazard III organisms, virology, parasitology and mycology. The training is in close collaboration with the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at SSI and in close collaboration with EPIET fellows. Training programs are tailored based on the requirements in the EUPHEM core competencies, previous experience and personal interests.


The EUPHEM fellow will be supervised by the main EUPHEM SSI coordinator (Dr Robert Skov) and co-coordinator (Dr Thea Kølsen Fischer) for the period of his/her training. For specific tasks and assignments, the fellow will be supervised by appropriate scientists/consultants for the particular projects.

Language requirements

English is widely spoken and understood by almost everyone in Denmark. The EPIET fellow must thus be fluent in written and spoken English. Some language skills in Danish (or other Scandinavian language) is a great advantage, as the working language is Danish and as the Danish language is necessary to provide services to e.g. local health officials or general practitioners. It is therefore expected that the fellow attend language classes in Danish.

Training History

  • Number of EUPHEM fellows trained at institute: One (Cohort 4, 2011-2013)
  • Number of EUPHEM fellows currently in training at SSI: One (Cohort 6 (2013-2015)
  • The SSI also hosts EPIET fellows (both MS-track and EU-track).