Statens Serum Institut (SSI) is under the auspices of the Danish Ministry of Health. Our main duty is to ensure preparedness against infectious diseases and biological threats as well as control of congenital disorders.
SSI’s mission statement reads:
We aim to reinforce health through disease control and research
Infectious Disease Preparedness
SSI is responsible for the Danish preparedness against infectious diseases.
through international collaborations. We provide counseling to the Danish healthcare system and authorities in the event of e.g. epidemics that demand urgent action.
We are dedicated to digging deeper into obtaining up-to-date knowledge of specific bacteria or viruses. Such thorough approach is applied in the event of e.g. foodborne disease outbreaks to identify with great certainty if a bacterium in a patient is equivalent to a bacterium in a certain food product. Highly specialized diagnostics may also be necessary for doctors to make accurate diagnoses and choose the optimal treatment of patients.
In the event of new or rare infectious diseases, e.g. Ebola and HIV, SSI must ensure the availability of relevant diagnostic analyses to the Danish healthcare authorities for disease diagnosis and prevention of further spread of infections.
Danish National Biobank & Biomarkers
SSI houses the Danish National Biobank which stores more than 22 million biological samples, such as serum, plasma, buffy coat, whole blood and DNA.
The main purpose of the Danish National Biobank is to give scientists from Denmark and abroad overview of and access to biological samples in both existing and future collections. Scientists have the possibility to link information about biological samples in Danish biobanks with the large amount of data contained in the unique Danish health registers. The Danish National Biobank is still expanding and will become one of the world’s largest biobanks and a unique resource that will take Danish biomedical research another step forward.
SSI is responsible for the national screening of newborns, analysing for 17 serious illnesses. Common to these diseases is that are preventable or treatable if discovered in due time.
SSI investigate biomarkers to detect congenital or autoimmune diseases, e.g. heart disease, arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as develop highly specialized diagnostics to diagnose congenital, immunological and neurodegenerative diseases.
All of SSI’s activities are based on research. Data and new knowledge are gathered and produced in all priority areas, communicated to the outside world by SSI employees and published in scientific journals.
Each year, SSI’s researchers publish approximately 400 scientific articles.
SSI performs top-level international research. Particularly two research areas stand out as being world-class:
- Epidemiology Research, where scientists investigate e.g. disease etiology and risk factors for disease using the unique Danish health registers and biobanks.
- Vaccine Research, where scientists investigate the effects of vaccines and develop new vaccines against e.g. tuberculosis and chlamydia.
SSI is responsible for the purchase and supply of vaccines to the Danish national vaccination programmes, including the Childhood Vaccination Programme, pandemic preparedness and other necessary preparedness supplies.
Additionally, SSI is responsible for the Danish preparedness against smallpox.