David M. Hougaard

David M. Hougaard


David M. Hougaard, Head of, MD, D.Sc (med), consultant, Congenital Disorders
T. +45 32683544 @. dh@ssi.dk

Research area

Newborn screening based on analysis of dried blood spot samples taken a few days after birth. New screening algorithms and development of ultra-sensitive multianalyte assays. Population based association studies with newborn biomarkers (genetic and epigenetic variations, inflammatory and trophic cytokines, metabolites) focusing on causes for congenital disorders including metabolic disorders, developmental disorders, asthma, infections and neuropsychiatric disorders. 300 peer-reviewed publications in international journals.

Prizes and honors

Thorvald Madsen-prize, 1994. Thorvald Madsen Research Fund.

Pubmed links


Head of Department for Congenital Disorders and Danish Center for Neonatal Screening. Responsible for the newborn screening and for the Danish Newborn Screening Biobank. The activities in the department are equally divided between the screening of all newborns in Denmark for congenital disorders and research and development within this area. The department consists of 3 specialized laboratory sections, Newborn Genetics, Clinical Mass Spectrometry and Immunoassay. PI in several scientific projects, including iPSYCH a 9 year project supported by the Lundbeck Foundation.


  • Wray NR, Ripke S, Mattheisen M, …, Hougaard DM, ... Sullivan PF; Major Depressive Disorder Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. Genome-wide association analyses identify 44 risk variants and refine the genetic architecture of major depression.
    Nat Genet. 2018 May; 50 (5):668-681.
  • Olsen L, Sparsø T, Weinsheimer SM, Dos Santos MBQ, Mazin W, Rosengren A, Sanchez XC, Hoeffding LK, Schmock H, Baekvad-Hansen M, Bybjerg-Grauholm J, Daly MJ, Neale BM, Pedersen MG, Agerbo E, Mors O, Børglum A, Nordentoft M, Hougaard DM, Mortensen PB, Geschwind DH, Pedersen C, Thompson WK, Werge T. Prevalence of rearrangements in the 22q11.2 region and population-based risk of neuropsychiatric and developmental disorders in a Danish population: a case-cohort study.
    Lancet Psychiatry. 2018 Jul; 5(7):573-580.
  • Brainstorm Consortium, Anttila V, Bulik-Sullivan B, Finucane HK, … Hougaard D, … Anney R, Elia J, Grigoroiu-Serbanescu M, Edenberg HJ, Murray R. Analysis of shared heritability in common disorders of the brain.
    Science. 2018 Jun 22; 360(6395).
  • Pardiñas AF, Holmans P, Pocklington AJ,… Hougaard DM, .. Stefansson H, Steinberg S, Tosato S, Werge T; GERAD1 Consortium:; CRESTAR Consortium:, Collier DA, Rujescu D, Kirov G, Owen MJ, O'Donovan MC, Walters JTR; GERAD1 Consortium; CRESTAR Consortium; GERAD1 Consortium; CRESTAR Consortium. Common schizophrenia alleles are enriched in mutation-intolerant genes and in regions under strong background selection.
    Nat Genet. 2018 Mar; 50(3):381-389.
  • Weiner DJ, Wigdor EM, Ripke S, Walters RK, Kosmicki JA, Grove J, Samocha KE, Goldstein JI, Okbay A, Bybjerg-Grauholm J, Werge T, Hougaard DM, Taylor J; iPSYCH-Broad Autism Group; Psychiatric Genomics Consortium Autism Group, Skuse D, Devlin B, Anney R, Sanders SJ, Bishop S, Mortensen PB, Børglum AD, Smith GD, Daly MJ, Robinson EB. Polygenic transmission disequilibrium confirms that common and rare variation act additively to create risk for autism spectrum disorders.
    Nat Genet. 2017 Jul; 49(7):978-985.