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Jens Randel Nyengaard

How to quantify immunohistochemistry


Immunohistochemistry has made significant contributions to our understanding of proteins and molecules in tissue and cells in the last two decades. The qualitative description of proteins and molecules in tissue progresses naturally to their quantification. A quantitative analysis provides more descriptive information about the tissue proteins and molecules, which improves analysis of the differences between normal and pathological tissue proteins and molecules. Such analysis may also reveal important information about the organisation of proteins and molecules being studied. Therefore it is important that the proteins and molecules and related structures can be measured correctly. Quantification of these components is especially important in pathology when examining how proteins and molecules react to disease, trauma, chemicals, or genetic engineering.

Molecular techniques for identifying particular markers for tumour structures have been greatly improved in recent years. In particular, the detection of tumour-related genetic variations by in situ hybridization and expression variations by immunohistochemistry has led to more specific classifications of individual tumors. The exact diagnosis and the choice of some treatment regimens are now decided by these analyses. The drawback is, that the information obtained from these analyses are typically qualitative and constitutes a very small fraction of the data, which could potentially be collected if the methods and tools for quantitative pathology were more sophisticated.

Stereology may be used as an efficient tool for estimating 3-dimensional quantities, such as number, size, connectivity, shape, direction and the spatial arrangement of the different proteins and molecules under study. The process of design-based stereological analysis can be simplified into two main steps: a statistical sampling of histological sections/fields  of view and use of appropriate geometric shapes (probes) such as points, lines, planes, disectors etc. which are superimposed on the histological section to investigate and quantify the object of interest.



1989    M.D., Aarhus University, Århus, DK.
1989    HD (BComm) in management, Århus Business School, Århus, DK.                                                                  

01/03-89 to 31/10-89    Resident at Orthopaedic and Surgical Dept., Silkeborg.
01/11-89 to 31/01-90    Resident at Pathological Institute, Randers.
01/02-90 to 31/12-90    Drafted to Search-And-Rescue helicopter, RDAF, Ålborg.
01/01-91 to 30/06-92    Research fellow at Stereological Res. Lab., Aarhus Univ.
01/07-92 to 31/07-93    Research fellow at Diab. and Vascular Res. Lab., Washington Univ., St Louis, USA.
01/08-93 to 31/01-94    Research fellow at Stereological Res. Lab., Aarhus Univ.
01/02-94 to 31/08-96    Resident at Medical Depts., Aarhus University Hospital.
01/09-96 to 31/12-00    Assistant Professor at Stereological Res. Laboratory, Aarhus Univ.
01/01-01 to 30/06-08    Associate Professor at Stereology and EM Research Laboratory, Aarhus Univ.
01/07-08                          Professor at Stereology and Electron Microscopy Laboratory, Aarhus Univ.

Published 242 scientific papers in quantitative microscopy in biomedicine, one patent and one neurostereology book.
Sum of citations = 8721, h-index = 33.

1988    Gold Medal at the Medical School, Aarhus Univ. 1996-99    Treasurer for the International Society for Stereology.
1998    Co-organiser of “Human cortex symposium: From gene to structure”, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
2000    Medical Doctoral Thesis (DMSc) at Aarhus University.
2000-    Member of Editorial Board for “Image analysis and stereology”.
2002-06    Partner in Marie Curie Training Site “Advanced Medical Imaging and Spatial Stat.” (MISS), Aarhus Univ.
2004-07    Vice-President Europe, International Society for Stereology.
2005-    Principal investigator in research centre for “Membrane-receptors In Neuronal Disease”, Aarhus Univ.
2006-    Visiting Professor and Docent for Stereology, University of Bern, Switzerland
2007-10    Principal investigator in research initiative “Histoinformatics”, Aarhus Univ.
2007-    Scientific adviser in the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
2007    Organiser of symposium “Future Stereology”, Sandbjerg Estate.
2008-11    President, International Society for Stereology.
2010-    Co-Director of “Centre for Stochastic Geometry and Advanced Bioimaging”, Aarhus Univ.
2012-    Principal investigator in AU Pilotcentre: Novel ideas for better antidepressants.
2012-    Course organizer: “Introduction to Neuroscience”, Sino-Danish Center, Beijing, China.

Organizer of and/or lecturer at ~59 international courses in Stereology. Invited lecturer at many international meetings, institutions and Ph.D.-courses. Reviewer for international universities, foundations and more than 35 international journals. Opponent for Ph.D.-thesis at University of Melbourne, University of Monash, VU University of Amsterdam, University of Copenhagen, University of South Denmark and University of Aarhus. Reviewer for professorship at University of Melbourne and University of Aarhus.

Borne: February 5th, 1962. Address: Bunsensvej 1, 8260 Viby, Denmark.    
Home: +45 8625 8034    Cell: +45 6020 2620    Fax: +45 8716    E-mail:

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