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Thomas Bandholm is Professor of Clinical Exercise Physiology and Rehabilitation at The Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, and Senior Researcher at the Department of Clinical Research, Amager and Hvidovre Hospital. He is Head of Research at Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Research - Copenhagen (PMR-C), a founder-led research program in physical medicine and rehabilitation, established as a joint-venture between The Department of Clinical Research, The Department of Orthopedic Surgery, and The Department of Physical and Occupational Therapy, Copenhagen University Hospital, Amager and Hvidovre Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.

The mission of PMR-C is to improve rehabilitation health care by producing fantastic research and educating excellent researchers who know right from wrong.

The focus of PMR-C is the use of physical medicine to enhance recovery in patients, or to prevent injury or disease. Our approach is clinical, but we also conduct basic research to investigate mechanisms and research to develop new outcome measures.

At PMR-C, we believe strongly in collaboration over competition. We believe that excellence must not come at the expense of kindness, and that excellence without kindness has little value. We recruit talent and seek collaboration based on this belief. Our value keywords are; excellence, integrity, transparency, diversity and kindness.

PMR-C is part of the Clinical Academic Groups “Physical Activity and Sports in Clinical Medicine (imPAct)”, “Research OsteoArthritis Denmark (ROAD)”, and “Prognostication of Acute Recovery Capacity in an Aging Population (ACUTE)” under Greater Copenhagen Health Science Partners (https://chsp.dk/), as well as part of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Research Center in Copenhagen 

Thomas´ primary research focus is if - and how - physical activity and exercise can enhance clinical recovery in different patient groups. A secondary focus is efforts to enhance the quality, transparency and relevance of clinical research; e.g. PREPARE and REPORT trial guides: http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/bjsports/51/20/1494.full.pdf https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/bjsports/early/2022/02/21/bjsports-2021-105058.full.pdf


Academic degrees

2009: PhD (Neuroscience), Graduate School of Neuroscience, University of Copenhagen. Thesis title: Lower-leg muscle size and function in children with cerebral palsy: Effects of Botulinum toxin type A and physical rehabilitation. 

2004: MSc (Exercise physiology, separate 5-year degree), University of Copenhagen. Department of Exercise & Sport Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. Thesis title: Shoulder sensory-motor control in subjects with subacromial impingement syndrome and in healthy controls: the influence of shoulder pain.

1998: Physical Therapist, Copenhagen School of Physical Therapy.


Recent employments

2021-2022: Visiting Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, Colorado, USA (10-months research stay).

2017-present: Professor of Clinical Exercise Physiology and Rehabilitation, Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen.

2014-2017: Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen.

2009-present: Senior Researcher, Clinical Research Centre, Copenhagen University Hospital, Amager and Hvidovre.

2010-2014: Part-time Clinical PhD Lecturer (Klinisk Ph.d.-vejledningslektor), University of Copenhagen.


Research supervision

Post.doc. mentorships: 4 completed, 1 ongoing.

PhD-students: 8 completed (4 as faculty/main supervisor), 3 ongoing.

MSc-students: 7 completed (all as faculty/main supervisor).

BSc-students: 24 completed (6 as faculty/main supervisor).

Research assistants: 4.

Career mentees: 3 (1 international).


Scientific awards and scholarships

2008: Young investigator award, Danish Sports Medicine Congress, January 31st – February 2nd, 2008, Copenhagen, Denmark.

2000-2002: Three times Peter & Emma Thomsen scholarship recipient (3 x 100.000 DKK) for talented students at the University of Copenhagen.


Research outputs

 2006-: 140 papers published in international peer-reviewed journals (>850 citations in 2022, total citations: >6000, H-Index=45 [PhD degree in 2009]), 6 international letters to the editor, 1 book (ongoing), 1 textbook chapter, 3 educational science podcast episodes, 16 communicating papers in Danish or English (4 in Br J Sports Med), 5 commentaries in Fysioterapeuten”, 1 letter of the day in “Berlingske Tidende”, and +400 conference abstracts. In 2021, the first paper was published in the New England Journal of Medicine (Journal Impact Factor: 74.7).

Prolonged stays abroad

2021-2022: Ten months research stay as Visiting Professor with the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, Colorado, USA, contact: Professor Jennifer Stevens-Lapsley.

2001: Two months research stay as Research Assistant with The Biomechanics Research Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia, contact: Professor Julie Steele.

Academic evaluation work

Research prizes: 2 committees; Best oral presentation, Danish Sports Medicine Congress, Ove Bøje Prize, Scandinavian Sports Medicine Congress.

Grants: 7 grant committees; Lundbeck Foundation (UCSF funds), Arthritis New Zealand, Auckland Medical Research Council, Arthritis Research – United Kingdom, Welcome Trust – India Alliance, Amager-Hvidovre Hospital funds. 

Positions and fellowships: Research director appointment committees (University Hospital): 1, Full Professorship evaluation committees: 2 (1 as chairperson, 1 international; University of Eastern Finland), Associate Professorship evaluation committees: 8 (1 as chairperson, 1 international; University of Otago, New Zealand), Assistant Professor evaluation committees: 1, Senior Researcher evaluation committees: 1, fellowship evaluations: 1 (1 international; Arthritis Research, UK).  

Degrees: PhD assessment committees: 3 (2 as chairperson, 1 international), PhD progress evaluations: 3 (all national).

Papers: Editorial board member with Br J Sports Med (2021-ongoing, JIF: 18.8), guest-edited issues for Br J Sports Med: #sportskongres issues 2017, 2018, and 2019 as well as #WCSPT2022 issue 2020. Past editorial board member with PLOS ONE (2013-2021, JIF: 2.8), Ad-hoc reviews for: BMJ, Journal of Orthopaedic Research, Muscle & Nerve, European Journal of Applied Physiology, Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing, Journal of Neuroscience Methods, Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Disability & Rehabilitation, Medical Science Monitor, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, International Archives of Occupational & Environmental Health, British Journal of Sports Medicine, Osteoarthritis & Cartilage, Journal of Electromyography & Kinesiology, European Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Acta Orthop, PLOS ONE, Bone Joint J, Clin Rehabil, Int J Ther Rehabil (>150 ad-hoc reviews in total).

Abstracts: Chair or co-chair, abstract evaluation committee for the Scandinavian Sports Medicine Congress 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 (around 130 submitted abstracts/congress-year), Co-chair, abstract evaluation committee for the 4th World Congress of Sports Physical Therapy 2022.   


International research collaboration

Collaboration includes Professor Jennifer Stevens-Lapsley, University of Colorado, United States; Professor Tom Wainwright, Bournemouth University, UK; Professor Peter McNair, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand; Professor Shaun Treweek, University of Aberdeen, Scotland; Professor Jonathan Bean, Harvard Medical School, United States. The collaboration includes joint applications, joint research symposia, PhD-student exchange, prolonged research stays abroad and joint publications (e.g. PMID: 30306337; PMID: 28882839; PMID: 26713248).  


Coordination of teaching activities

Board member, PhD-program: Basic and Clinical Research in Musculoskeletal Sciences (MUSKOS), University of Copenhagen (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023).

Course director, PhD-course: Clinical Research Methodology in Health & Medical Sciences (2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2023).

Course director, PhD-course: Clinical Research Dissemination: Papers, preprints and social media, Faculty of Health & Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen (2023).

Course director, post-graduate (PT) course: Exercise therapy in clinical practice, Danish Society of Physical Therapists (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016).   

Invited lectures

>30 invited lectures given at national and international scientific meetings. Recent invited lectures include “Exercise therapy to enhance recovery after orthopedic surgery”, Annual Meeting of the European Society for Movement Analysis in Adults and Children, Odense, Denmark (key note); “Rehabilitation strategies and functional recovery after THA and TKA”, 7th Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) World Congress, Liverpool, UK; “Exercise to enhance recovery following total hip and knee replacements”, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand; “Enhancing the quality and transparency of health research”, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand; and “Efforts to restore muscle function following total knee replacements”, XVI Congresso della Societa Italiana Chirurghi Orthopedici dell´Ospedalita Private, Milan, Italy.


Advisory boards and committee-work

2021-: Alternate member, Strategic Council, Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen.

2021-: Volunteer, Br J Sport Med (BJSM) Global SEM Mentoring Program (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion).

2021-: Working group member, evaluation procedures for clinical academics at Hvidovre Hospital.

2020-: Data monitoring committee member, BANG-trial (NCT03959215).

2018-: Steering committee member, Clinical Academic Group “Research in OsteoArthritis Denmark”.

2015-: Executive committee member, board of research, Hvidovre Hospital, University of Copenhagen.

2015-: Steering committee member, IOC Research Centre, Copenhagen.

2014-: Board member, PhD-program: Basic and Clinical Research in Musculoskeletal Sciences, #UCPH.

2014:  Advisory board member, Enhanced Recovery after Surgery (ERAS) Society, United Kingdom.

2013-: Advisory board member, Strategy for research in physical therapy in DK, Danish PT organization.

2013:  Advisory board member, Novartis. Topic: surgical pathophysiology and postoperative rehabilitation.

2011-: Board member, Board of research, Hvidovre Hospital, University of Copenhagen.


Research leadership and coordination

2018: The Capital Region´s course in formal leadership.

2015: The Capital Region´s course in research leadership.

2015-: Co-founder and Research Head, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Research - Copenhagen (PMR-C).

2010-: Research Lead, Department of Physical Therapy, Copenhagen University Hospital, Hvidovre.

Organization of congresses

Danish Physical Therapy Congress, Odense Denmark (2018, 2022, role: scientific board member). 

4th World Congress of Sports Physiotherapy (2021, role: scientific board member). 

Scandinavian Sports Medicine Congress (#sportskongres) ­– including organization of the oral presentation competition judged by senior editors from 7 top sports medicine journals (700-800 participants from a number of different countries) (2019 and 2020, role: scientific board member). 

Danish Sports Medicine Congress – including organization of the oral presentation competition (400-500 participants from a number of different countries) (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, role: scientific board member, committee chair in 2018).




Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PMR); clinical trial methodology; rehabilitation medicine; enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS).  

Potential conflicts of interest

I have the following to declare

I have received speaker’s honoraria for talks or expert testimony on the efficacy of exercise therapy to enhance recovery after surgery at meetings or symposia held by biomedical companies (Zimmer Biomet and Novartis).

I have received fees for writing textbook chapters (Munksgaard) and for organising post-graduate education, such as post-graduate courses in clinical exercise physiology (Danish Physical Therapy Organization) or PhD courses on clinical research methodology (University of Copenhagen).

I am an editorial board member with Br J Sports Med.

I am a steering group member for “Clinical guidance catalogues” commissioned by the Danish Society of Sports Physical Therapy.  

I am a board member for the PhD-program: Basic and Clinical Research in Musculoskeletal Sciences (MUSKOS), University of Copenhagen.

I am an exercise physiologist and physical therapist and may have a cognitive exercise bias.


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