SSI - Statens Serum Institut

- Measuring vitamin D concentrations in 80,000 neonatal blood samples


We will measure the concentration of vitamin D (25 hydroxyvitamin D) in blood samples from 80.000 newborns and explore if low Vitamin D is associated with an increased risk of mental diseases such as schizophrenia, bipolar disease, depression, ADHD or Autism. (Theme 1 and Theme 2).



David M. Hougaard is Director of the Department for Congenital Disorders at Statens Serum Institut. In 2005 he was appointed Head of the Danish Centre for Neonatal Screening, and the Danish Neonatal Screening Biobank at SSI. He has a longstanding collaboration with the National Centre for Register-based Research, and in more recent times has collaborated on the retrieval and preparation of the large number of samples involved in the iPSYCH consortium. He is co-author with John McGrath and Preben Bo Mortensen on the key studies that first established the vitamin D assay in neonatal dried blood spots, and on the landmark paper linking neonatal vitamin D status and risk of schizophrenia.

Dr. Arieh Sierra Cohen has a PhD from Lund University and is a senior-scientist with expertise in analytical and medicinal chemistry. He is Head of Mass spectrometry in the neonatal and endocrine labs at Statens Serum Institute. Arieh Sierra Cohen is responsible for many of the routine screening checks undertaken on neonatal blood samples. He has established the assay for vitamin D at SSI, and has been responsible for many improvements in this assay.

Dr. Sanne Grundvad Boelt has a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular. Sanne will work with David Hougaard and Arieh Cohen in order to assess 25 hydroxyvitamin D concentration in neonatal blood sample. The methods require tandem mass spectroscopy. The assay is highly sensitive, and involve a derivatization in order to optimize the quantification of the vitamin D metabolites.