Sperm Cell Researcher Wins PhD Cup – University of Copenhagen

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26 April 2018

Sperm Cell Researcher Wins PhD Cup

PhD Cup

Anders Rehfeld from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences and Rigshospitalet has won the research communication competition, PhD cup 2018. ’The good story is at the centre, and at the same time, Anders’ identity as a researcher is very clear’, the judging panel said, when DR, the newspaper Information and the Lundbeck Foundation held the finals last Tuesday. DR2 airs the show on Friday at 21:30.

The PhD Cup finalists with winner Anders Rehfeld first on the right.


Many of the products the body is in contact with every day contain chemicals. But how do they affect us? Do they make it harder to reproduce?

Anders Rehfeld from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences and Rigshospitalet has attempted to answer these questions in his PhD project on chemicals’ effect on sperm cell behavior.

On Tuesday evening, he won the PhD cup finals, where young enthusiastic and committed researchers presented their results to a large audience and an experienced panel of judges.

For a month leading up to the presentations, the contestants have practiced stage technique and tightened manuscripts to be able to communicate their research in just three minutes.

“This is about showcasing things that few people know of, but which are important for me, you and for all of us”, host Peter Lund Madsen introduced.

Anders Rehfeld competed against talented colleagues from all over the country and five different academic areas. Now he has all the honour, 30.000 DKK to travel for and the intensive communication training all finalists get, to show for it.

‘Anders won the prize because of his ability to communicate his research in a catchy way. He put good story telling at the centre, and at the same time, Anders’ identity as a researcher is very clear. He demonstrates that his research is both interesting and important to society. At the same time, he proves that researchers can tell stories that make us all wiser and want to learn more’, the judges wrote in their account of why they had chosen Anders Rehfeld as the winner, which host Peter Lund Madsen read aloud to the audience.

“Are you happy now?”, Peter Lund Madsen subsequently asked, and Anders Rehfeld was, not surprisingly, “very happy”.  Hopefully, the victory can also help Anders in his mission to spread his knowledge to benefit couples with difficulty conceiving.

‘It would be incredible if what I do can help make it easier for people to have children in the future. If you have to bring matters to a head, it is a question of life or death: If you are unable to reproduce yourself, your genes will become extinct. Researching something that can potentially affect all of us is extremely exciting’, pre-win Anders Rehfeld said to Information, which has done profiles of all the PhD cup finalists.

You can watch the PhD Cup final on DR2 this Friday at 21.30 or stream it at dr.dk/tv.