Mindeord for Søren Rosendal Jensen

Thursday 27 Oct 22

I am sad to announce that Professor Emeritus Søren Rosendal Jensen passed away Thursday 13 October 2022. We have thus lost an esteemed and respected researcher and colleague. Søren was 83 years old.


Søren was a very skilled chemist of natural substances – particularly interested in the phylogeny, phytochemistry and chemotaxonomy, their chemical fingerprints via the production of secondary metabolites and relations.


Søren Rosendal Jensen completed his education as a civil engineer (K) in 1964, after which he was employed and enrolled as a licentiate student. The project was delayed by DTU’s relocation from Copenhagen to Lundtofte, but in 1968 Søren defended his thesis with an excellent result. Søren continued his employment at DTU until hos retirement in 206, after which he continued as Professor Emeritus. In 2004, he celebrated his 40th anniversary and throughout his career at DTU Chemistry, Søren had an active cooperation with many research groups both in Denmark and internationally.  In 1977-78, he spent most of a year at the University of Melbourne and later had several stays abroad, including 2 months at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu in 1985. The focus during these international research stays was to study the chemistry of exotic plants.


Søren was active as emeritus until the end, where he both worked on publications about new chemical structures of natural substances from plants, chemotaxonomy, and was active I the public debate. Primarily at Ingeniøren online, where he answered chemical questions sent to the agony column and energetic commented and debated many types of articles. As late as 7 October, he was at the leys.


Søren’s greatest interest was the isolation of new natural substances and systematization of plant species and genera. He particularly studied biosynthesis of iridoids, which contributed to new knowledge within plant taxonomy, where two different biosynthesis paths for iridoids are mapped. With this information available, the likely biosynthetic path can be identified based on the chemical structure of the iridoid present in a given plant.  

From 1974-87 Søren Rosendal Jensen cooperated with the acknowledge, systematic botanist Rolf Dahlgren. Søren provided Dahlgren with chemical data, which became basis for his Angiosperm system. Iridiods played an important role, showing a very satisfactory correlation with grouping of embryological characters.

In the period 1996-2000, Søren Rosendal Jensen cooperated with several other Danish research groups on the synthetic use of iridoid glycosides, which occur frequently in many plants. The 5-year cooperation project “Special chemicals and pharmaceuticals from plants” together with groups at UCPH School of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Danish Institute of Plant and Soil Science, was supported with funds from the national research councils (SNF, SJVF and STVF). Throughout his career, Søren Rosendal Jensen write more than 130 scientific articles with peer review and educated a significant number of PhD candidates, master’s and bachelor’s students. He was a valued colleague and a brilliant teacher who enjoyed guiding the students on their way to becoming chemical engineers and the students were very fond of Søren. Throughout the years, Søren had a regular lunch group whose core consisted of Torkil Holm, Ingolf Crossland and Søren, as well as a fantastic cooperation with Anne Hector who purified a great many of the plant metabolites.


We will remember Søren Rosendal Jensen as a skilled and committed colleague and excellent ambassador for chemistry.



Best regards

Erling Halfdan Stenby

Head of Department

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