Personal Reflections on the Life of Hans Jørgen Gottlieb Gundersen


  • John F. Bertram Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Luis M. Cruz-Orive Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computation, Faculty of Sciences, University of Cantabria, Avda. Los Castros, 48, E–39005 Santander, Spain
  • Stephen M. Evans Core Center for Molecular Morphology, Section for Stereology and Microscopy, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Department of Pathology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark
  • Dallas M. Hyde School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, California, USA
  • Terry Mayhew School of Life Sciences, University of Nottingham
  • Matthias Ochs Institute of Functional Anatomy, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany; German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Berlin, Germany
  • Yong Tang Department of Histology and Embryology, Chongqing Medical University, China
  • Jens Randel Nyengaard Stereology and Electron Microscopy Laboratory, Aarhus University



Hans Jørgen Gottlieb Gundersen


Professor Hans Jørgen G. Gundersen MD, DMSc (1943–2021) was a pioneering stereologist whose work has inspired and influenced researchers across the world for almost half a century. He was a charismatic character and one of the founding fathers of modern stereology, whose achievements and contributions are fondly remembered below by colleagues and co-workers. It was an enormous pleasure to be in his company and although future generation will miss this opportunity, his work will live on, to inspire and influence future generations of researchers.


Bagger PV, Bang L, Christiansen MD, Gundersen HJ, Mortensen L. Total number of particles in a bounded region estimated directly with the nucleator: granulosa cell number in ovarian follicles. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1993 Feb;168(2):724-31.

Barker D.J.P., C. Osmond. (1986) Infant mortality, childhood nutrition and ischaemic heart disease in England and Wales. Lancet 327:1077-1081.

Bertram J.F., M. Soosaipillai, S.D. Ricardo, G.B. Ryan. (1992) Total numbers of glomeruli and individual glomerular cell types in the normal rat kidney. Cell Tissue Res. 270: 37-45.

Bertram J.F., R.N. Douglas-Denton, B. Diouf, M.D. Hughson and W.E. Hoy. (2011) Human nephron number: implications for health and disease. Ped. Nephrol. 26:1529-1533.

Brenner B.M., D.I. Garcia, S. Anderson. (1988) Glomeruli and blood pressure: less of one, more the other? Am J Hypertens1: 335-347.

Cruz-Orive LM. Particle number can be estimated using a disector of unknown thickness: the selector. J Microsc. 1987 Feb;145(Pt 2):121-42.

Gundersen HJ. The nucleator. J Microsc. 1988 Jul;151(Pt 1):3-21.

Gundersen H.J.G., T.F. Bendtsen, L. Korbo, N. Marcussen, A. Moller, K. Nielsen, J.R. Nyengaard, B. Pakkenberg, F.B. Sorensen, A. Vesterby, M.J. West. (1988a) Some new, simple and efficient stereological methods and their use in pathological research and diagnosis. APMIS 96:379-394.

Gundersen H.J.G., P. Bagger, T.F. Bendtsen, S.M. Evans, L. Korbo, N. Marcussen, A. Moller, K. Nielsen, J.R. Nyengaard, B. Pakkenberg, F.B. Sorensen, A. Vesterby, M.J. West. (1988b) The new stereological tools: disector, fractionator, nucleator and point sampled intercepts and their use in pathological research and diagnosis. APMIS 96:857-881.

Hoy W.E., J.R. Ingelfinger, S. Hallan, MD Hughson, SA Mott, JF Bertram. (2010)The early development of the kidney and implications for future health. J Dev Orig Health Dis 1:216-233.

Hsia CCW, Hyde DM, Ochs M, Weibel ER. (2010) An official research policy statement of the American Thoracic Society / European Respiratory Society: Standards for quantitative assessment of lung structure. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 181:394-418.

Hyde DM, Tyler NK, Putney LF, Singh P, Gundersen HJG. (2004) Total number and mean size of alveoli in mammalian lung estimated using fractionator sampling and unbiased estimates of the Euler characteristic of alveolar openings. Anat Rec 277:216- 226.

Johnson K.J., N.G. Wreford, W.E. Hoy, J.F. Bertram. (2000) Estimating total glomerular number in human kidneys with a physical disector/fractionator combination. Image Analysis & Stereology 19: 105-108.

Kanzaki G., V.G. Puelles, L.A. Cullen-McEwen, W.E. Hoy, Y. Okabayashi, N. Tsuboi, A. Shimizu, K.M. Denton, M.D. Hughson T. Yokoo and J.F. Bertram. (2017) New insights on glomerular hyperfiltration: a Japanese autopsy study. J. Clin. Invest. Insight 2(19) pii: 94334. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.94334.

Knudsen L, Weibel ER, Gundersen HJG, Weinstein FV, Ochs M. (2010) Assessment of airspace size characteristics by intercept (chord) measurement: an accurate and efficient stereological approach. J Appl Physiol 108:412-421.

Knudsen L, Brandenberger C, Ochs M. (2021) Stereology as the 3D tool to quantitate lung architecture. Histochem Cell Biol 155:163-181.

Knust J, Ochs M, Gundersen HJG, Nyengaard JR. (2009) Stereological estimates of alveolar number and size and capillary length and surface area in mice lungs. Anat Rec 292:113-122.

Luyckx V.A., J.F. Bertram, B.M. Brenner, C. Fall, W.E. Hoy, S.E. Ozanne and B.E. Vikse. (2013) Effect of fetal and child health on kidney development and long-term risk of hypertension and kidney disease. The Lancet 382:273-83.

Ochs M, Nyengaard JR, Jung A, Knudsen L, Voigt M, Wahlers T, Richter J, Gundersen HJG. (2004a) The number of alveoli in the human lung. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 169:120-124.

Ochs M, Knudsen L, Allen L, Stumbaugh A, Levitt S, Nyengaard JR, Hawgood S. (2004b) GM-CSF mediates alveolar epithelial type II cell changes, but not emphysema- like pathology, in SP-D deficient mice. Am J Physiol (Lung Cell Mol Physiol) 287: L1333-L1341.

Ochs M. (2014) Estimating structural alterations in animal models of lung emphysema. Is there a gold standard? Ann Anat 196:26-33.

Ochs M. (2020) "And then I met Ewald Weibel". Am J Physiol (Lung Cell Mol Physiol) 319: L403-L407.

Sterio D.C. (1984) The unbiased estimation of number and sizes of arbitrary particles using the disector. J Microsc 134:127-136.

Wulfsohn D, Knust J, Ochs M, Nyengaard JR, Gundersen HJG. (2010) Stereological estimation of the total number of ventilatory units in mice lungs. J Microsc 238:75-89.




How to Cite

Bertram, J. F., Cruz-Orive, L. M., Evans, S. M., Hyde, D. M., Mayhew, T., Ochs, M., … Nyengaard, J. R. (2021). Personal Reflections on the Life of Hans Jørgen Gottlieb Gundersen. Image Analysis and Stereology, 40(2), 49–61.