Grant from the Research Council of Rigshospitalet

Congratulations to Gitte Moos Knudsen for receiving a grant worth 850.000 DKK from the Research Council of Rigshospitalet for the project 'Molecular neuroimaging of synaptic plasticity in the human brain - Pharmacological modulations and stroke'.

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BRIDGE - Translational Excellence Programme

Please find below information about the programme and how to become a fellow.

Apply for a postdoc fellowship at University of Copenhagen, deadline February 28, 2021:

There are two neuroscience-related topics with NRU faculty members being part of the mentor team:

New professorship to Jens H. Mikkelsen

Congratulations to NRU faculty member Jens H. Mikkelsen who as of January 1st 2021 is Professor of Translational Neuropharmacology at the Department of Neuroscience, University of Copenhagen.

Several new grants to NRU

We are very delighted to announce that NRU has received several generous grants here in December 2020:
  • Data Science Initiative from Novo Nordisk Fonden - 10 mio DKK for 'The OpenNeuroPET Archive - A Molecular Neuroimaging Archive' - Gitte Moos Knudsen.
  • Post doc stipend from the Research Fund of the Mental Health Services - Capital Region of Copenhagen - 1.65 mio DKK for 'Serotonergic neurotransmission in schizophrenia' - Sofi da Cunha-Bang.
  • PhD stipend from the Research Fund of the Mental Health Services - Capital Region of Copenhagen - 2 mio DKK for 'Brain neuroplasticity in response to drug treatment of major depressive disorder' - Kristian Reveles Jensen.
  • Research equipment from Svend Andersen Fonden - 900,000 mio DKK for new equipment for the NRU experimental lab - Gitte Moos Knudsen.
  • Scholar stipend from Novo Nordisk Fonden - 150,000 DKK for' Neuroplasticity in the human brain following acute ischemic stroke' - Gitte Moos Knudsen (student: Elisabeth Buck Pedersen).
  • Scholar stipend from Novo Nordisk Fonden - 150,000 DKK for'The role of serotonin in compulsive behaviour in humans: Underlying brain mechanisms' - Gitte Moos Knudsen (student: Anna Søndergaard).
  • Scholar stipend from Danish Society for Neuroscience - 140,000 DKK for'The role of serotonin in compulsive behaviour in humans: Underlying brain mechanisms' - Gitte Moos Knudsen (student: Ida Likaj Klausen).
  • Scholar stipend from Danish Psychiatric Society - 140,000 DKK for'Inflammation and serotonergic neurotransmission: Pathophysiological implications for major depressive disorder' - Vibe Gedsø Frøkjær (student: Mette Clausen).
  • Scholar stipend from RH - 110,000 DKK for'Neuropharmacological investigations of psilocybin-induced headache – a [11C] Cimbi-36] PET study' - Gitte Moos Knudsen (student: Inger Marie Sørensen).
  • Research grant from Ivan Nielsen Fond for personer med specielle sindslidelser - 93,000 DKK for 'The role of sex-steroids in major depressive disorder: Mapping brain and biomarker signatures of peripartum transition, hormone sensitivity, and reversibility by short-term estradiol' - Vibe Gedsø Frøkjær
  • Research grant from The Danish Association of Midwives - 50,000 DKK for 'Maternal Mental Health (MAMA) Study. Kortvarig behandling med østrogen som forebyggende strategi mod post partum depression hos kvinder i høj risiko' - Stinne Høgh
  • Scholar stipend from the Novo Scholarship Programme - 42,000 DKK for 'Comparison of prospective and retrospective motion correction for Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the brain' - Hannah Eichhorn

NRU Christmas Symposium 2020

This year's Christmas Symposium is virtual and will take place on Friday, December 11th, 9 am - 1pm.
For programme and link, click here

Sapere Aude Starting grant to Mikael Palner

Mikael Palner has been awarded a prestigious Sapere Aude Starting Grant, worth 4.459.417 DKK, from the Independent Research Fund Denmark (IFRD) for his 4-year project "Neuronal dysfunction in treatment resistant obsessive compulsive disorder and effectiveness of novel serotonergic drug treatments". We congratulate Mikael with the highly prestigious grant and look very much forward to hosting his project at NRU!

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The world's largest single-cell study of epilepsy published

NRU senior Researcher Lars Pinborg has co-authored the paper 'Identification of epilepsy-associated neuronal subtypes and gene expression underlying epileptogenesis' which has recently been published in Nature Communications. The paper identifies, for the first time in the world, dysfunctional neuronal subtypes underlying seizure activity in the human brain by means of single-nucleus transcriptomics analysis of >110,000 neuronal transcriptomes derived from temporal cortex samples of multiple temporal lobe epilepsy and non-epileptic subjects. In conclusion, the paper finds large-scale and complex changes in the neuronal transcriptomes of epileptic patients, where some subtypes showed a dramatic epilepsy-driven dysregulation of gene expression, whereas other subtypes were largely spared. Based on the results, the authors conclude that it is likely that antiepileptic therapies should take into consideration the interplay between subtypes and their relationship in circuits for effective treatment and seizure relief.

Press release from University of Copenhagen is available here.

Staff News October 2020

A warm welcome to our new staff members:

Maja Marstrand-Jørgensen, MD, PhD student in the BrainDrugs project.

MRI-student assistant Christina Schnohr (Medicine).

Erasmus research intern and MD Ida Ivek, University of Zagreb. She will be working on the project “Brain striatal dopamine transport (DAT) measured with [123I] FP-CIT with new brain dedicated pin-hole collimator AnyScan SPECT-CT” in the SPECT Lab. Her scientific focus is translational research in psychiatry, particularly on the psychosis spectrum.

     Christina                        Ida                                   Maja

NRU researchers in the media

In September 2020, Gitte Moos Knudsen and Vibe Frøkjær have nicely represented NRU by presenting some of our research through the media. Gitte Moos Knudsen participated twice in the radio program 'Kraniebrud' on Radio4 in broadcasts entitled 'Lykke' and 'Psykedeliske stoffer/Psilocybin', while Vibe Frøkjær spoke about cortisol and birth control pills in the podcast 'Estrogen and Sharp Brains', which is part of the podcast series "24 spørgsmål til professoren" with science journalist Lone Frank.

OpenNeuroPET funded by the BRAIN Initiative

We’re delighted to report that our joint grant application "OpenNeuroPET: An Archive for PET data" with Bob Innis from National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has been funded by the BRAIN Initiative (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies). Bob Innis is the PI of the grant which totals $4.4 M in funding over five years. The overall aim of the proposal it to establish an archive for PET data, i.e. OpenNeuroPET. OpenNeuroPET will be an extension of OpenNeuro, which is directed by Dr. Russell Poldrack of Stanford University. To establish the archive we will follow the recent Guidelines paper that specifies the content and format of PET brain data in publications and archives. In addition to an archive, we plan to provide useful tools to the PET community, including software for a data analysis pipeline, and quality control checks using simulated and real data.

In recent years, the importance of data sharing has increasingly been recognized by the neuroimaging community because of the poor replicability of findings, the need for appropriate quality control, the greater statistical power provided by larger samples, and the higher scientific impact of multilateral collaborations. In addition, our funding bodies and scientific journals increasingly require that the data be shared. This application proposes to establish an OpenNeuroPET Archive for PET data, following the recommendations of international leaders in the PET field. The Archive would be created in a way that would enable it to communicate and synergize with other datasets and imaging modalities.
Over the past three years, Drs. Knudsen and Innis have directed a committee of the NeuroReceptor Mapping community to recommend standards for the content and structure of brain PET and associated plasma data so that they can be meaningfully shared. At its recent biennial meeting in July 2018, the NeuroReceptor Mapping community of >300 attendees supported the recommendations of the committee and voted unanimously that we finalize these recommendation in a “white paper” and, commensurately, that we apply for a grant to establish a PET Archive. The paper is titled, “Guidelines for Content and Format of PET Brain Data in Publications and in Archives” and has been submitted to J. Cereb. Blood Flow and Metab.
The proposed OpenNeuroPET Archive will synergize with existing BRAIN initiatives in two important ways. First, we will follow the Brain Imaging Data Structure (BIDS) format and extend the BRAIN initiative-funded human MRI archive, OpenNeuro, to support PET. Second, we have included and will develop software to facilitate use of the Archive across collaborations with the larger MRI/fMRI community.

Aim 1: To establish a PET archive federated with OpenNeuro
We will establish a cloud-hosted PET data repository that implements the Guidelines approved by the international community of PET experts. Our Archive will extend the existing BRAIN Initiative human MRI repository ( to support PET neuroimaging using the BIDS-PET standard. Maintaining the same code base and repository in collaboration with OpenNeuro will ensure that the new Archive will be fully integrated and inter-operable, which will help encourage collaboration between functional MRI and PET neuroimaging communities.

Aim 2: To support adoption and use by the neuroimaging community
The proposed OpenNeuroPET Archive already has the support of the NeuroReceptor Mapping community. In addition, fourteen individual investigators and 21 directors of PET centers or CNS subsections have signed a statement of support for the proposed PET archive and will encourage contributions to it (see Letter #19). We will continue to work with this community to guide the development of the Archive and to encourage its adoption. We will provide ongoing technical assistance and data curation support from PET imaging experts. To support the international adoption of the OpenNeuroPET Archive throughout the brain PET community, we will lead workshops on preparing and uploading data as well as make curators available at conferences across the neuroimaging community.

Aim 3: To establish molecular imaging brain atlases
This aim seeks to create a public database within the OpenNeuroPET Archive of average molecular target densities in the brains of healthy human subjects as quantified by in vivo PET. The molecular imaging brain atlases will be offered in formats that facilitate inclusion in MRI analyses, thus greatly expanding their potential impact. The OpenNeuroPET Archive will serve as the platform for aggregating already-collected data for dozens or hundreds of different molecular targets, thereby allowing a comprehensive characterization of, for example, the neuroreceptor signature of the human brain.