DFF-International Postdoc grant to Dea Stenbæk

Congratulations to NRU post doc Dea Siggaard Stenbæk for receiving an International Postdoc grant worth 1.575.000 DKK from Independent Research Fund Denmark for the project entitled 'Brain dynamics of psychedelic serotonin 2A stimulation and music'.

Project period: 01-01-2020 to 31-12-2021.

Brief scentific summary of project:
Serotonin 2A receptor stimulation with the psychedelic compound psilocybin is emerging as a promising treatment for affective disorders, which includes the use of music as support. Music evokes a wide range of emotions and can change the way we think and feel about ourselves. However, a better understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms by which music interplay with psychoactive effects of psilocybin is needed to inform us about its clinical utility. I propose to evaluate changes in brain connectivity in response to psilocybin and music measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging, and to correlate such changes with cerebral
serotonin 2A receptor binding measured with positron emission tomography. International partners are leading world experts from the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College London where I plan to stay for 12 months. Results from the study will contribute significantly to our understanding of the role played by
music in psilocybin-assisted therapy.

Travel grant from the Lundbeck Foundation

Congratulations to PhD student Agata Sainz for receiving a travel grant from the Lundbeck Foundation for her research stay at North Carolina State University, Raleigh.

University position to Junior Group Leader Dea Stenbæk


Congratulations to Junior Group Leader Dea Stenbæk who will begin a 5-year part-time employment as Research Associate Professor at Institute of Psychology, University of Copenhagen, September 15. A core task will be to bridge between the Neurobiology Research Unit and Institute of Psychology through supervision and teaching of PhD and master's students.

Three travel grants from the Lundbeck Foundation

Congratulations to Lene, Annette and Martin N, all having received travel grants from the Lundbeck Foundation; Lene and Annette for their participation at the recent Brain/BrainPET meeting in Yokohama and Martin N who will attend the MICCAI meeting in Hong Kong this October.

NRU annual report 2018

The 2018 NRU annual report has been published and is available for download here.

Patrick Fisher receives funding from Augustinusfonden

Congratulations to Patrick Fisher for receiving 100,000 DKK from Augustinus Fonden for the project "Determining serotonergic genetic variant effects on in-vivo human brain serotonin markers".
The project involves visiting post-doc Marie Spies (Austria) and deals with determining genetic effects on 5HT2A and 5HTT binding in healthy control.

Claus Svarer - 25 years work anniversary

It is a great pleasure to invite you all to come and celebrate Claus Svarer's 25 years work anniversary on -

Thursday, May 16 at 14:00
NRU, Rigshospitalet, entrance 69, 3rd floor
Juliane Maries Vej 28, 2100 København Ø

Please see the invitation here.

The reception is kindly sponsored by the Neuroscience Center.

Best regards,
Gitte Moos Knudsen
Professor, Head of NRU

Grant from Augustinus Fonden to Mikael Palner

Congratulations to Junior Group Leader Mikael Palner for receiving 100,000 DKK from Augustinus Fonden for the project "Neuronal circuits that leads to increase glutamatergic activity in the prefrontal cortex". 

New funding from Elsassfonden

Congratulations to NRU senior researcher Jens D. Mikkelsen for receiving a new research grant from Elsassfonden. The grant is worth 1 million DKK and is for the project entitled 'Synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2A (SV2A) used as a novel biomarker of synaptogenesis in models of cerebral palsy (CP)'.

Project abstract: When the brain changes in response to stimuli it is referred as brain plasticity. When plasticity occurs, the individual nerve cells change their inner machinery, establish novel contacts (called synapses) to other nerve cells, and break others. However, all this occurs at the cellular level and we can only detect brain plasticity today if we remove the brain and study the synapses biochemically or in the microscope. This strongly limits our ability to determine if treatments are printed in the brain in real time. Most importantly, it also prevents our ability to observe changes in the brain of patients with neurological including cerebral palsy. This is very important, because such changes occur early in the disease processes. Very recent discovery of radiotracers that bind to the synaptic vesicle protein, synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2A (SV2A) and imaging may revolutionize our ability to measure synaptic density in the living brain as an indicator of brain plasticity. We have already made significant progress in the validation of these radiotracers. In this project, using own synthesized radiotracers and validated methods, we will define the changes in binding and measure and correlate binding of these tracers in animal models of cerebral palsy as well as in fresh tissue from patients that underwent neurosurgical operation for epilepsy as an important contribution for novel diagnostics in psychiatry and neurology.