Staff News December - January

Welcome to the new NRU members:

Research Assistants Clara Madsen (Molecular Biomedicine) and Emily Beaman (Human Biology).

Sif Kaad (Medical & Molecular Biology) is new student helper in the experimental lab.

Scholarstipend student and master's student Emil Colliander (Medicine).

      Clara                                                  Emil                                                     Emily                                          Sif    

Also a warm welcome to Mengfei Xiong, visiting PhD student from Uppsala University, Rudbeck laboratory.


Collaboration with Lundbeck A/S

Lundbeck A/S and Neurobiology Research Unit will collaborate in order to identify and validate cross-species biomarkers of inflammation in the human brain

Researchers at Lundbeck and NRU will work together to identify and validate new biomarkers of inflammation in the brain in a cross-species translational collaboration.  Neuroinflammation is a pathological condition that is linked to a number of neurological and psychiatric diseases. However, the mechanisms behind neuroinflammation are poorly understood, and there are limited options to determine and prevent it.

Scientists at Lundbeck have identified a number of tools that can be used to define glia activity in the brain as a biomarker of neuroinflammation. The NRU scientists will use these tools to determine levels of neuroinflammation across species and in brain tissue from epilepsy patients, as well as tissue from chronic animal models. This research project will be important in identifying new drug candidates and evaluating their potential in treatment of neurological and psychiatric diseases.

Contact person for the project at NRU is Professor Jens H. Mikkelsen.

Scholarstipend to Emilie Ø Lange/supervisor Vibe Frøkjær

Vibe Frøkjær has received a Lundbeck Foundation scholarstipend from the Danish Psychiatric Society for Emilie Ørntoft Lange and the project 'Stress hormone dynamics and mental health in postpartum women'.

Grants to NRU researchers

Congratulations to:

Post Doc Pontus Plavén-Sigray, who has received 248.000 USD from the Longevity Impetus Grants. The project is entitled "The search for an aging biomarker: in vivo quantification of age-related proteins using Positron Emission Tomography in humans".

Post Doc Jonas Svensson, Specialist in Psychiatry, who is the recipient of two grants: one from Region Hovedstadens Forskningsfond til Sundhedsforskning, worth 599.904 DKK, for the project "Precision psychiatry and a new model for serotonin in depression: PET studies of synaptic density and the serotonin transporter"; and one from Hjärnfonden, worth 600.000 SEK, for the project "The search for an aging biomarker: in vivo quantification of age-related proteins using Positron Emission Tomography in humans".

Visit by Prof. Todd Ogden at Neurobiology Research Unit, Oct 14-23

Professor Todd Ogden (Columbia University) will visit NRU October 14th to 23rd. Professor Ogden is a professor in biostatistics and has for many years worked with the development of statistical methodologies for the analysis of data that arise in imaging and other high-dimensional settings. Professor Ogden is currently a Visiting Professor at NRU, supported by the Lundbeck Foundation.

Welcome to our ECNP intern Sofi

A warm welcome to our ECNP intern, PhD Sofi Atshemyan

Sofi Atshemyan is a researcher from the Institute of Molecular Biology of the National Academy of Sciences in Armenia (NAS RA)․ Her study interests are mainly focused on the genetic background of Schizophrenia.

During her PhD research, Sofi has studied genetic variants of the regulators of synaptic plasticity in Schizophrenia to reveal new candidate genes for this disease. She will be working with Jens in the period August 2nd-13th.

Sara Marie Larsen awarded with an ECNP Excellence Award

Congratulations to Sara Marie Larsen who has been awarded with the ECNP Excellence Award for her abstract "NREM sleep upregulates human brain pulsation detected by Ultrafast Magnetic Resonance Encephalography".
The award consists of a 100 EUR grant and a certificate as well as a 400 EUR travel grant for the ECNP congress in Lisbon, Portugal.
The ECNP Congress 2021 will be a hybrid congress taking place Oct 2-5.

FSS international postdoc grant for Vibeke Dam

Congratulations to NRU postdoc Vibeke Dam who has received an international postdoc grant from the Independent Research Fund Denmark for her project: 'Cognitive contributions to depression - exposing the role of working memory deficits in depressive pathology'. The grant is worth 1.305.000 DKK and includes full postdoc salary for two years. Vibeke will be carrying out some of the research activities in the project at the School of Psychological Science at the University of Bristol under the supervision of professor Marcus Munafò in collaboration with professor Ian Pentok-Voak.

Project abstract: Working memory deficit is a common but often overlooked symptom in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). As a consequence, we know little about its role in the development and maintenance of depressive psychopathology. Using working memory data from established epidemiological cohort studies and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) neuroimaging studies, I here propose to address two fundamental questions about the role of working memory function in MDD: 1) does early-life working memory deficits constitute a risk factor in later development of MDD and 2) what is the involvement of serotonergic neurotransmission in working memory function and does it differ between the healthy and depressed brain? Results from these studies will not only contribute significantly to our understanding of working memory in MDD but could also help identify new treatment targets and perhaps guide future preventative strategies in MDD.