Below you can read more about the different areas of NRU research and the ongoing projects as well as how to get enrolled as voluntary test person in one of our research projects.


Main responsible: Gitte Moos Knudsen

This research includes the development and application of functional and structural neuroimaging, including the methods Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT), and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

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Data Analysis

Main responsible: Claus Svarer

The research focus of the data analysis group is development and optimization of sophisticated data analysis methods for PET, MRI and SPECT images of the brain.

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Functional MRI

Main responsible: Patrick Fisher

At NRU we use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to identify aspects of brain function and connectivity that map onto relevant behavioral and molecular phenotypes and response to pharmacological or other intervention strategies.

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Experimental Neurobiology

Main responsible: Jens D. Mikkelsen

At the Neurobiology Laboratory we work with different animal models (experimental and transgenic), cell cultures (organotypic and primary hippocampal cultures and different transfected cell lines) and human material to elucidate the role of the serotonergic system in neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases like depression and Alzheimer.

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SPECT Laboratory

Main responsible: Gerda Thomsen

The SPECT laboratory of NRU is located at the Department of Neurology on the 8th floor in the main complex of Rigshospitalet. The SPECT-lab has a strong clinical function with more than 200 clinical scans performed per year, but it also contributes significantly to the research at NRU, primarily by performing SPECT scans on healthy individuals.

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Radioligand Development

Contact person: Hanne D. Hansen

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) has unsurpassed sensitivity and specificity for measuring neurotransmitter receptors or other protein targets in the living human brain. At NRU we attempt to develop PET radioligands that enable novel and functional measures of different members of the serotonin receptor family. We have also recently engaged in measuring enzymatic proteins such as phosphodiesterases and histone deacetylases allowing us to investigate signal transduction and epigenetic mechanisms, respectively.

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Clinical Psychiatry

Main responsible: Vibe G. Frøkjær

At NRU we use brain imaging methods to work with aspects of human brain biology that are critical for risk mechanisms and manifest psychiatric disorders. We use a multimodal imaging approach, which combines both structural and functional imaging and hold a special expertise in molecular imaging of key features of the serotonin signaling system. A system which is profoundly involved in mood disorders, schizophrenia, neurodegenerative disorders and their treatment.

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Contact person: Dea S. Stenbæk

The NRU cognition unit (NRU-C) specializes in research on relationships between the brain's serotonergic system, stress-regulation and affective cognition. The scientific goal is to contribute to an interdisciplinary understanding of neurobiological and psychological factors in human health. NRU-C focuses on studying healthy individuals but the research also involves participants with psychological distress, psychopathological symptoms or disorders, such as work-related stress, depression or PTSD.

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Clinical Neurology

Main responsible: Lars Pinborg

The integration of NRU in the Neuroscience Centre at Rigshospitalet creates a unique platform for multimodal clinical research in brain disorders (Figure 1). With the fusion of Glostrup Hospital and Rigshospitalet patients are recruited from the largest neurological department in Scandinavia and the Department of Neurosurgery performs the largest number of brain operations in Northern Europe. A large potential exists for a sophisticated use and integration of the imaging modalities, clinical data (psychology, psychiatry and neurology) and biological markers to improve the basic understanding of the pathophysiology of neurological and neurosurgical disease and to improve diagnosis, monitoring of treatment effects and failures, and for making prediction of outcome and prognosis.

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The Cimbi Database and Biobank

Contact person: Peter Steen Jensen

At NRU we have for more than a decade systematically acquired high-resolution brain imaging data (PET, MR, rsMRI, functional MRI) from several hundreds of carefully screened and well-characterized healthy individuals and patients with various neuropsychiatric disorders. Thereby we have been able to build a large cohort database (the Cimbi Database) that contains a wide range of imaging associated data including demographic, neuropsychological, biochemical, genetic and imaging data. The Cimbi biobank is the associated collection of biological specimens from the cohort, including saliva, blood, and in some instances urine and hair samples, which allow for additional biochemical and genetic analyses.

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