NRU Management Group


Jens Holm Mikkelsen
Professor, MD, DMSc
Dept. Neurology and Neurobiology Research Unit,
Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet,
Building 8057,
Blegdamsvej 9, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
3545 6701/6740

Curriculum vitae

Scientific interests:

The overall goal of my work is to achieve a better understanding of the mechanism of drug action in experimental models and in humans, and thereby identify new pharmaceuticals for the treatment of psychiatric and neurological disease.

The ongoing research falls into four major areas:

A) The role of a7 nicotinergic receptors (a7 nAChR) in cognition and in schizophrenia

We have shown that pharmacological activation of the alpha7 nACR leads to neuronal excitation and activation of several immediate early genes in the medial prefrontal cortex and in the ventrolateral orbital cortex. By studying the effect of the same molecules on attention and working memory, we will analyze to what extent the molecular effects and the behavioral effects are related, and whether these drugs are useful for the treatment of cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia.

B) Kisspeptins and sexy peptides

We have together with Valerie Simonneaux and her group at the CNRS in Strasbourg, France ( shown that kisspeptin and RFRP are controlled by the length of the photoperiod. We are interested in the distribution of kisspeptin and RFRP in the mammalian brain and their expression is regulated by melatonin and other signals. We are also highly interested in the effects of these peptides on reproduction and sexuality

C) The role of Tesofensine in the control of body weight

Tesofensine is a triple monoamine uptake inhibitor producing a strong effect on body weight developed by NeuroSearch. We are interested to study the metabolic effect of Tesofensine in animal models of obesity, and to correlate these effects to clinical studies.

D) Acute and chronic effects of anxiolytics and antidepressants

We have shown that antidepressants produce plastic changes in the cortex, and that this effect is partly regulated by the activity of the hypothalamo-pituitary adrenal axis. Current studies are done to investigate the role of antidepressants, anxiolytics and stress on gene expression in the brain. Together with Alexander Kiss, Department of Experimental Endocrinology, Bratislava, Slovakia (


2008 - Senior scientist at the Neurobiology Research Unit
2002 - 2008 Neurosearch, Head, Department of Translational Neurobiology Scientific Director – CNS R&D
2000 - 2002 Chief Scientific Officer and CEO, Azign Bioscience A/S, acquired by NeuroSearch A/S 2002
1998 - 2000 Zealand Pharmaceuticals A/S, Director, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Diabetes Pharmacology
1995 - 1998 Lundbeck, Department Head, and Senior Project Manager, Department of Neurobiology
1993 DMSc from University of Copenhagen, Thesis: The neural basis of circadian rhythms
1986 MD from University of Copenhagen


Published more than 290 Medline indexed scientific papers and reviews.
PubMed search string: Mikkelsen JD[Author] OR Mikelsen JD[Author] OR (Mikkelsen J[Author] AND "Neurobiology Research Unit"[All Fields]) NOT "Technical University of Denmark"[All Fields]