Four researchers from MBG participate in a new Danish National Research Foundation Centre

Together with Anders Nykjær (Centre Director) and Marco Capogna from the Department of Biomedicine, Poul Nissen, Sadegh Nabavi, Hanne Poulsen and Magnus Kjærgaard from MBG/DANDRITE/iNANO receive DKK 62 million to start the Center for Proteins in Memory (PROMEMO).

2017.04.19 | Mette Louise Ohana

Poul Nissen, Sadegh Nabavi, Hanne Poulsen and Magnus Kjærgaard.

The researchers have received the grant from the Danish National Research Foundation (Centres of Excellence) to try to understand how emotional impressions affect our long-term memory.

More than 15 years have passed since two planes flew into the twin towers of the World Trade Centre. However, most people can still remember where they were on 11 September 2001. Whereas hardly anyone remembers where they were on the same date the following year.

The degree of emotional impact has been shown to have a major influence on how well we remember events. But how does the brain remember? Research has shown that long-term memory is dependent on protein synthesis. The new basic research centre ‘Centre for PROteins in MEMOry’ will attempt to uncover precisely which proteins play a role in long-term memory, and how they interact.

Can lead to better treatment of psychiatric disorders

Research can help to identify molecular targets for treatment of diseases which are coupled to memory such as e.g. anxiety, post-traumatic stress, addiction and dependency disorders and depression.

"With the help of different techniques, we can turn the emotional memory in mice on and off. This gives us the opportunity to study the molecular mechanisms that underlie them. By understanding how the brain functions in this area, we can hopefully improve the treatment of psychiatric disorders in the future," explains Professor Anders Nykjær from the Department of Biomedicine. He received the good news about the grant from the Danish National Research Foundation just before Easter. A telephone call that he will – bearing in mind the research field – probably be able to remember really well for many years. 

International and dynamic research environment

The basic research centre, which will be called PROMEMO in everyday speech, will not have a physical location, and the grant will cover six years of research. The research group is consciously composed of both young and experienced researchers, just as there is emphasis on creating an international environment, not just in the research group, but also in their coming work. The research group is made up of:

  • Professor Anders Nykjær from the Department of Biomedicine and the Danish Research Institute of Translational Neuroscience (DANDRITE)
  • Professor Marc Capogna from the Department of Biomedicine
  • Professor Poul Nissen from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics and DANDRITE
  • Associate Professor and Group Leader Sadegh Nabavi from DANDRITE
  • Associate Professor Hanne Poulsen from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics
  • Associate Professor Magnus Kjærgaard from iNANO and AIAS.

The basic research centre is one out of a total of three centres that have just been awarded to AU.  

Grant