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Centres of Excellence

The Danish National Research Foundation provides funding for Centres of Excellence to Frontline research which has highly ambitious, original and potentially groundbreaking research.

Center leaders must be both outstanding researchers and visionary leaders. As major international players within their fields, the Centers of Excellence are necessarily oriented to the international research community.

CellPAT (Center for Cellular Signal Patterns)

The centre will focus in particular on how our immune cells can recognise the difference between external dangers and ourselves, and why this mechanism sometimes goes wrong and gives rise to autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, sclerosis and diabetes.

The centre will also study the way macromolecules are transported through biological barriers in the body, such as the blood-brain barrier and cell membranes. This knowledge will form the basis for developing more targeted and effective drugs with fewer side effects. In addition, the centre will study which signals the stem cells need to receive in order to develop into specific types of tissue in the body. This knowledge will create an opportunity to use stem cells to re-establish tissue in the body when the old cells are destroyed by a poor lifestyle, disease or injury. It is thought that the method will eventually be used to regenerate human organs.

Former Centres of Excellence

The following researchers at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics were center leaders for a Centre of Excellence:

Centre for Carbohydrate Recognition and Signalling (CARB)

CARB aims at understanding interactions between cells and organisms by investigating the role of polysaccharides exposed on cell surfaces and secreted polysaccharide signal molecules

Focus is to:

  • determine structural requirements for recognition of complex polysaccharides and the role of ligand-receptor interactions in the relationships between different cells and organisms.
  • identify novel carbohydrate signals and use bioinformatics to predict ligand binding-site recognition
  • characterise downstream events involved in defence or symbiosis at both cellular and subcellular level

Centre for Carbohydrate Recognition and Signalling (CARB)

Poul Nissen

Vice-Dean, Research

Center for "Membrane pumps in cells and disease" (PUMPkin)

PUMPkin research investigates the structure and mechanism of membrane proteins of the P-type family, such as the sodium pump, proton pump, calcium pump, heavy metal pumps and lipid flippases, as well as (patho)physiological aspects of their function, and their potential as drug targets in human disease and pathogens.

Centre for "Membrane pumps in cells and disease" (PUMPkin)

Torben Heick Jensen

Center for mRNP Biogenese og Metabolisme

The Centre for mRNP Biogenesis and Metabolism studies the crosstalk between transcriptional and post-transcriptional processes, which establishes a network of interdependencies that ultimately regulate gene expression. Our focus is on structure/function relationships of mRNP formation and its quality control as well as the occurrence, and putative function, of non-coding RNA transcription.

Centre for mRNP Biogenesis and Metabolism

Centers of excellence - deltagere

The following group leaders at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics participate in a Center of Excellence:

Center for Proteins in Memory (PROMEMO)

ROMEMO aims to identify and understand the function of memory associated proteins that determines the persistence of a memory. To reach this aim, we will combine cutting-edge techniques in proteomics, complex structural biology, optogenetic memory engineering of tailored mouse models, electrophysiology of synaptic memory function, and high-resolution brain imaging in behaving animals.

Center for Electromicrobiology

Cable bacteria conduct electrons with an efficiency that physics and molecular biology so far can’t explain, and nothing is known on how they control their energy and growth metabolism, when the respiratory electron transport chain is split between cells centimeters apart. Center for Electromicrobiology aims to unravel how this unique form of life functions.