Aarhus Universitets segl

About PUMPkin

Welcome from the Director

Director, Prof. Poul Nissen

Welcome to the PUMPkin Centre - a Centre of Excellence funded by the Danish National Research Foundation.  

PUMPkin is our odd acronym for "Centre for Membrane Pumps in Cells and Disease". We study membrane proteins of the P-type ATPase family - the cation pumps - using interdisciplinary approaches. Our primary aim is to contribute with basic research on structure determinations, elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of function, and integral description of the cell biological role of these important proteins in physiology. Our model organisms range from pathogenic bacteria, fungi and plants to mouse and human. Furthermore, we transfer our basic research to biotechnology and drug discovery, and we wish to exploit new ways of science communication.
P-type ATPase pumps were discovered first in Aarhus in 1957 by Jens Chr. Skou who described the Na+- and K+-dependent activity of an ATPase from nerve - the Na+,K+-ATPase. He later received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1997 for this discovery (shared with John E. Walker/Paul D. Boyer for F-ATPases).

Our research is open and collaborative, and we have active research programs on nearly all types of pumps. The PUMPkin centre was started in April 2007, with a high point already reached in December 2007 with the publication of three P-type ATPases: A sodium potassium pump, a proton pump, and a calcium pump (Nature, 13 December). During the first period, five Nature papers and a wealth of other articles in highly reputed journals (exceeding 100 in 2010) as well as two awarded patents and the spin-out company Pcovery mark the results of the PUMPkin team. With our second period we will aim for even higher levels of cutting-edge research.

If you are interested in being part of the PUMPkin centre or in forming a collaboration please do not hesitate to contact us!

Thanks for visiting,
Poul Nissen