Congrats to Tim
Very proud to announce that today marks the first day of Pless lab alumni Timothy Lynagh as group leader at the Sars International Centre for Marine Molecular Biology in Bergen, Norway – congrats again and all the best for putting your ERC Starting Grant to work! Tim was the first-ever postdoc to join the Pless lab and made a huge contribution from day one – he will be missed.
Happy New Year
We´re wishing all lab members (past and present), collaborators, friends and family a happy new year and a great start into 2019! No doubt the new year will bring many more exciting results, projects and fun events – can´t wait to get going with all of it 🙂
Farewell and thanks to Matthias
Today, we said goodbye to former PhD student and postdoc Matthias. Being only the second-ever PhD student in the Pless lab, he was there from pretty much the beginning and has made a huge contribution to setting up methods and making the lab the place it is today. Not only has he (single-handedly) established high-sensitivity patch-clamp fluorometry, but he has also worked with single channel recordings, FRET, unroofing of mammalian cells etc – and always been a role model in persistence and patience. He will be missed dearly and we wish him all the best for his next move!
Iacopo and Stephan in Kyoto
Iacopo and Stephan were fortunate to enough to be able to attend the 10th International Peptide Symposium in Kyoto, Japan. The meeting featured a very strong line-up of peptide experts from around the globe and gave us the opportunity to present our work on split intein-mediated semi-synthesis of ion channels – and get a taste of Japanese culture (and food!). Thanks to the organisers for a fantastic meeting.
Stephan talks in Osaka
Thanks to the kind invitation by Prof Yasushi Okamura from the University of Osaka, Japan, Stephan had a chance to brush up on the latest developments with regards to a number of ion channel-related topics. A big thank you to Prof Okamura for hosting such a great visit in Osaka!
Interested in doing a MSc with us?
We are looking for highly motivated MSc students that would like to spend 9-12 months in an our lab in 2019/2020.
We offer exciting projects and an ambitious environment that is populated by a friendly and international team.
We currently have two projects available:
# 1: Finding a cure for the incurable: Identify the first ever inhibitor of a newly discovered membrane protein required for life in mammals.
#2: Targeting pain & stroke: Define how neuropeptides and animal-derived venom peptides interact with an ion channel to target pain and stroke.
For more information please contact Stephan.firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally on Twitter
Yup, it took us a while, but you now finally find us on Twitter: @LabPless
Stephan talks in Vienna
Stephan was lucky enough to be invited to give a talk at the Institute for Pharmacology at the Medical University Vienna. This entailed catching up with the resident transporter and ion channel experts, as well as reconnecting with old friends – thanks to Sonja Sucic for organising a terrific visit!
This week, we welcomed Stephanie Heusser, who joins us for a postdoc after a very successful PhD with Erik Lindahl in Stockholm. An expert in ion channel function and pharmacology, she will be working on a new fluorescence-based assay – welcome to the team!
Stephan talks in Italy
Stephan had the pleasure of being invited to a meeting on “Ion channel design using experimental and computational inputs” in beautiful Gargnano on the shores of Lake Garda, Italy. The 3-day event covered a broad range of topics and provided fascinating insight into the latest developments in the field – find the full program here.
Welcome Sarune and Jamie
We are very happy to announce that Sarune and Jamie will be joining our team for a 1-year MSc thesis – welcome and we look forward to having you around!
2 new publications in JPG
We are very grateful to have been part of a fun collaboration with the Kurata lab at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Calgary on the mechanism of two related potassium channel openers. In two back-to-back manuscripts in JGP we describe how these compounds (one of them in use as an anti-epileptic) require very different drug-channel stoichiometries to affect channel function: despite their resemblance, one of the requires only a single drug binding site per channel tetramer, while the other requires drug binding sites on each of the four channel subunits to have its full effect. Here are the links to the retigabine story and the ICA study.
Big funding success for Tim
Congratulations to Tim for securing a coveted ERC starting grant! We wish him all the best for starting his own group later in the year and have no doubt he will put the grant to good use over the next 5 years. Find the link to the KU SUND news feature here
Trip to the sunny south
We were lucky enough to be able to spend the 2018 edition of our annual lab retreat at Lake Como, Italy. Although our lodgings were not quite as fancy as George Clooney´s famous lakeside estate only meters further down the road, we greatly enjoyed our two days of science presentations and hikes. Thanks to the advice and planning by local and former PhD student Federica, we were treated to great food and superb views – while also brushing up on a lot of the technologies used in the lab (e.g. obsessing over Western blots, series resistance compensation and color palettes). Thanks everyone for making it a productive and fun outing!
Well done, Zeshan
Following in the footsteps of his PhD student predecessors, Zeshan delivered an award-winning presentation at the annual DRA Research Day – congrats on the poster prize!
New paper online
Together with the Strømgaard and Jemth groups, we have just published a review on probing backbone hydrogen bonds with amide-to-ester substitutions. So, if you always wanted to know how to dissect the contributions of backbone hydrogen bonds, you can check out a compilation of the latest attempts in the field HERE.
Today, we welcome Claudia Weidling as our latest PhD student. Originally from Hamburg, she has ample experience in protein biology and will join Chow and Lise on a new project in the lab. Welcome and we look forward to having you around!
Congrats to Tim
Together with our collaborators from the Glover group in Norway, Tim has worked hard to shed new light on the emergence of proton sensing – which, as it turns out, has happened a lot longer ago than previously anticipated. He also spent significant efforts on elucidating the mechanism of proton sensing itself, a topic that continues to puzzle the field. The work has been accepted at PNAS, where it can currently be found in the “Latest Articles” section – follow the link HERE.
A huge thanks to Tim!
After 4 1/2 very successful years in the Pless lab, Tim moves on to establish his own group later in the year. Tim was the first group member of the Pless lab and has been instrumental in setting up the lab and getting various projects off the ground – and looking at his track record, he has done so in a very successful fashion: he has published high-impact papers (his latest one can be found HERE), acquired highly competitive postdoc-fellowships and also established himself as a recognised expert amongst ion channelologists, as evidenced by his latest assignment as chair of the Ion Channel GRS in the US!
We wish Tim all the best for the adventures ahead and hope to still get to see him every once in a while – he will be missed!
Gordon Conference on Ion Channels 2018
Every two years, ion channel geeks from around the globe gather in the middle of nowhere (South Hadley, to be precise) to attend the Gordon Conference on Ion Channels. The Pless lab made a good showing this year, with 4 posters, a talk by Keith and Tim chairing the research seminar preceding the main meeting. It was a great conferecence with plenty of opportunities to catch up with friends and colleagues from the field – and of course with former PhD student Federica.
Camilla defends her MSc thesis
Congrats to Camilla for successfully defending her MSc thesis today! She rewarded herself for over a year of hard work using voltage-clamp fluorometry to decipher pharmacological aspects of acid-sensing ion channels. Thanks for all your contributions and all the best for your PhD – you will be missed around here!
We are looking for a PhD student
We are looking for a highly motivated PhD student to join our team from August 2018. If you have a strong background in ion channels or genetics (especially practical exerience in electrophysiology and/or phylogenetic analysis), please check out the job posting. Please note that applications have to be submitted through the online application form. Direct applications will not be considered.
Congrats to Matthias
Congrats to Matthias for successfully defending his PhD thesis! After three years of hard work on establishing and using a new fluorescence-based approach to study ion channel conformational changes, Matthias obtained his PhD today. Thanks also to his assessment committee: Drs Giraldez (Spain), Poulsen (Aarhus) and Løland (KU).
Congrats to Chow
Congrats to Chow for having a project published together with our collaborators Drs. Helge Servatius and Argelia Medeiros-Domingo (Bern, Switzerland ). The work identified a KCNQ1 mutant in an unexplained cardiac arrest victim to be likely non-pathogenic. Find out more HERE.
Keith and Stephan just had a commentary published in the Journal of General Physiology on an impressive piece of work by the Zagotta group, which detailed how an intrinsic ligand can fine-tune the activity of a voltage-gated potassium channel. You can find the full story here.
Biophysical Society Meeting 2018
Camilla, Chow, Christian, Tim, Zeshan and Stephan took to sunny San Franscisco to attend the 2018 edition of the Biophysical Society Meeting. Things really kicked into gear on Sun, when both the talk by Zeshan and the posters by Camilla, Christian and Tim were very well received. Already looking forward to the 2019 meeting in Baltimore!
Stephan joins JGP editorial advisory board
Stephan had the honour of being inaugurated as one of the new JGP editorial advisory board members today at the annual JGP editorial board meeting at the Biophysical Society meeting.
Recent PCF paper featured
Our recent PCF paper in Cell Reports is featured in a nice CellPress blog post, including some behind-the-scenes info. Read the details HERE.
Paper on HCN4 patient mutations
A big thank you to our clinical collaborators in Bern (Switzerland) and the HCN4 experts around Anna Moroni in Milan (Italy) for making us part of this nice case study illustrating the “Phenotypic spectrum of HCN4 mutations”, published in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine – follow this LINK for more info.
Congrats to Tim and Daniel
A mere 24hrs after Matthias´ paper, the work by Tim and Daniel appears online at Biochemistry. The story deals with the details of agonist recognition in a flatworm glutamate-gated chloride channel – check out the details HERE.
PCF paper in Cell Reports
Congrats to Matthias for having his paper on Patch-Clamp Fluorometry published in Cell Reports today! He worked very hard to create a new way to study ion channel motions with increased sensitivity – check out the paper HERE.
Welcome Christiana and Yasmin
Today marks the first day of both Christiana and Yasmin in the lab. They will work with us until 2019 as laboratory technician intern and MSc student, respectively. Welcome and we look forward to having you around!
A big Thank You to Natasha after doing a great job helping us out for the past year as part of her laboratory technician intern training – it was great to have you around and you will be missed! We wish her all the best for her future endeavours and have our fingers crossed that this will include a stay in Scotland 🙂
Center for Biopharmaceuticals retreat
This year, inspired by a fantastic line-up of speakers, we spent 2 days talking about various aspects of ‘Innovation’ – and finally made it to Kronborg Slot to check out the old royal digs.
New review out
Thanks to a very fruitful joint effort with Prof Lucia Sivilotti at UCL, London, our latest review on pentameric ligand-gated ion channels (aka Cys-loop receptors) is out now. It provides an update on how these membrane proteins interact with ligands, ranging from small molecule agonists, to peptide toxins and accessory subunits. Check out the details HERE.
After a very successful PhD with our neighbour, Prof Christian Olsen, Iacopo joins us for a postdoc from January 2018. Originally from Italy, the protein and peptide wizzard studied in Sweden before completing his PhD in Copenhagen. Welcome and we look forward to having you around!
New title for Tim
As Tim goes into his final months in our group, he is promoted to Assistant Professor level – congrats and all the best for remainder of your time in the Pless lab!
Happy new year
As 2017 is drawing to a close, I would like to thank all lab members for their hard work and for making work in the lab a fun experience. For 2018, we´re looking forward to another fun and productive year – with a number of manuscripts well under way and some exciting new stories in the lab coming along nicely, 2018 should be a good year for the lab.
Congrats and farewell to Camilla
Camilla continues her streak of successful grant applications to support her stay abroad in Edmonton, Canada with Prof Harley Kurata. Congrats – and we will miss you!
Tim talks in Sydney
Congrats to Tim for being invited to give a talk at the Australasian Neuroscience Society meeting in Sydney, Australia, where he will be talking about his work on ASICs. Check out the full meeting program here.
As Federica, the first ever PhD student from the Pless lab, is off to her postdoc in Milan in Anna Moroni´s group, we would like to wish her all the very best for her future. She did a fantastic job and not only produced some great science, but also made a significant contribution to setting up the lab just over three years ago! Thanks for all your hard work, we will miss you!
We´re delighted to announce that Stephan is among the lucky repicients of a Sapere Aude Starting Grant from the Danish Research Council. The grant will be used to start an exciting new project in 2018 – looking forward to getting this off the ground! See here for the official DFF announcement and here for a local news article.
Congrats to Federica!
Huge congratulations to Federica for successfully defending her PhD thesis today! Having been around from the very beginning, she´s the first ever PhD student to graduate from the Pless lab and will be missed a lot. We wish her all the best for her postdoc endeavours in Milan!
Novo Nordisk Symposium
After hosting a successful inaugural symposium in 2016, Hanne Poulsen (Aarhus) and Stephan had been lucky enough to receive a Novo Nordisk Symposium grant to host a number of world-class speakers on the topic of “Studying and controlling membrane proteins with light”: Anna Moroni (Milan, Italy), Peter Hegemann (Berlin, Germany), Ofer Yizhar (Weizmann, Israel), Ehud Isacoff (Berkeley, USA), Baron Chanda (Wisconsin, USA), Antoine Triller (Paris, France), Yuki Bando (Columbia, USA) and Justin Taraska (NIH, USA). We are very grateful to NNF, the speakers and all attendees for making it a great day – and hope to organise a follow up in 2018!
We´re very happy to welcome Lise to the team. Originally from Randers, Denmark, she is an expert in membrane proteins and will join us as a PhD student from December on an exciting new project.
We are very grateful to the Lundbeck Foundation for a running cost grant for a new project in the lab – we are looking forward to putting the grant to good use
Welcome back, Mette
We are delighted to announce the return of Mette after her maternity leave – welcome back!
New paper in PNAS
Thanks to the heroic efforts of Drs Kim & Kurata in Edmonton, this nice piece of work illustrates how the voltage-sensing apparatus of neuronal potassium channels is affected by an anti-epileptic drug and the membrane lipid PIP2. Click this LINK for details.
New paper out
Congrats to Tim, Jose and Camilla for getting their work on ibuprofen and ASICs published in J Med Chem. They investigated the ibuprofen/ASIC interaction by deciphering the mechanism of inhibition, identifying the ibuprofen binding site and using a series of ibuprofen analogs to performing structure-activity-relationships. The KU press release can be found HERE, whereas the full paper can be accessed HERE.
We´re looking for a postdoc
We are looking to fill a 1-year postdoctoral position in peptide chemistry from 1.1.2018. The project will focus on using solid-phase peptide synthesis (SPPS) and native chemical ligation (NCL) for protein engineering of membrane proteins. Please apply useing the following LINK (note that direct applications via email CAN NOT be accepted).
Daniel joins us from Germany for an internship until March 2018 to work on peptides interacting with ASICs – welcome and we look forward to having you around!
Congrats to Christian and Matthias
Congrats to both Matthias and Christian for taking first place in the talk and poster competitions at the DRA summer school – very well done, gentlemen!
Benzon Symposium 2017
Benzon Symposium “New Paradigms of Protein Engineering – Applications in Modern Medicine”: a fantastic line up of speakers made for an exiting week with plenty of highlights, covering various aspects of chemical biology around proteins and peptides. A big thank you to all speakers and attendees for making it a great symposium!
Novo Nordisk Symposium on Nov 16th
The program covers various topics related to how membrane proteins can be studied and controlled using light, from single molecule techniques to systems and optogenetics approaches. We have been able to attract top speakers from around the globe, incl Y. Bando (Columbia University), B. Chanda (University of Wisconsin), A. Cohen (Harvard), P. Hegemann (Berlin), E. Isacoff (Berkeley), A. Moroni (Milan), J. Taraska (NIH) and A. Triller (Paris). Attendance is free of charge, but registration is required by Nov 5th. Please use this LINK to register.
Congrats to Federica and Daniel
Congrats to both Federica and Daniel for successfully submitting a PhD thesis (Federica) and defending a MSc thesis (Daniel).
Federica deserves a lot of credit for being the first PhD student from the Pless lab to submit a thesis, in which she not only served as teh guiney pig on numerous occasions, but also made great progress towards our understanding of how ATP binds to P2X receptors. After a well-deserved break, Federica will re-join us for a 3-month stay in the fall.
Daniel made some nice progress on the details of ligand binding to a worm GluCl and we wish him all the best for his future – it was great having you around!
Farewell to Caroline
After a very productive and successful Erasmus internship with us, Caroline is heading back to Germany to start her MSc thesis in Halle. Thanks for your hard work and all the best!
Congrats to Camilla
Congrats to Camilla for securing a Mobility Scholarship. The money will support her stay abroad at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada), where she will work with Prof. Harley Kurata in early 2018.
JBC article highlighted
Congrats to Tim (and Vitaly) for having their recent JBC article highlighted in a special (virtual) issue: http://www.jbc.org/site/vi/ionchannels/
Congrats and farewell to Sarah
Congrats to Sarah for successfully defending her MSc thesis today. Sarah implemented an assay to optically follow incorporation of unnatural amino acids in mammalian cells, which will no doubt come in very handy in the future. We wish Sarah all the best for her future.
Breaking down the nerdy stuff
In case the full version is too nerdy for your taste, you can access a more digestible version of Tim´s paper here – LINK.
Tim´s paper accepted in eLife
Congrats to Tim, our collaborators in Melbourne (Toby, Emelie and Celine), as well as everyone else involved at our end (Matthias, Vitaly and Janne) for finishing this study! Using a variety of approaches, we believe we have found the selectivity filter of acid-sensing ion channels – check out the details here.
Today, we welcome our latest PhD student, Zeshan Sheikh – a local with extensive expertise in membrane protein biochemistry. Looking forward to having you on the team!
Check out the Facebook page of Lundbeckfonden to see a video featuring Christian´s project on spider toxins and ASIC channels.
Open PhD position
We are starting to work on a new, exciting protein and are looking for a highly-motivated PhD student to join our team from October: http://employment.ku.dk/phd/?show=901427
Congrats to Nina
Nina receives a travel grant from the Physiological Society to attend the FEBS/EMBO lecture course on “Ion Channels and Transporters” in Erice – congrats and enjoy Italy!
Congrats to Christian!
Congrats to Christian for securing a travel grant from the Lundbeck Foundation to attend the Biophysical Society meeting in New Orleans – well done!
Coming from Halle, Germany, Caroline will join us as an Erasmus student over the summer. Welcome and we´re looking forward to having you around.
After Tim and Stephan already visited Boston and Austin (where they came across some flying canoes…), they met up with Federica, Christian and Matthias to attend the 2017 Biophysics meeting in New Orleans. Congrats to Tim for being selected to give a talk at the meeting on his latest work on ASICs! Well done also by Federica, Christian and Matthias for attracting lots of attention with their posters.
Congrats to Federica
Federica continues her successful streak at applying for travel support, this time in form of a travel grant from Oticon to attend the Biophysics meeting in New Orleans – congrats!
Hi and goodbye
While we´re sad to say goodbye to Britt, our first lab technician intern ever, we´re very excited to welcome her successor, Natasha, to the team – glad to have you around!
We wish Britt all the best for her future and will certainly miss her smile (and help!) around here.
Center for Biopharmaceuticals annual retreat
As is now tradition within the Center for Biopharmaceuticals, the whole crew took to Snekkersten in January – this time with a record-breaking 43 participants. Entertained by excellent speakers, we learned a lot about “Publishing and outreach”, this years topic for the retreat. Thanks to everyone for making this a memorable outing – in particular to Ulla for taking care of a very smooth organisation.
New paper in JBC
Tim and Vitaly got the lab off to a flying start in 2017 – congrats for having their paper entitled “Unique contributions of an arginine side chain to ligand recognition in a glutamate-gated chloride channel” accpeted at the Journal of Biological Chemistry! A nice example of how unnatural amino acids can be used to introduce a titratable arginine analog into an ion channel – and uncovering a surprising side chain contribution to ligand recognition. A free PDF of the article can be found by clicking this LINK.
Open PhD position
If you have a MSc degree and practical experience in the use of electrophysiology, unnatural amino acids and molecular biology, please follow this LINK to submit your application. Please note that direct applications via email can not be considered.
We were fortunate enough to attract an amazing line up of speakers for a symposium focused on fluorescence-based approaches to study membrane proteins. Together with Hanne Poulsen (Aarhus), this meant bringing Teresa Giraldez (La Laguna, Spain), Chris Ahern (Iowa, US), Pancho Bezanilla (Chicago, US), Kevin Eggan (Harvard, US), Poul Nissen (Aarhus), Dimitrios Stamou (KU), Dirk Trauner (Munich, Germany) and Bill Zagotta (Washington, US) to Copenhagen. A huge thank you to our sponsors for financial suport, Ulla Jakobsen for invaluable help with the organisation and all speakers for making this a great day! Keep your eyes peeled for the 2017 edition of this event, which will feature a number of world-class speakers as part of a Novo Nordisk Foundation Symposium on Nov 16th 2017- details to follow in the spring.
Success at Carlsberg
Stephan was fortunate enough to be awarded a Carlsberg Foundation ‘Distinguished Associate Professor Fellowship’, which we will put to good use on a new project over the next three years!
Congrats to Nina. Again.
Competing with other PhD students from all over Europe, Nina was able to secure a coveted Boehringer Ingelheim Fond PhD fellowship – congrats and well done, Nina!
You would think that 2 years after moving in we would be past any issues related to noise. Well, think again. Thanks to a (not so) brilliantly timed and communicated renovation effort half the department will need to come to work with heavy-duty ear mufflers until the end of the year – or just stay at home. Then again, at least we´ll be well prepared to deal with the inevitable Christmas jingle onslaught.
Congrats to Nina
We´re very happy to report that Nina just received a PhD scholarship from the Lundbeck Foundation!
Welcome Camilla, Daniel and Sarah
After some of them had already joined us on our lab retreat, we´re very happy to have three new MSc students join the team: Camilla Lund, Daniel Vasquez and Sarah Yandurah – looking forward to having you guys around!
Lab retreat 2016
Amidst picture perfect weather and the beautiful landscape of Kullen, we spent a couple of days on very productive science sessions and some fun outdoor adventures. Thanks to everyone for making this a memorable trip – and respect for daring to take on all the outdoor fun!
Say hi to Mette
A Copenhagen native, Mette is an ion channel expert joining us for a postdoc after a very successful stay in Andrew Plested´s lab in Berlin. Welcome, great to have you around!
Congrats to Jose
After working on his MSc thesis under the supervision of Tim since 2015, Jose sucessfully submitted and defended his thesis last week – congrats on a great job, Senor Romero! Jose will be finishing off the project with us over the next couple of weeks, after which we will submit the work of him and Tim – stay tuned for a neat piece of molecular pharmacology!
Chow is an ion channel expert joining from the University of Sydney, Australia, who will be working on a new project in the lab. Welcome, looking forward to having you around!
Tim was invited to give a talk at the “Novel approaches to probe the molecular function of ion channels from the nicotinic superfamily” symposium at the Physiological Society Meeting in Dublin – see link here.
Congrats to Federica. Again.
Thanks to fellowships from the Lundbeck Foundation and the organising committee, Federica gets to attend the Genetic Code Expansion workshop and conference in August in Oregon. Check out the meeting details here.
Congrats. To Tim. Again.
Tim gets voted next Ion Channel GRS chair by his peers! Congrats and we look forward to a great GRS program in 2018 then!
Congrats to Tim
Tim had the honor of being seletced for a talk at the Ion Channel GRS in South Hadley, MA – congrats!
Farewell Alba and Vaida
We´d like to say thanks to both Alba and Vaida for all their help and contributions in the lab and we wish them all the best for their future!
Congrats to Jianmin
Jianmin receives a “Visiting Professor” grant from the Lundbeck Foundation in relation to his stay with us over the summer – congrats!
It´s a tradition
Despite the unpredicabtle weather conditions, we were lucky enough to catch some sun during our annual boat outing. While testing the nerves of some of the tour boat operators, we managed to successfully navigate through various canals and managed to safely return to shore – we´ll be back in 2017!
We welcome Keith to the lab, who will be joining us for a 2-year postdoc. Originally from Singapore, Keith joins us from Melbourne, where he has been very productive working on all sorts of ion channel and peptide-related projects – looking forward to having you around!
Novo Nordisk Foundation Symposium Grant
Together with Hanne Poulsen (Aarhus), Stephan was granted a Novo Nordisk Foundation Symposium Grant on “New paradigms in fluorescence-based approaches to study membrane proteins” in 2017 – more details to follow later in the year, but rest assured we will do everything we can to put together an exiting program!
Anna will be joining us over the summer from Darmstadt, Germany, to do some electrophysiology – welcome, and we look forward to having you around!
Vaida, who just finished her PhD at KU, is an expert in worm genetics and will learn some ephys while in our lab over the summer. Welcome, and we look forward to learning more about worms and genetics from you!
Welcome Prof Jianmin Cui
It is our great plasure to host Prof Jianmin Cui, Spencer T. Olin Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis over the summer in our laboratory. Jianmin is an expert in ion channel biophysics and we very much look forward to having him (and his expertise) around for the next couple of months!
Talk in Frankfurt
Thanks to an invitation by the ‘Membrane Transport’ consortium at the MPI/University in Frankfurt, Stephan had the pleasure to meet with and talk to members of one of the German strongholds in membrane protein structure and function research – a big thank you to the hosts Misha, Inga, Robert and Marina for a terrific visit!
This week, we have the pleasure of introducing Lea Sørensen to our team – Lea will be helping us as a Research Assistant until the summer. Welcome on board!
Biophysical Society meeting 2016
Courtesy to travel awards to Federica (Biochemical Society), Matthias (Lundbeck) and Tim (DFF), we were able to treck across the pond with quite a few lab members this year. Greeted by sunny and warm weather, it quickly became clear that – thanks to a busy program – we would not have time to indulge in either. Instead, we were treated to an excellent meeting, with very successful poster presentations by Nina, Federica and Matthias.
Welcome Nina and Alba
After a very productive MSc thesis last year, Nina returns as a PhD student this week. Alba joins us from Spain for an internship over the summer. Welcome both, we´re very much looking forward to having you around!
We´re very happy to be joined by Britt, who will stay with us for the coming year as a laboratory technician intern. Hailing from New Orleans, Britt is the latest addition to the team and will help us cope with the growing demand in help with molecular biology. Welcome to the crew!
Federica is back
After 3 months in Strasbourg, Federica returns with plenty of single channel data – and awards from Oticon, A.P.Møller, Augustinus, Knud Højgaards and Christian og Ottilia Fonden, supporting her work over there. Congrats on a very productive and successful trip!
Ligand Recognition and Molec. Gating GRC
This years edition of the Ligand Recognition & Molecular Gating GRC took place in Tuscany and featured a spectacular line up of speakers. Despite the mostly gloomy weather, the meeting was very inspiring and extremely informative for anyone into molecular aspects of membrane protein structure and function – big props to the organisers for putting together a great program!
We´re looking for postdocs!
Interested in working with us a postdoc? If you have an exceptionally strong background in electrophysiology or would like to apply your chemical biology expertise to ion channels, apply here.
New paper for the lab
Together with our colleagues in Oxford, we just published a manuscript in ACS Chemical Neuroscience on the role of an absolutely conserved pair of tryptophan side chains in Cys-loop receptors – congrats to all involved, in particular Nina and Tim! Find the link here.
Welcome Christian. Again.
After his brief stint as a Research Assistant, we are extremely happy to welcome Christian as our new PhD student. The Copenhagen local is an expert biochemist with plenty of experience with proteins – and thus a perfect match for our team. Welcome, Christian!
Symposium on novel approaches in ion channel research
We recently had the pleasure to host a DRA & Center for Biopharmaceuticals minisymposium entitled “Thinking outside the box – Novel approaches to study ion channels”. The event included lectures by Prof. Chris Ulens (Leuven, Belgium), Dr. Thomas Berger (Bonn, Germany) and Prof. Friedrich Koch-Nolte (Hamburg, Germany) and covered a wide array of novel approaches to study ion channels, incl. fluorometry, crystallography, fragment-based screening and nanobodies. The event provided a beautiful showcase of how implementation of recent technical advances can lead to exciting new findings, both with regards to functional and pharmacological studies on ion channels.
Christian Bernsen Borg will be joining us as a research assitant, before starting his PhD with us later in the year. Christian is a Copenhagen native and an expert in proteins, thus making for a great addition to our team!
Goodbye to Vitaly
We´re sad to have to say goodbye to Vitaly – but at the same time we´re very excited to see him leave for such an great job at Novo and wish him all the best for his future!
It really was fantastic to have you around, Vitaly, and we will certainly miss you!
Experts in town
After months of planning, the big day had finally come: Oct 6th, the day of the “Hot topics in protein medicinal chemistry” symposium. The line-up was absolutely world class and I think it´s safe to say nobody in the audience went home disappointed – the lectures were absolutely outstanding and extremely inspirational! More coverage of the event can be found here!
More travel for Stephan
Stephan had the pleasure to be invited to the annual meeting of both the French and the Spanish ion channel communities – two fantastic showcases of the exciting ion channel work being done in the warm south! Thanks very much to the organisers for arranging great meetings! (Photo credit: PRBB, likely the research institute with the best location ever – in the center of Barcelona, only meters from the beach…)
It took a while
We´re happy to report the publication of the (likely first) book on how to apply chemical biology approaches to ion channel research – published by Springer, the work can be find under this link. We were very fortunate to be able to recruit world-leading experts to contribute to the book and hope it will find widespread application in the field!
Thanks for the feature
Our latest work on potassium channels modulators just got featured in a science blog – find the details here
Together with our colleagues in Canada, the US and Germany, we have published our latest work in Nature Communications. The work directly shows how a recently marketed anti-epileptic drug elicits its action on a neuronal ion channel. Using synthetic amino acids, we were able to show that the drug, retigabine, binds to the channel primarily via a single hydrogen bond. Curiosly, the H-bond donor within the channel turned out to be the indole nitrogen of a tryptophan side chain, constituting a previously undescribed mechanism of a drug-receptor interaction. Ongoing research in our group, in collaboration with partners from both industry and academia (in Denmark, Canada and Germany), now focuses on complementing this work with detailed SAR studies of retigabine – see also current MSc projects.
We were fortunate enough to receive grant support for purchasing new equipment from the Beckett Foundation, Brodrene Hartmann Foundation and the Hørslev Foundation – we are very grateful for their support!
Goodbye to Nina and Michael
In the past week, we said goodbye to both Nina and Michael, who did an outstanding job in the lab over the last couple of months! While Nina decided to head home the hard way (1200 km by bike), Michael had no choice but to hop on a plane back to the West Coast…
Congrats to Federica
Federica won the poster competition amongst the 2nd year PhD students at the DRA Summer School 2015 – congrats on a job well done! See the link for details
Together with our friends in Edmonton and Iowa, we have just had a paper accepted at Nature Communications – congrats to all involved. Details to follow follow soon!
Talk at UCL
Thanks to Lucia Sivilotti, the leading glycine receptor single channel aficionado (see her recent award lecture on the topic here), Stephan had the pleasure of being invited to UCL for a talk. This meant getting a chance to catch up with some of the world-leading ion channel experts in what has to be the at one of the strongest ion channel/neuroscience departments around – thanks for a great visit.
As our inaugural lab retreat, we left Copenhagen to not only discuss the latest science going on in the lab, but also to check out some massive underground features in nearby Hamburg. More precisely, the tunnels of DESY – built to enlighten us science nerds on all sorts of fancy topics, ranging from our X-ray crystallography of biomolecules (which we are known to occasionally deal with) to quarks, gluons, dark matter and quite literally the big bang itself…
Open PhD position
We currently have a PhD position available for a highly motivated student – check out the details here.
A special guest
We had the great pleasure of welcoming Prof Joe Lynch to town this week. One of the leading glycine receptor experts around, he also was responsible for much of the scientific training of Tim and Stephan, who both did their PhDs with him. More info on Joe can be found here.
Sailing, Viking style
Despite the daunting weather forecast, the members of the Center for Biopharmaceuticals took to the sea at Roskilde in a boat replica of what would have been used by the Vikings a long while back – a fun ride that definitely instilled a lot of respect for those who used tiny boats like these to brave the open waters of the North Sea!
Jose will be working on his MSc thesis with us as part of his MSc degree in Human Biology (here at KU), while Michael is an undergraduate student from the University of British Columbia who is visiting us for the summer – welcome on board, gentlemen!
Jason Chin in Aarhus
Vitaly and Stephan got on the train to Aarhus to attend a talk by Jason Chin from Cambridge. After a pleasant ride through the beautiful Danish spring, there were treated to an outstanding lecture about the possibilities of using an expanded genetic code to address a wide variety of chemical and biological questions – very inspiring indeed! Learn more about Jason Chin´s work here.
After numerous delays and many disruptions, we are delighted to announce that our lab space is finally completely ready for use! Many thanks to all involved in this process – we are delighted with our new playground!
Talk at the Gage Conference
Stephan had the honour of being in invited to give a talk at the Gage Conference in Canberra, Australia. Although this meant spending an awful lot of time on airplanes, it was definitely worth every minute, given the very fruitful interactions with collaborators and friends – on top of the many exciting talks at the meeting. A big thank you to Brett, for making this trip possible!
Vitaly joins the lab
Vitaly Komnatnyy joins the lab as a postdoc and resident chemist, and endows the lab with some long-anticipated chemistry expertise. After finishing his studies at the prestigous Lomonosov Moscow State University, Vitaly moved to Denmark to do his PhD at DTU – where he also went on to do a brief postdoc – before deciding to join our lab. Welcome on board, Vitaly, we´re very happy to have you around!
We are very proud to announce an – as we think – inspiring line up for the first ever Center for Biopharmaceuticals symposium on “Hot Topics in Chemical Biology” on Oct 6th 2015, find the flyer here. Attendance is free and only requires a simple registration email, so keep a free spot in your calendar for this exciting event!
Big day for Tim
Tim got to mix and mingle among Danish Royalty and Ministers as he receives the coveted Sapere Aude DFF Research Talent award – congrats and well done! Find the link to the event here
A good month
It´s been a very productive month, with lots of progress and exciting results on all ongoing projects – thanks for the hard work, everyone!
A new toy
After variuos delays, missing equipment and a lots of fiddling with leaky chambers we now have our third e-phys rig up and running – a big thank you to Matthias and Nina. And to Karsten for putting up with all our special workshop requests!
Talk in Aachen
No doubt, the hospital of Aachen, Germany has some of the most outrageous architecture imaginable. Not only does the outside look somewhat unique, architects really went to town on the inside, too, where they stuck almost exclusively to green floors, doors and walls – only interspersed by the odd silver wall or neon-colored door. Together, this provided a very unique backdrop to a very inspiring visit and many fruitful discussions with fellow ion channels aficionados that Stephan had the pleasure of meeting. Thank you, Stefan, for a great visit in Aachen!
Say hi to Nina and Matthias
While Matthias embarks on his PhD, Nina will be joining us for her MSc – welcome to the lab! Oh, and their profiles will follow shortly!
He did it again.
The good news just keep on coming for Tim, who was just awarded a Sapere Aude DFF Research Talent award – congratulations, what a great pre-Christmas gift! Read the full story here.
A major milestone
Thanks to Janne’s efforts, we now have obtained GMO approval for our new lab lab space – a major milestone on our long and rocky road to being fully operational! To make things better, we were also finally able to provide Tim’s rig with a new home on the first floor. Thanks to everyone for their hard work – and for their patience!
The lab receives a grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation – we’re very honored and look forward to putting it to good use!
Launch of ATPsignal.com
The newly launched ATPsignal website represents the web presence of this interdisciplinary consortium of research groups that aims to unravel the enigmatic role of P2X7 receptors in human health and disease. Using highly complementary approaches ATPsignal will cover a broad range of P2X7 receptor biology, ranging from the atomic level to its role in organs and intact animals
Talk in Santa Cruz
Stephan had the pleasure of being invited to give a talk at the Universidad de La Laguna on Teneriffe. The island not only boasts breathtaking landscapes but also some of the finest ion channel labs around, making for a very worthwhile visit! Thanks for the invitation, Teresa!
Ming joins the lab
Ming is a PhD student from the University of Queensland, Australia, who will be doing some work with unnatural amino acids in our lab for a couple of weeks – welcome in the lab!
Congrats to Tim. Again.
Tim just secured a postdoctoral fellowship from the Lundbeck Foundation – someone is clearly on a roll these days. Stort tillykke, Tim!
Talk at the caesar in Bonn
The offices at this remarkable place must have one of the best views ever. No less impressive is the science done around there, making for a great visit – thanks for the invite, Thomas!
Congrats to Tim!
Tim just secured himself a coveted postdoctoral fellowship from the DFF – a fantastic (and well-deserved) achievement! Check out the official DFF news release here
Open PhD position
We have available a PhD Fellowship in Ion Channel Electrophysiology starting December 2014 – click here to see the details
Lab summer outing
Motivated by the beautiful summer weather we decided to take to the waters of the harbor for a little self-guided tour of the local attractions. Given we´re in Copenhagen it was only appropriate that we were powered by an über-environmentally friendly outboard engine delivering a whopping 12 V (from solar power-charged batteries, of course). We, on the other hand, were fueled by delicious smørrebrød and local brews, making for fun afternoon out on the water. We certainly hope to be able to make it a summer tradition!
Say hi to Federica
We´re very happy to announce the arrival of our first PhD student, Federica Gasparri! Originally from Milan, Federica just finished her MSc, which including an extended (and very successful) stay at Oxford Brooks. She has extensive experience with some of our favorite toys (think TEVC and the likes) and already an impressive publication record – check out her profile here!
Seminar at CAU Kiel
Stephan had the pleasure of being invited to give a seminar as part of the ‘Physiological Colloquium’ series at the Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel
First lab meeting with actual data!
Thanks to great efforts by Tim, Janne & Federica we just had our first lab meeting , including some first data from the lab! Thanks guys!
First paper for the lab!
A big thank you to our local expert in ligand-binding in Cys-loop receptors, Tim, for putting together this review for Frontiers in Physiology! Thanks to quite the deluge of research papers on related subjects he was on top of the literature and able to put together a comprehensive update of where the fields stands with regards to molecular recognition of agonists – nice work, Dr Lynagh! Find the manuscript here
Seminar at KU Leuven
Stephan had the honor of being invited to beautiful Leuven for a seminar at KU Leuven
Open PhD position
We have available a PhD Fellowship in Membrane Receptor Pharmacology, Structure & Function starting August 2014 – click here to see the details
GRC Ligand Recognition and Molecular Gating
The title is already quite the mouthful, but the conference keeps living up to it: a great mix of ion channelologists, transporter people and folks working on pumps mix and mingle for a week under the Californian sun. The highlights were some exciting posters on unatural amino acid incorporation and a few outstanding talks on new horizons in structural biology – looking forward to the 2016 edition (rumor has it the next one will be held in Spain)
Janne joins the lab!
Janne Møgelhøj Colding has started as the labs laboratory technician. She has plenty of experience in both research and general lab management – and she is heading the resident Occupational Health & Safety committee. We could not have asked for a better fit and we´re very honored to have her around. Welcome Janne!
Biophysics Meeting 2014
Attending the annual meeting of the Biophysical Society is always fun, even more so when San Francisco is the host city! Plenty of exciting science, meeting old and new friends and copious amounts of post-conference mix and mingle made for a good mix – looking forward to the 2015 edition (despite that one being hosted by Baltimore – in February)
Congrats to Tim. Again.
Propofol is an intravenous general anesthetic that has recently garnered much attention, not least due to its alleged involvement in the death of a certain King of Pop. Tim now shows how this innocent looking compound can both inhibit and enhance currents through some ligand-gated ion channels – doing so via a single site! See the whole story published as a prestigious Brief Communication in The Journal of Neuroscience.
Congrats to Tim
Tim has been invited as a speaker at the ‘Anthelmintics: From Discorvery to Resistance’ Meeting in San Francisco – congrats!
Tim Lynagh joins the lab
Tim Lynagh is the first post doc to join the lab! After finishing his PhD in Australia, the Bundaberg native moved to Germany for his first post doc, before deciding on his move to Copenhagen – welcome Tim, great to have you on board!
Carlsberg Foundation Grant
More good news for the lab, as we just received an equipment grant from the Carlsberg Foundation!
The floor plans are ready and the renovations of the lab space are about to start – very exciting times for the lab and its host, the Centre for Biopharmaceuticals.