Groups and Principal Investigators

 Kristine Freude

Kristine Freude, Director of BrainStem

The group for Stem cells and modelling of neurodegeneration

University of Copenhagen (UCPH)

The research activities are focused on disease modelling using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) from patients and their CRISPR-Cas9 gene edited controls. Besides neural cell type specific pathologies the aim is to understand overlapping dysfunctions amongst different types of dementia. It is the belief that a comprehensive understanding of such molecular commonalities may provide opportunities for novel interventions that are beneficial for an array of related diseases facilitating cost effective drug development.



Poul Hyttel, Senior Advisor of BrainStem

The Group for Stem Cells and Embryology

University of Copenhagen (UCPH)

The Group for Stem Cells and Embryology holds internationally well-recognized competences in molecular embryology and stem cell biology with special focus on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in human and pig. Poul Hyttel is the Senior Advisor of BrainStem and has strong expertise in the management of large-scale projects supported by Danish funding agencies (e.g. Research Councils and Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation, HTF) as well as the EU (e.g. coordinator of the FP7 IAPP STEMMAD).



Jan Gorodkin

The Bioinformatics Group, Center for non-coding RNA in Technology and Health (RTH)

University of Copenhagen (UCPH)

The group aims at developing computational as well as experimental techno­lo­gies for analysis of the mammalian genome and transcriptome in relation to diseases. The group has focus on non-coding and structured RNA and their (in)direct interplay to each other, proteins, DNA and other molecular components of the cell.


Peter Sandøe

The Group for Bioethics, Department of Food and Resource Economics

University of Copenhagen (UCPH)

This group has a strong, internationally recognized profile in conducting studies regarding ethical issues relating to the development and use of modern biotechnology, combining perspectives from bioethics, sociology, and law in close collaboration with natural science. Managerial experiences from numerous national and EU funded activities.



Mark Denham

The Danish Research Institute of Translational Neuroscience (DANDRITE), Stem Cell Group

Aarhus University (AU)

The DANDRITE Stem Cell Laboratory is a newly established group at AU with the primary focus on using iPSCs to model neurodegenerative diseases; in particular PD. DANDRITE has extensive expertise in the differentiation and genetic manipulation of iPSCs and transplantation of stem cells into rodent models.



Yonglun Luo

The Group for Genome Editing and Regenerative Medicine, Department of Biomedicine

Aarhus University (AU)

This group holds particular competences in generating genetically edited stem cell and porcine models for studying human diseases using TALENs and CRISPR/Cas9 technologies.



Morten Meyer

The Group for Stem Cells and Developmental Neurobiology

University of Southern Denmark (SDU)

This group is part of a larger neuroscience research unit with strong international and industrial relations. The current research program is focused on identifying molecular and biochemical signals regulating cell fate decisions. We place particular emphasis on formation of functional dopaminergic neurons with midbrain characteristics - the cell type that degenerates in Parkinson’s disease. Using stem cells derived from patients with Parkinson’s disease (induced pluripotent stem cells) and developing human brain tissue (neural stem cells), our research is intended to advance the understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying Parkinson’s disease and to contribute to the development of a potential future stem cell therapy.



Agnete Kirkeby

The Group of Human Neural Development (Wallenberg Neuroscience Center and Lund Stem Cell Center)

Lund University (ULUND)

This group specialises in using human pluripotent stem cells for mimicking early human brain development through accurate in vitro control of neural regional patterning. Using microfluidic culturing techniques they work to recreate growth factor patterning gradients in the dish in order to induce the stem cells to spontaneously form a 3D model of the early fetal brain. Furthermore, the group is heavily involved in developing clinical protocols for making midbrain dopaminergic neurons from embryonic stem cell with the aim of performing a clinical transplantation trial in patients with Parkinson’s Disease.



Laurent Roybon

The Stem Cell Laboratory for CNS disease Modelling, Wallenberg Neuroscience Center

Lund University (ULUND)

This group focuses on generating rodent and human cellular models to study region-specific neuronal subtype and glia pathology. The Group specializes in cell engineering and generation of iPSCs from e.g. PD patients, and has a unique expertise in using these cellular models for the screening of chemical libraries.



Gunnar Gouras

The Experimental Dementia Research Unit, Wallenberg Neuroscience Center

Lund University (ULUND)

This group has many years' experience studying the molecular pathology of AD using primary rodent and human neurons in culture. The focus of the Group is early synapse dysfunction, and they were first to describe Aβ dependent synaptic alterations in AD transgenic primary neurons.



Jørgen E. Nielsen

The Danish Dementia Research Centre (DDRC), Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen

DDRC, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen

DDRC offers highly specialized diagnosing, counselling and follow-up of families and patients with inherited neurodegenerative disorders as well as immediate translation between clinic and research in the area. DDRC has revealed several important mutations causing familial neurodegeneration including a novel PSEN2 mutation (V393M). Managerial experiences from numerous national and EU funded activities and at present in HTF-funded stem cell consortium with the applicant.



Karina Fog

H. Lundbeck

Lundbeck has overall focus on research, development, production, marketing and sale of CNS pharmaceuticals across the world. The Research group is engaged in identifying and validating targets and to develop cell and animal based readouts needed for drug-development. Techniques represented in the group range from molecular biology, biochemistry, cell based assays, in vivo electrophysiology to animal behavior. Managerial experiences from numerous drug discovery projects and at present in HTF-funded stem cell consortium with the applicant.



Christian Clausen

Bioneer A/S

Bioneer has an overall strategy to develop platforms for early drug discovery based on in vitro models and is appointed iPSC center in the large iPSC banking initiative in EU (EBiSC). Managerial experiences from numerous national and EU funded activities.



Nathalie Compagnone

Innovative Concepts in Drug Development (ICDD), France

DDRC is an SME dedicated to the development of diagnostics for neurodegenerative diseases by mitochondrial metabolic profiling, cellulomics, and proteomics. ICDD has successfully developed diagnostic products for AD, PD, and Huntington’s disease and pursues several blood markers associated with pre-symptomatic stages of AD, currently under prospective validation.

Project Participants 



Principal Investigator

Betina Wingreen Jensen Project Manager Kristine Freude/ Poul Hyttel
Maria Pihl Lab Tech Kristine Freude/ Poul Hyttel
Tina Christoffersen Lab Tech Kristine Freude/ Poul Hyttel
Abinaya Chanrasekaran Postdoc Kristine Freude
Henriette Frederiksen Research Assistant Kristine Freude
Henriette Haukedahl PhD student Kristine Freude
Christian Anthon Systems Administrator Jan Gorodkin
Stefan Seemann Associate Professor Jan Gorodkin
Jakob Hull Havgaard Associate Professor Jan Gorodkin 
Giulia Corsi PhD student  Jan Gorodkin 
Nadya Doncheva Postdoc Jan Gorodkin 
Veerendra Gaadekar Postdoc Jan Gorodkin
Mickey Gjerris Associate Professor  Peter Sandøe 
Rasmus Christen B Mikkelsen Research Assistant  Peter Sandøe 
Camilla Højlund Knudsen PhD student  Mark Denham 
Muwan Chen PhD student  Mark Denham 
Kathrine Gill Postdoc Mark Denham
Susanne Hvolbøl Buchholdt  Lab Tech Mark Denham 
Mette Habekost  PhD student  Mark Denham 
Trine Skov Petersen  Lab Tech  Yonglun Luo 
Lin Lin  Postdoc  Yonglun Luo 
Justyna Okarmus   PhD student  Morten Meyer 
Helle Bogetofte Barnkob   PhD student  Morten Meyer 
Sissel Ida Schmidt  Research Assistant Morten Meyer 
Martin Røssel Larsen  Professor Morten Meyer
Matias Ryding Research Assistant Morten Meyer
Pia Jensen Academic Assistant Morten Meyer
Vanessa Hall Associate Professor Agnete Kirkeby
Yong Liu PhD Student Agnete Kirkeby
Pedro Riefes Postdoc Agnete Kirkeby
Gaurav Rathore Research Assistant Agnete Kirkeby
Carla Azevedo  PhD Student Laurent Roybon
Sabine Konings PhD Student Gunnar Gouras
Steen Hasselbalch Professor Jørgen Nielsen
Jonathan H Wardman Research Assistant Jørgen Nielsen
Anja Hviid Simonsen Senior Researcher Jørgen Nielsen 
Troels Tolstrup Nielsen Center Manager Jørgen Nielsen 
Tina Stummann Senior Research Scientist Karina Fog
Helena Borland PhD student Karina Fog
Bjørn Holst Principal Investigator / R&D Manager Christian Clausen
Benjamin Scmid Postdoc Christian Clausen
Clotilde Biscarrat General Manager - Technology and Innovation Nathalie Compagnone
Pauline Picamal Laboratory Manager Nathalie Compagnone