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Nissen Group


Nissen group - Structural and Functional Studies of Membrane Proteins in Brain

 

The Nissen group investigates molecular mechanisms of membrane transport processes, receptors, and biomembrane ultrastructure. Activities are mainly focused on cryo-electron microscopy (Cryo-EM), protein crystallography, biochemistry, electrophysiology, and include also small-angle X-ray scattering and cryo-electron tomography. Main subjects of research concern membrane transporters and receptors involved with neurological and psychiatric disorders, i.e. P-type ATPase (Na,K-ATPase, Ca-ATPases, lipid flippases, P5-ATPases), Na+ dependent neurotransmitter and chloride transporters, and insulin receptor signaling. studies include also structure based drug discovery and protein engineering. Biomembrane ultrastructures of neurons focus on axons and synapses associated with memory.

Our investigations link also to translational studies of neurological and psychiatric disorders associated with perturbed ion transport or metabolic control. 

Methods development, integrative structural biology, and bioimaging are also of great interest to the group.

Research Areas: Membrane proteins, Membrane transport and signaling, single-particle Cryo-EM, Cryo-Electron Tomography, Crystallography, Biochemistry, Drug discover

A collection of P-type ATPase structures from the Nissen lab. Figure courtesy of Dr. Oleg Sitsel.

Available projects

The Nissen group currently has projects available for Master and PhD students.

See current research projects in the laboratory here (link opens pdf)

See overview of current study opportunities in the laboratory (link opens new page)

Please contact Group Leader Poul Nissen directly, if interested.

News

2017.05.05 | Awards

DANDRITE researchers receive DFF-Research Project Grants from the Danish Council for Independent Research

Core group leaders Anders Nykjær and Poul Nissen, group leader Sadegh Nabavi and team leader Magnus Kjærgaard are all recipients of research grants from the FNU, FSS and FTP sections of DFF.

2017.05.05 | People

Thomas Lykke-Møller Sørensen is Visiting Researcher in Nissen Group

Thomas is a Visiting Researcher in Poul's group from May 1st. Thomas is Principal Beamline Scientist (VMXi beamline) at the Diamond Light Source (www.diamond.ac.uk) and visiting professor at University of Portsmouth, UK. Thomas is visiting the Nissen group for the next 6 months to study the proton translocation pathway within SERCA by developing…

Photo: PhD student Milena Laban (left)

2017.05.02 | Events

DANDRITE attended this year's Festival of Research in Aarhus on April 27

As usual DANDRITE attended the Festival of Research. It was a busy and enjoyable day where group leaders and students from DANDRITE demonstrated their research areas to the general Danish public. Four labs where represented: Anne von Philipsborn lab, Poul Henning Jensen lab, Mark Denham lab and Poul Nissen Lab.

Professor Poul Nissen. Photo: Novo Nordisk Foundation, Denmark
Professor Poul Nissen. Photo: AU Foto, Denmark
Professor Emmanuelle Charpentier. Photo: Hallbauer & Fioretti

2017.03.16 | Awards

Novo Nordisk Foundation Awards for professors at two Nordic EMBL partnership nodes

Two leading scientists from two Nordic EMBL Partnership sites, DANDRITE (Danish Research Institute of Translational Neuroscience) and MIMS (The Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden), have been awarded prestigious prizes from the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

The director of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Birgitte Nauntofte FOTO: AU Foto
Rector of Aarhus University Brian Bech Nielsen FOTO: AU Foto
FOTO: AU Foto
The Chairman of the Novo Nordisk Prize committee Jan Fahrenkrug FOTO: AU Foto
Professor Poul Nissen FOTO: AU Foto

2017.03.13 | Awards

Celebrating Poul Nissen - the Novo Nordisk Prize 2017 receiver

Professor Poul Nissen has been awarded the 2017 Novo Nordisk Prize. On that occasion, he gave a prize lecture on Friday March 10th followed by a reception hosted by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, both events set in the beautiful Lakeside Lecture Theatre. Birgitte Nauntofte, the director of the Novo Nordisk Foundation, and Brian Bech Nielsen, the…

2017.03.09 | Awards

Poul Nissen receives the Novo Nordisk Prize 2017

Poul Nissen, Professor at Aarhus University, is receiving the 2017 Novo Nordisk Prize for his pioneering studies of the structure and function of ion pumps. Through his research, Poul Nissen has clarified in detail, among other things, how ions and nutrients are transported into and out of cells. This fundamental knowledge is very significant for…

2016.12.13 | Awards

Poul Nissen received the Order of Dannebrog

At an audience Monday the 12th of December, Professor Poul Nissen had the opportunity to thank the queen for receiving the order of Dannebrog. The audience was held at Amalienborg Castle in Copenhagen. The order was given by her Majesty the Queen of Denmark earlier this year.

2016.11.23 | Awards

Poul Nissen awarded the Research Prize from Director Ib Henriksen Foundation

Poul Nissen has been awarded the prestigious Director Ib Henriksen Foundation Research Prize for his outstanding efforts in structural biology. In the center PUMPkin he has determined the structure of a number of essential ion pumps. The importance of these pumps in the heart and in neurological diseases has also been central to Poul Nissen's…

2016.08.09 | Research news

New publication from Poul Nissen's group - Engineering a Prototypic P-type ATPase Listeria monocytogenes Ca2+-ATPase 1 for Single-Molecule FRET Studies

Approximately 30% of the ATP generated in the living cell is utilized by P-type ATPase primary active transporters to generate and maintain electrochemical gradients across biological membranes. P-type ATPases undergo large conformational changes during their functional cycle to couple ATP hydrolysis in the cytoplasmic domains to ion transport…

2016.07.07 | People

Poul Nissen elected for EMBL's Scientific Advisory Committee

Prof. Poul Nissen, core group leader and director of DANDRITE, has been elected as a member of the EMBL's Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), which is EMBL's chief advisory body on scientific matters. Poul Nissen has been elected for a three-year term starting from 1 January 2017.

(a) Purification strategy, (b) experimental methods used for structure determination, and (c) crystallisation methods used for eukaryotic membrane proteins over the last 2 years. Inset summarises the breakdown of usage for the polyHis, FLAG and StrepII entries in (a), respectively. Total values for each entry are indicated over the respective bar.

2016.06.29 | Research news

New publication from Poul Nissen's group - Expression strategies for structural studies of eukaryotic membrane proteins

In collaboration with Bjørn Pedersen's group, Aarhus University. Integral membrane proteins in eukaryotes are central to various cellular processes and key targets in structural biology, biotechnology and drug development. However, the number of available structures for eukaryotic membrane protein belies their physiological importance. Recently,…

2016.05.26 | Research news

New publication from Poul Nissen's group - New discovery from the molecular machinery for depression and addiction

In the study "A Conserved Leucine Occupies the Empty Substrate Site of LeuT in the Na+-free Return State" it is described how a group of the brain’s transport proteins with important roles in depression and dependence overcome the step which limits their effectiveness. The discovery makes it possible to describe the full function of the transport…

2016.04.05 | Awards

Poul Nissen awarded the Aminoff Prize 2016

As the first Dane, Poul Nissen received Thursday the Aminoff Prize 2016 from The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for his fundamental contributions to the understanding of the structural basis for ATP-driven transport of ions across cell membranes.

2015.09.10 | Awards

DANDRITE director Poul Nissen awarded the international Gregori Aminoff Prize 2016

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Gregori Aminoff Prize in crystallography 2016 to Professor Poul Nissen, Aarhus University. Poul Nissen is the first Dane to receive the Aminoff Prize.

2015.01.28 | Research news

New publication from Poul Nissen's group - New steroid-bound structures of the sodium-potassium pump broaden our knowledge about this enzyme

Na+,K+-ATPase is the ion pump responsible for maintenance of the electrochemical gradients of Na+ and K+ across the membrane of animal cells. Cardiotonic steroids constitute a broad class of specific Na+,K+-ATPase inhibitors, including drugs of clinical importance with multiple physiological effects. The existence of several endogenous cardiotonic…

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