Toke Jost Isaksen receives Aarhus University Research Foundation PhD Award

Toke Jost Isaksen, former PhD student in Affiliated Researcher Karin Lykke-Hartmann’s group, is one of the winners of the 2018 Aarhus University Research Foundation PhD Award. Using mice tests Toke Isaksen has localised a defect in the sodium-potassium pump found in brain cells. The discovery may affect future treatment of neurological disorders. The PhD Award is given to young PhD talents, who in their unique ways have conducted research of an extremely high quality. With the award comes DKK 50,000 in recognition of their research and communication hereof.

2018.05.08 | Karen Bech-Pedersen

Using mice tests Toke Isaksen has localised a defect in the sodium-potassium pump found in brain cells. The discovery may affect future treatment of neurological disorders.

During his PhD studies Biomedical Researcher Toke Isaksen helped take an important step with regard to using mice as test animals in research into neurological disorders.

‘I visited a laboratory at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, which was in the process of developing a new electrophysiological measuring technique. It enabled me to measure neurons in the mice’s cerebellum, while the animal showed certain symptoms in a waking state’, Toke Isaksen explains.

A significant contribution on his part was the development and validation of the genetically manipulated mice that had arrived from Aarhus. Tove Isaksen and his research group at the AU Department of Biomedicine were aware of a connection between serious musculoskeletal diseases and a genetic mutation that appeared to be able to ruin the function of the sodium-potassium pump in the neurons in the brain. And to do detailed studies of this connection, mice tests were necessary.

Toke Isaksen learned that in mice with a defect sodium-potassium pump the pattern of the electrical discharging in the cerebellum’s so-called Purkinje cells was markedly different from the pattern found in healthy mice. There is no available treatment for patients with sodium-potassium pump mutations, but Toke Isaksen’s fundamental research may bring us one step closer to developing such treatment.

Read more about the PhD award and the 2018 prize winners here:
http://medarbejdere.au.dk/en/strategy/recurring-events/award-ceremony/2018-award-ceremony/the-winners-of-the-2018-aarhus-university-research-foundation-phd-award/

Awards, KarinLykke-Hartmann