Jensen Group

Jensen Group - Neurodegenerative Disease Laboratory


Our group is interested in understanding how alpha-synuclein contributes to the neurodegenerative processes in Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia and multiple systems atrophy, which are hallmarked by the development of intracellular aggregates of alpha-synuclein. This is investigated in studies of alpha-synuclein aggregates in vitro, in cell models, transgenic animals and human tissue and involves development of new aggregate selective tools.

Research focus


The aim is to decipher how cells regulate their pools of alpha-synuclein species and how they respond to misfolded alpha-synuclein with respect to cytotoxic and protective mechanisms that can be targeted by therapy. This involves proteostatic mechanisms like autophagy, unconventional secretion, prion-like intercellular propagation and homeostatic cellular mechanisms being offset by alpha-synuclein aggregates.

Currently specific projects focuses on alpha-synucleins role in calcium regulation, kinase pathways regulating alpha-synuclein turn-over and toxicity, relation to the innate immune system and implementation of a mouse model for prion-like spreading of alpha-synuclein brain pathology.

Available projects


The Jensen group currently has projects available for Master and PhD students. Please contact Group Leader Poul Henning Jensen directly, if interested.

News

Polo-like kinase 2 (PLK-2) phosphorylates an unknown target, which leads to regulation of α-synuclein mRNA by targeting exonal sequences in the gene encoding α-synuclein, SNCA. PLK-2, and other kinases, additionally phosphorylates α-synuclein, which might be involved in the misfolding of the protein and development of toxic protein species such as oligomers and fibrils.

2017.08.09 | Research news

Poul Henning Jensen's group publish finding of novel pathway regulating α-synuclein levels in brain

The title of the paper is: Polo-like kinase 2 modulates α-synuclein protein levels by regulating its mRNA production

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, dr.med. Poul Henning Jensen. Foto: AU Foto

2017.04.11 | Research news

Prof. Poul Henning Jensen receives DKK 1.500.000

Prof. Poul Henning Jensen receives DKK 1.500.000 as research partner in the IMPRIND consortium to a research project with the main goal of modelling effects of Parkinson-associated alpha-synuclein aggregates on cellular calcium homeostasis.

Professor, dr.med. Poul Henning Jensen. Foto: AU Foto

2017.03.08 | Research news

New AU research has the perspective to stop Parkinson's disease

The Lundbeck Foundation is giving DKK 10 million to a new research project at Aarhus University which will study critical calcium changes in the nerve cells that are expected to occur patients with Parkinson's disease.

2017.03.03 | People

Emil Gregersen is new PhD student in Jensen Group

Emil Gregersen started as a PhD student in Poul Henning Jensen's group per March 1st 2017. Emil will work with the endoplasmic reticulum anchored deubiquitinase USP19 which has a key role in targeting misfolded proteins including α-syn for secretion under proteasomal stress. Preliminary data suggest aggregated α-syn as a target of USP19 and this…

2017.03.01 | People

Linnea Meier is new student assistant in Jensen Group

Linnea Meier started as student assistant in Jensen Group from February 7th. Linnea is studying Molecular Medicine on 2. semester at Aarhus University.

2017.02.22 | People

Harm Ruesink is new Erasmus intern in Jensen Group

Harm Ruesink is an Erasmus intern from the Netherlands, who will be working in Poul Henning Jensen’s group from February 1st. He will investigate the molecular structure and function of alpha-synuclein aggregates using biochemical methods.

2017.01.27 | People

Cristine Betzer is new assistant professor in Jensen group

Cristine Betzer has been appointed as assistant professor for 5 years in group leader Poul Henning Jensens group starting January 17th 2017. Cristine Betzer will be working towards understanding the disease causing mechanisms underlying alpha-synuclein aggregation induced cell death with specific focus on changes in different ion homeostasis.…

2016.11.11 | Research news

Poul Henning Jensen and Mark Denham received the Danish Parkinsons association Grant

Mark Denham got a grant for the project "Combining stem cells and novel bioactive scaffolds to develop new Parkinson Disease therapies" while Poul Henning Jensens project is called "Can caffeine treatment rescue alfa-synuclein aggregation dependent disease spreading and neuron loss? Investigating a novel neuroprotective principle in…

2015.02.18 | Research news

New publication from Poul Henning Jensen's - Phosphorylated a-synuclein in Parkinson's disease: correlation depends on disease severity

Phosphorylation of a-synuclein on serine 129 is closely linked to Parkinson’s disease. This clinical study critically studies the relation of phosphorylated a-synuclein to parkinson’s disease progression and symptomatology using more defined patient cohorts. The study was lead by our collaborator prof. Jing Zhang, University of Washington.

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