Study opportunities

Anders Nykjær's lab

Lab background:
The lab comprises master and Ph.D. students in addition to several postdocs and technicians.

The lab has many years of expertise in development and phenotypic characterization of transgenic mouse models. The overarching theme is to provide the molecular mechanisms that link specific genetic variants in the population with brain disorders.

Research focus
Research activities are focused towards the functional characterization of a family of neuronal type-1 receptors denoted sortilins, comprising sortilin, SorLA, and SorCS-1, -2, and -3 with particular emphasis on their role in memory formation and recall, and in emotional regulation. Sortilins bind a vast number of ligands including neurotrophic factors, synaptic proteins, Alzheimer precursor protein (APP), and progranulin implying critical roles in regulation of neuronal survival, differentiation and integrity, and in synaptic plasticity. Indeed, a number of genetic association studies and gene targeting in mice have linked dysfunction of the sortilin receptors with neuropsychiatric and degenerative diseases including ADHD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer’s Disease, and frontotemporal lobar dementia. Using transgenic mouse models, a broad repertoire of molecular, cellular and genetic tools, electrophysiology, mouse behavior, and confocal and two-photon microscopy it is our goal to unravel the function of the receptor family in health and disease and to evaluate their potential as drug targets.

Available projects
The Nykjær group currently has projects available for Master students and postdocs within the following research areas.

Functions of the sortilin receptor family in health and disease:

Synaptic plasticity, memory, and psychiatric disorders

Functionality of the dopaminergic system

Methods:
Among techniques used are electrophysiology, gene therapy by stereotactic injections of viruses into the brain, paradigms to study mouse behavior, in situ hybridization, embryology, primary neuronal cultures and other cell biological methods, advanced imaging techniques, and biochemistry. Recently, the use of transgenic zebrafish has been implemented. 

The successful applicant is:
Excited about neuroscience, committed, willing to invest the time required to move forward the project, a team player good at collaborating, open minded, social and has a good sense of humor.

Please contact Group Leader Anders Nykjær directly, if interested