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Jensen Group

Neurodegenerative Diseases Laboratory


Our group want to understand how neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia, and multiple systems atrophy develop, progress, and elicit their many symptoms.

We centre our studies on how the protein alpha-synuclein contributes to these processes because the spread of alpha-synuclein aggregate-pathology in the tissue plays a central role for these diseases. This is investigated in studies of alpha-synuclein aggregates in vitro, in cell models, cultures brain slices, live animals and human tissue and involves development of new tools and models.

Research focus

Our aims are: 1) Decipher how cells regulate their pools of alpha-synuclein species because elevated levels represents a risk factor for disease with projects both at the regulation of alpha-synuclein transcription and the catabolic pathways for normal and abnormal alpha-synuclein species. 2) Understand how different folding strains of alpha-synuclein aggregates develop and cells respond to such aggregated alpha-synuclein species with respect to cytotoxic and protective mechanisms that can be targeted by therapy. 3) Understand how cells suffering from development of intracellular alpha-synuclein aggregates affects their surrounding tissue and connected neurons contributing to spreading of pathology and development of neurological/psychiatric symptoms.

Currently specific projects focuses on i) alpha-synucleins role in calcium regulation with a focus on calcium pumps in the endoplasmic reticulum and plasma membrane, ii) signalling pathways regulating transcription of alpha-synuclein and degradation of its native and aggregated species, iii) characterization of oligomeric and fibrillar alpha-synuclein aggregates, iv) development and application of proximity ligation assays to uncover novel alpha-synuclein pathology in human brain tissue, v) in vivo mouse studies focussing on modelling and mechanisms involved in disease progression and how they can be inhibited pharmacologically.

Available projects

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



Previous news from the research group


2019.08.29 | PoulHenningJensen

Congratulations to Asad Jan who has been awarded a Marie Skłodowska Curie Individual Fellowship under the Horizon 2020 program in Jensen Group

Dr. Jan is currently a research fellow at AIAS. In the laboratory of Prof. PH Jensen at DANDRITE, Dr. Jan's research focuses on discovering genetic mechanisms of prion-like spreading of misfolded alpha synuclein in nervous system, and applications of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing in models of Parkinson disease.

2019.08.06 | PoulHenningJensen

Welcome to Ana Cláudia Almeida, the new intern in Jensen's Group

Ana is a Medical Student (5th Year) from the University of Coimbra, Portugal. She is going to work on Professor Poul Henning’s group for 4 weeks within the context of the Research Exchange Program of the International Federation of Medical Students (IFMSA). Ana’s work will focus on the "Spreading of pathological α- Synuclein through the Peripheral…

2019.08.06 | PoulHenningJensen

Welcome to the new intern in Poul Henning Jensens group, Lena Prisching

She is studying "Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology" at the IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems, in Austria. As a part of her studies she is doing an internship at the DANDRITE institute in Aarhus where she will join Jensen Group. Her project during her stay here will be to study alpha-synuclein aggregation in vitro and in cell models.

Picture of Lasse Reimer, Poul Henning Jensen, Kostas Vekrellis, and Peter Bross

2019.06.17 | People

Lasse Reimer from Jensen group defended his PhD thesis succesfully on Friday 14 June

Title of Lasse's thises is: ”Inflammation activated kinase PKR directly targets disease-modifying residues within alpha-synuclein and tau for phosphorylation”. The project gives novel insight into the connection between brain inflammation and neurodegerative disorders.

Group photo from Sara’s farewell gathering.

2019.06.13 | PoulHenningJensen

Farewell to Sara Elfarrash. Bon voyage to Mansoura, Egypt

DANDRITE wishes Sara Elfarrash all the best. Sara has been part of Poul Henning Jensen's group since 2016 as research assistant and visiting PhD student. Now she is going to finish her PhD back in Egypt. Bon voyage to Mansoura, Egypt.

2019.05.22 | Research news

Postdoc Fikret Emre Kapucu is co-authoring a chapter in the new book "In Vitro Neuronal Networks"

The chapter "Advances in Human Stem Cell-Derived Neuronal Cell Culturing and Analysis" in the new book "In Vitro Neuronal Networks - From Culturing Methods to Neuro-Technological Applications" is co-authored by postdoc Fikret Emre Kapucu from Poul Henning Jensen's group. The chapter provides an overview of the current stage of human in vitro…

A picture of Assistant professor Nelson Ferreira.

2019.03.18 | PoulHenningJensen

Assistant Professor, Nelson Ferreira, publishes a review in International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Nelson Ferreira has recently published a review in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences entitled: “Uncovering the Neuroprotective Mechanisms of Curcumin on Transthyretin Amyloidosis”. The work was performed in collaboration with researchers from the Molecular Neurobiology Group, IBMC- Institute for Molecular and Cell Biology, University…

Photo: Asad Jan

2019.02.11 | PoulHenningJensen

Postdoc and AIAS fellow Asad Jan is co-author on new review article

The article entitled: "Translational control in brain pathologies: biological significance and therapeutic opportunities" has recently been published in Acta Neuropathologica.

Photo: Nelson Ferreira

2019.02.04 | People

Congratulations to Nelson Ferreira, who has been appointed Assistant Prof. in Jensen Group

Nelson Ferreira has been appointed as Assistant Professor for 2 years in Group Leader Poul Henning Jensen's group starting January 15th 2019. Nelson Ferreira will be working towards the understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying neurogeneration in Parkinson's Disease (PD), in particular the self-perpetuating seeded aggregation and…

2018.11.05 | PoulHenningJensen

Lixiang Jiang is a new PhD student in Jensen Group.

As a new PhD student in Jensen Group, Lixiang Jiang, will be working on a project Regulation of α-synuclein transcription by the PLK-2/GSK-3β signalling pathway – a potential modulator of Parkinson’s disease risk.

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