Presentation of the Column

Movement and its finely tuned control are at the center of all behaviors. The neuronal circuits controlling movement are found throughout the nervous system. Many brain diseases lead to impairment of motor function, and motor circuits are subject to plasticity and learning. Studies of motor circuits are therefore central to understanding brain function and the target for rehabilitation. The model organisms for studies of the healthy brain include rodent and human, and the methods to interrogate motor circuits span from anatomical, electrophysiological, molecular, genetic, behavioral and imaging to computational approaches. For studies of the developing and diseased brain approaches to modulating brain plasticity, develop assistive devices or brain-computer interfaces will be performed. Choosing this research sub-column, you will get training from and do frontline research with world-known experts within this diverse motor field.

Chronic pain is recognized as a disease, affects one out of five adults, is not optimally treated, and has a considerable impact on society. In acute pain, the nervous system has a dynamic protective response. The unfavorable continuation of pain, sometimes after resolution of the initial cause, serves no obvious beneficial function. Major unsolved fundamental questions about pain include a better understanding of the underlying changes in the peripheral and central nervous system when pain progresses from acute to more persistent conditions. This pain neuroscience sub-column is composed of highly specialized research units spanning from fundamental pain neuroscience to pre-clinical and clinical/human settings. If you choose this research sub-column, you will conduct frontline neuroscience research and have access to high quality training from world-known experts and facilities with first-class equipment.

Doing lab rotations within either of these sub-columns, you will be exposed to theme specific PhD courses and be able to formulate a PhD project with a basic science and/or a translational view with members of the sub-column.

Speakers of Column

Ole Kiehn

Professor Ole Kiehn

University of CopenhagenDepartment of Neuroscience

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Thomas Graven-Nielsen

Professor Thomas Graven Nielsen

Aalborg UniversityCenter for Neuroplasticity and Pain

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Members of the column


Aalborg University

Associate Professor Erika G. Spaich

Aalborg University • Department of Health Science and Technology • Center for Neurotechnology and Rehabilitation

About the Research

Basic and clinical investigation of re-learning and recovering of lost motor functions in neurological disorders. Focus on the development and evaluation of neurotechnologies for rehabilitation of gait, postural control, and upper-limb function.

Two lab members

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Lab rotation

Hands-on experience on human experimental lab. work using el-stim. and robotics for movement control, nociceptive withdrawal reflexes for gait rehab, and biofeedback for motor rehab. Location for some activities: Center for Neurotechnology and Rehab.

Secondary Column

Associate Professor Laura Petrini

• Health Science and Technology •

About the Research

My research investigates how different cognitive and emotional factors influence the experience of pain and the relationship between chronic pain and brain plasticity.

Two lab members

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Lab rotation

human experiment

Secondary Column

Associate Professor Daniel Ciampi de Andrade

• Center for Neuroplasticity and Pain • Pain and Motor System Plasticity

About the Research

I explore pain mechanisms as a way to improve diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to patients with chronic pain. Methods: EEG+TMS, QST, epigenetics, neuroimaging, skin biopsies

Two lab members

Enrico De Martino - Postdoc

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Lab rotation

Experience with methods to probe connectivity and excitability of the cortex (TMS+EMG, TMS+EEG), experience with critical view of main challenges of the pain field with a clinical and preclinical scientist approach, trial design and methodology

Secondary Column

Ageing and Neurodegenerative Diseases

Associate Professor Andrew Stevenson

• Department of Health Science and Technology • Center for Neurotechnology and Rehabilitation

About the Research

The main research focus of my lab is to investigate the interplay between afferent feedback and motor commands in the control of human movement, as well as the neuroplasticity occurring in the CNS in healthy and neurologically impaired individuals.

Two lab members

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Lab rotation

The student will be introduced to studies on sensory-motor control and neuroplasticity, and obtain hands-on experience with advanced neurorehabilitation methods to restore motor function after stroke within the Center for Neurotechnology and Rehab.

Secondary Column

Associate Professor Mathias Vedsø Kristiansen

• Department of Health Science and Technology • Sport Sciences - Performance and technology

About the Research

My research is aimed at quantifying human movement, human performance and human body composition, as well as investigating the underlying neural mechanism responsible for the current state of the nervous system.

Two lab members

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Lab rotation

The PhD candidate will be introduced to isokinetic dynamometry, Dual energy x-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA), surface electromyography, H-reflex and V-wave, Normalized Mutual Information analysis and muscle synergy analysis.

Secondary Column

Associate Professor Steffen K Frahm

• Dept. of Health Science and Technology • Integrative Neuroscience

About the Research

We use advanced cutaneous stimuli to develop new methods to probe the sensory and pain system. In conjunction with the experimental methods we apply mathematical modelling to obtain further insights into the sensory systems.

Two lab members

Ahmad Rujioe - PhD student

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Lab rotation

Human experiments using state of the art methods to probe the sensory discrimination (2-point and directional discrimination), and combining it with mathematical modelling.

Secondary Column

Neurodevelopment

Associate Professor Carsten Dahl Mørch

• Center for Neuroplasticity and Pain • Integrative Neuroscience

About the Research

We develop methods to assess small peripheral nerve fiber excitability in patients with small fiber neuropathy. To do so we used advanced electrophysiology, computational modelling, and preclinical tests in healthy human subjects.

Two lab members

Jenny Tigerholm - Postdoc

Carina Graversen - Postdoc

Lab rotation

Hands-on electrophysiological assessment of peripheral nerve fiber excitability in human participants

Secondary Column

Professor Pascal Max Madeleine

• Department of Health Science and Technology • Sport Sciences - Performance and Technology

About the Research

I conduct basic and applied research related to human movement. On the basic level, I strive for a fundamental understanding of neurophysiological principles and adaptations to physical activity.

Two lab members

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Lab rotation

You will be introduced to neuromechanics techniques enabling to assess adaptations to physical activity in humans. You will learn how to design, conduct and analyze complex experiments/interventions

Secondary Column

Professor winnie Jensen

• Dept. Health Science and Technology • Neural Engineering and Neuroplasticity

About the Research

Animal neurophysiological studies of brain neuroplasticity in e.g. pain conditions. We utilize assessment techniques in acute and chronic animal models. We employ measurements of cortical/spinal/peripheral activity in acute or chronic animal models.

Two lab members

Taha Janjua - Postdoc

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Lab rotation

Learning objectives: Introduction to animal neurophysiological studies of brain/spinal/peripheral neuroplasticity in pain conditions in animal models (large or small, acute or chronic)

Secondary Column

Professor Lars Arendt-Nielsen

• Center for Neuroplasticity and Pain • Translational Pain Bio-markers

About the Research

Understandig fundamental transational neurophysiology and neuroplasticity related to nociception in animals and pain in humans

Two lab members

KRISTIAN KJÆR PEDERSEN - Assistant Professor

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Lab rotation

Introduce translational neuroscience and pain

Secondary Column

Neuroinflammation and Neuron-Glia Interactions

Professor Thomas Sinkjær

Royal Society of Sciences and Letters and Aalborg University • Department of Health Science and Technology • Neuralengineering and neurophysiology

About the Research

Studies of i) the neuronal sensory motor circuitry of healthy and spastic persons applying modelling, electrophysiological methods and unique mechanical robots and ii) advanced neurorehabilitation techniques.

Two lab members

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Lab rotation

be introduced to i) human studies of the neuronal sensory motor circuitry of healthy and spastic persons applying unique mechanical robots and ii) hands-on experience with advanced neurorehabilation methods to restore motor function after stroke.

Secondary Column

Brain States and Brain-Body Interactions

Professor Thomas Graven-Nielsen

• Center for Neuroplasticity and Pain (CNAP, a Center of Excellence inaugurated by the Danish National Research Foundation) • Pain and Motor System Plasticity

About the Research

In humans, we provoke, probe and modulate the dynamic neuroplastic properties of the pain system to study changes from acute to prolonged pain conditions. In particular, neurophysiological approaches and quantitative assessment of the pain system.

Two lab members

Daniel Ciampi de Andrade - Associate Professor

Dennis Boye Larsen - Assistant Professor

Lab rotation

Being involved in studies using non-invasive brain stimulation to modulate pain-related maladaptive cortical circuities as well as advanced quantitative sensory assessment of pain mechanisms.

Secondary Column

Associate Professor Thomas Gomes Nørgaard dos Santos Nielsen

• Department of Health Science and Technology • Neural Engineering and Neurophysiology

About the Research

I primarily work with the pig as a model of cardiovascular disorders (e.g., stroke and hypertension) pain and am heavily centered on electrophysiology (e.g., intra-cortical, ECoG, peripheral nerve) and its use for selective recording and stimulation.

Two lab members

Felipe Rettore Andreis - Postdoc

Suzan Meijs - Postdoc

Lab rotation

Hands on in-vivo (requires license and depends on ongoing activities at the time of rotation) and in-vitro experiments, data analysis and protocol development, depending on the profile and interests of the candidate.

Secondary Column

Brain Vasculature and Barriers

Professor Asbjørn Mohr Drewes

Aalborg University Hospital • Dept of Gastroenterology and Hepatology • Mech-Sense

About the Research

Exoerimental oain research, Motility, Autonomic nervous system, Electrophysiology

Two lab members

Christina Brock -

Anne-Marie Wegeberg - Postdoc

Lab rotation

Secondary Column

Brain Homeostasis and Brain-Body Interactions

Aarhus University

Associate Professor Francesca Fardo

• Department of Clinical Medicine • Center of Functionally Integrative Neuroscience

About the Research

Nociceptive pain, temperature and pain perception, human neuroimaging

Two lab members

Alexandra Grace Mitchell - Postdoc

Camila Sardeto Deolindo - Postdoc

Lab rotation

Electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), psychophysics, experimental psychology, computational modelling

Secondary Column

Brain States and Brain-Body Interactions

Associate Professor Thomas Holm Pedersen

• Biomedicine •

About the Research

Neuromuscular function in health and disease with particular focus on neuromuscular diseases

Two lab members

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Lab rotation

Skeletal muscle electrophysiology in vivo and ex vivo

Secondary Column

Neurodegenerative Diseases

Associate Professor Diego Vidaurre

• Center for Functionally Integrative Neuroscience • Analysis group

About the Research

We develop and apply probabilistic models of brain activity to understand how information is processed in the brain, and how this shapes and is shaped by endogeneous activity. We use a wealth of data modalities, including fMRI, M/EEG and LFP.

Two lab members

Christine Ahrends - Postdoc

Angus Stevner - Postdoc

Lab rotation

Data analysis

Secondary Column

Brain States and Brain-Body Interactions

Professor Nanna Brix Finnerup

• Department of Clinical Medicine • Danish Pain Research Center

About the Research

Clinical research involving patients with neuropathic pain due central or peripheral nervous system lesion and experimental pain models (randomized clinical trials, pharmacology, sensory testing, neurophysiology, molecular biology)

Two lab members

Pall Karlsson -

Sif Gylfadottir -

Lab rotation

quantitative sensory testing, clinical trials, evoked potentials, peripheral nerve excitability, skin biopsy, molecular biology (e.g. immunostainings, microscopy, ELISA, genetics, etc)

Secondary Column

University of Copenhagen

Associate Professor Jens Christian Rekling

• Dept. Neuroscience • Rekling Lab

About the Research

The research aim is to understand how brainstem neurons control breathing. We use electrophysiological and optical techniques to study neurons under in vitro conditions, where the basic circuit producing breathing pattern is intact and functional.

Two lab members

Esmira Mamedova - PhD student
Anders Jørgensen - Skolarstipendiat

Lab rotation

Calcium imaging using genetically-encoded sensors. Basic electrophysiology. Subcellular optogenetics.

Secondary Column

Professor Christian Krarup

Dept Clinical Neurophysiology, Rigshospitalet • Department of Neuroscience • KrarupLab

About the Research

Nervelab bridges studies between the Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Rigshospitalet and University of Copenhagen. At Neuroscience we carry out translational studies on the relationship between electrical function and survival of axons.

Two lab members

Mihai Moldovan - Senior researcher
Carolina Graffe - Clinical Researcher MD PhD

Lab rotation

The student will be involved in electrophysiological and imaging studies of peripheral in humans and in rodents

Secondary Column

Neurodegenerative Diseases

Associate Professor Andreas Toft Sørensen

• Department of Neuroscience • Toft Sørensen

About the Research

We focus on and enjoy creating new directions of gene therapy. We do this by engineering recombinant peptides that target various proteins not regarded as conventional brain drug targets, and apply them to rodent disease models.

Two lab members

Raquel Comaposada Baro - Postdoc
Gith Noes-Holt - PhD student

Lab rotation

You will be teamed up with an experience scientist, where you will be introduced into the fascinating field of gene therapy; from the creation of viral vectors, its production, and its impact on animal disease behavior.

Secondary Column

Neurodegenerative Diseases

Associate Professor Anne-Marie Heegaard

• Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology •

About the Research

Translational research in malignant and non-malignant bone pain. Rodent models of cancer-induced bone pain and other bone diseases. Pain-related behavioural outcome measures. In vivo imaging. Ex vivo and in vitro analyses Pain phenotyping of patients

Two lab members

Chelsea Hopkins - PhD student

Ahmed Barakat - PhD student

Lab rotation

To gain insight into the interdisciplinary nature of cancer pain and the nociceptive mechanisms; to obtain practical knowledge of the pain-related behavioural measures.

Secondary Column

Associate Professor Rune W. Berg

• Department of Neuroscience • Berg Lab

About the Research

Neural principles behind movement

Two lab members

Jaspreet Kaur - Postdoc

Salif Komi - Postdoc

Lab rotation

Rodent surgery, neurophysiology, optogenetics, imaging

Secondary Column

Mood and Reward

Associate Professor Abigail Mackey

• Department of Biomedical Sciences •

About the Research

Our goal is to understand how two main determinants of physical function, motoneurone input and muscle attachment to the skeleton, are affected during the ageing process, and how physical activity can counteract some of the negative changes.

Two lab members

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Lab rotation

human experiment, cell culture, immunofluorescence, microscopy,

Secondary Column

Brain States and Brain-Body Interactions

Professor Jens Bo Nielsen

• Department of Neuroscience • Nielsen lab

About the Research

Motor learning and neuroplasticity. Development of gait ability. Rehabilitation of motor function following brain injuries in children, youth and adults. Mechanisms underlying improved function in relation to rehabilitation.

Two lab members

Rasmus Frisk - Assistant Professor

Helle Hüche Larsen - PhD student

Lab rotation

Transcranial magnetic stimulation, EEG, EMG, 3D kinematic analysis of gait, Machine learning and movement data

Secondary Column

Neurodevelopment

Associate Professor Mark Schram Christensen

University of Copenhagen • Department of Psychology • Cognition, Intention and Action

About the Research

I study cognition e.g. intentions, perception and prediction, of sensorimotor integration in human motor control, using data from brain and body electrophysiology (EEG, EMG, TMS), behavior, eye- & motion-tracking combined in computational models.

Two lab members

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Lab rotation

Knowledge and skills in human neuroscience methods, including electrophysiology (EEG, EMG), noninvasive brain stimulation (TMS), behavioural monitoring, eye-tracking and 3D motion capture. Computational modelling of behaviour and neuroscience data.

Secondary Column

Brain States and Brain-Body Interactions

Associate Professor Louise Møller Jørgensen

University Hospital of Copenhagen - Rigshospitalet • Neurocenter • Neurobiology Research Unit

About the Research

I explore the effects of electroceutical therapy on brain activity using fMRI and PET. I apply Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), Transcutaneous Nerve Stimulation (TENS) and Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) in both preclinical (pigs) and clinical studies.

Two lab members

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Lab rotation

fMRI with electrical stimulation in humans

Secondary Column

Neurodegenerative Diseases

Professor Axel Thielscher

Technical University of Denmark • Dept. of Health Technology • Section of Magnetic Resonance

About the Research

I aim to establish transcranial brain stimulation as an effective medical treatment by personalizing stimulation methods and introducing new stimulation approaches. I integrate brain stimulation with brain imaging and develop new dose control methods

Two lab members

Oula Puonti - Postdoc

Frodi Gregersen -

Lab rotation

hands-on in multimodal human neuroimaging and neurostimulation, computational dose control, data analysis

Secondary Column

Ageing and Neurodegenerative Diseases

Professor Ole Kiehn

• Department of Neuroscience • Kiehn

About the Research

We study with electrophysiological, molecular, and behavioral analysis the mammalian nervous system to understand the organization of neuronal circuits that execute movement and the possibilities to restore motor function caused by trauma or disease

Two lab members

Roberto Leiras - Assistant Professor

Carmelo Bellardita - Assistant Professor

Lab rotation

The student will learn how to design complex motor experiments in rodents, perform surgery, machine-learned behavioral analysis, opto and chemogenetic and evaluate movement parameters.

Secondary Column

University of Southern Denmark

Associate Professor Tore Bjerregaard Stage

• Clinical Pharmacology, Pharmacy and Environmental Medicine • Stage group of translational pharmacology

About the Research

Combination of human cell culture work with clinical studies to understand mechanisms of peripheral nervous system toxicity caused by chemotherapeutics

Two lab members

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Lab rotation

Cell culture, iPSC, differentiation, qPCR, LC-MS/MS, NGS

Secondary Column