From March 13 to May 21, the NAD fellows will be completing their second of three lab rotations. Read more about where they are and what they are doing below.

Alberte Wollesen Breum

PI: Associate Professor Birgitte Rahbek Kornum, Kornum Lab, University of Copenhagen

In the Kornum Lab, Alberte is integrated as a full member of the lab. She participates in all lab meetings and is introduced to all the ongoing projects. The group makes sure that there are some practical tasks for Alberte to perform in the lab and that she gets hands-on experience with the techniques needed for studying sleep in mice.

Read more about the Kornum Lab.

Anastasia Tsopanidou

PI: Associate Professor Peter Petersen, Petersen Lab, University of Copenhagen

The Petersen Lab aims to elucidate the neuronal mechanisms that underlie memory and cognition as well as how imbalances in these neuronal circuits can lead to pathological conditions. For this purpose, the group uses a wide variety of techniques spanning from in vivo electrophysiology in awake, behaving rats to advanced computational methods. During her stay at the Petersen Lab, Anastasia will participate in a project focused on the study of spatial memory and theta oscillations in rats.  More specifically, Anastasia will be introduced to all of the techniques utilized in the project, such as the establishment of a novel behavioral task for complex spatial learning, the implantation of Neuropixels probes that allow for large-scale electrophysiology in behaving rodents and, finally, analysis methods of large-scale neural datasets.

Read more about the Petersen Lab.

Ann Kathrine Christiansen

PI: Professor Ulrik Gether, Gether Lab, University of Copenhagen

Ann Kathrine is working on a project investigating the role of TMEM24, an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) protein located at membrane contact sites between the ER and the plasma membrane, in the functional and spatial organization of the dopamine transporter (DAT). The interaction between DAT and TMEM24 will be investigated in vitro in wildtype DAT and clinically relevant DAT mutations linked to early-onset parkinsonism and ADHD. She will primarily be working with advanced super resolution microscopy and dopamine uptake assays.

Read more about the Gether Lab.

Birna Asbjörnsdóttir

PI: Professor Finn Sellebjerg, Danish Multiple Sclerosis Center, Copenhagen University Hospital - Glostrup

At the Danish Multiple Sclerosis Center, Multiple sclerosis and other immune-mediated diseases are studied by using biomarker studies and gene expression assays; genetic and epigenetic studies and T/B cell activation assays. During her rotation, Birna will gain hands-on experience with lumbar puncture and cerebrospinal fluid analysis, flow cytometry and biomarker studies.

Read more about the Danish Multiple Sclerosis Center.

Camilla Trang Vo

PI: Associate Professor Michael Palner, Palner Lab, University of Southern Denmark

Camilla is getting training in preclinical FDG-PET imaging in rats. During her rotation, she will learn everything needed to run an experiment, and she will end up carrying out her own experiment in which she will estimate the long changes in metabolic connectivity following a single dose of the psychedelic drug LSD.

Read more about the Palner Lab.

Carolyn Goddard

PI: Associate Professor Tune Pers, Pers Group, University of Copenhagen

The Pers group focuses on identifying central processes regulating metabolic fuel homeostasis. Carolyn is working with the CRISPR/Cas9 system to create multiple gene perturbations in cellular systems and model organisms relevant to energy and blood glucose homeostasis. Carolyn will create guide RNAs (gRNA) that can be cloned into a vector backbone, and then packed in a viral vector, to be tested in cells and in mice that express Cas9 in a specific neuronal subtype. The gRNAs that pass the validation step will be packaged into virus in the following weeks, after which they will be tested in Cas9 expressing mice. Cells from cultures and tissue will be subjected to single-nucleus RNA sequencing and analyzed for the effect of the candidate genes knock downs on processes likely to regulate central glucose and energy homeostasis.

Read more about the Pers Group. 

Cecilie Madsen

PI: Professor Yonglun Luo, DREAM Group, Aarhus University

The DREAM Group focuses on CRISPR based gene therapy. The project Cecilie is involved in is trying to reveal if a genetic variant is involved in the aggregation of the pathological Tau in relation to Alzheimer’s disease. This will be done by CRISPR editing human cells and see if there is a difference in tau aggregation with or without the genetic variant, and later investigate if this knockout can be done in vivo in mice. Beside CRISPR editing, Cecilie will be using techniques such as FACS, FRET and imaging. She will also be analysing proteomics data.

Read more about the DREAM Group.

Cecilie Vad Mathiesen

PI: Associate Professor Tune Pers, Pers Group, University of Copenhagen

The Pers group focuses on identifying central processes regulating metabolic fuel homeostasis. The group utilizes different computational techniques, human genetics and single-cell sequencing data. During her rotation, Cecilie will be working on establishing a new method named inCITE-seq, which simultaneously and at the single-cell level, quantifies nuclear proteins or post-translational modifications along with genome-scale expression levels. The inCITE-seq method would enable better quantification/understanding of downstream signaling cascades in hypothalamic neurons important in energy and blood glucose control.

Read more about the Pers Group.

Christian Holm Steenkjær

PI: Associate Professor Anne Landau, Translational Neuroimaging Group, Aarhus University

Christian is in training to become a neurologist and has a special interest in ALS, and he was looking for an opportunity to work with brain imaging methods and gain some basic and translational research experience during his second rotation. For this reason, his lab rotation PI Associate Professor Anne Landau connected with Associate Professor John Nieland in Aalborg to collect ALS mouse brains from his laboratory prior to the start of Christian’s rotation. During his rotation, Christian will cryosection these brains and use imaging biomarkers of synaptic density and neuroinflammation with a method called autoradiography, where radiolabelled ligands are applied directly to brain sections. He will also have the chance to observe in vivo microPET imaging of rodent models, rat stereotaxic surgery and human PET imaging thanks to the group’s team members and close collaborators.

Read more about the Translational Neuroimaging Group.

Clara Aabye Madsen

PI: Associate Professor Betina Elfving, Experimental and Molecular Psychiatry Group, Aarhus University

One of the main focus areas in the Experimental and Molecular Psychiatry Group is novel and rapid-acting treatment strategies within depression. During her rotation, Clara has been introduced to RNA work in the laboratory. The group has used rat brain tissue from one of the group’s animal models of depression treated with Psilocybin, LPH-5, and GABA-NAMs. RNA has been extracted, cDNA synthesis and real-time qPCR experiments have been conducted, and analysis undertaken.

Read more the Experimental and Molecular Psychiatry Group.

Emil Westi

PI: Professor Kate Lykke Lambertsen, Lambertsen Group, University of Southern Denmark

While Emil is conducting his second rotation in Kate Lambertsen’s lab, he will be a part of a collaborative project between Kate’s lab and Petrine Wellendorph’s lab. He will investigate the effect of two compounds on post stroke inflammation following permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO) in mice. This will be done by teaching him how to do immunohistochemistry on PFA perfused brains as well as flow cytometery on glial cells and immune cells.

Read more about the Lambertsen Group.

Jonas Laugård Hald

PI: Professor Claus Løland, Løland Lab, University of Copenhagen

In the Løland Lab, Jonas will be working with the serotonin transporter and the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) vilazodone. He will mainly make use of molecular dynamics simulations to asses how vilazodone binds to the transporter, which will then be used in the lab to design mutations in sites of interest in the serotonin transporter. The mutated sites will result in different drug binding properties that can be assessed by radioligand binding assays. In that way, this setup can be used to measure the role of the mutated site in regard to binding of vilazodone and design of new SSRIs. Additionally, Jonas will be presented with the methods and principles of cryo electron microscopy.

Read more about the Løland Lab.

Laura De Herde

PI: Professor Hartwig Roman Siebner, Danish Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance, Copenhagen University Hospital Amager & Hvidovre

During her 10-week rotation, Laura will be introduced to human transcranial focal ultrasound stimulation (TFUS) and how it may be used as a non-invasive neuro-modulatory tool. In addition, Laura will be gaining hands-on experience with processing of electroencephalography data acquired in combination with transcranial magnetic stimulation to study sensorimotor control. To achieve this, Laura will utilise the knowledge acquired from her previous lab rotation and build on it through supervision and participation in DCMR’s intra-mural courses.

Read more about the Brain Network Modulation Group. 

Simrandeep Kaur Sidhu

PI: Associate Professor Sadegh Nabavi, Sadegh Nabavi Lab, DANDRITE, Aarhus University

Simran is completing her second rotation at the Sadegh Nabavi Lab at DANDRITE, Aarhus University. She is working under the supervision of Assistant Professor Noemie Mermet-Joret. During her rotation, Simran will learn how to do in-vivo calcium imaging using micro-endoscope in mice. She will record the activity of the neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex in mice exposed to a naturalistic form of learning called Trace Fear Conditioning in which two associated events are separated in time by tens of seconds.

Read more about the Sadegh Nabavi Lab.

Sopio Gverdtiseli

PI: Professor Rikke Steensbjerre Møller, Danish Epilepsy Centre, University of Southern Denmark

The Department of Epilepsy Genetics and Personalized Medicine at the Danish Epilepsy Centre works to unravel the underlying mechanisms of genetic epilepsies, to understand its correlations with clinical symptoms and to find new treatment options. The group works closely with clinicians on the electro-clinical characterization of genetic epilepsies and on establishing genotype-phenotype correlations. The department also collaborates with basic scientists from different labs for the functional characterization of genetic variants to understand their pathomechanisms. During her rotation, Sopio will work on clinical characterisation of NDEEMA (Neonatal developmental and epileptic encephalopathy with movement disorders) phenotype across patients with SCN1A, SCN2A and SCN8A variants. She will collect and process their clinical information, as well as use various in silico tools and already available electrophysiological studies to assess the effect of genetic variants on the sodium channel function.

Read more about the Department of Epilepsy Genetics and Personalized Medicine.