University of Copenhagen-HEALTH

Department of Medicinal Chemistry

Henrik Franzyk
Associate Professor, MSc. (Eng), PhD

Background and research interests:
M. Sc. Chemical engineering from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU; 1991).
PhD in Natural Products Chemistry (DTU; 1993).
Postdoc at Carlsberg Laboratory (1994-1996).
Assistant Professor at Dept. Organic Chemistry (DTU; 1996-1997)
Postdoc at Colorado State University (1997)
Research Assoc. Prof. at Dept. Organic Chemistry (DTU; 1998-2000)
Associate Prof. at Dept. Medicinal Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Copenhagen (2000-)
Henrik Franzyk is the author or co-author of 65 peer-reviewed articles and 9 other publications.
Read more about Henrik Franzyk

The research interests of Henrik Franzyk are:

  • Design and total synthesis of biologically active compounds including antimicrobial peptides and peptidomimetics as well as cell-penetrating peptides.
  • Development of novel solid-phase methodologies for parallel synthesis of analogues for SAR studies and for preparation of novel unnatural amino acid building blocks.
  • Bioorganic synthetic chemistry related to optimization of lipid vaccine adjuvants.

Role in DanCARD: Henrik Franzyk collaborates on work packages 1 and 2 and is also the main supervisor of DanCARD PhD-student Rasmus Jahnsen.

Rasmus Jahnsen
PhD-student, MSc. (pharmacy)

Background and research interests: Rasmus Jahnsen received his M. Sc. in pharmacy from the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Copenhagen in August 2010 and was subsequently employed as PhD student in the DanCARD project under the supervision of Henrik Franzyk. The research interests of Rasmus Jahnsen are;

  • Design and total synthesis of biologically active analogs of naturally occurring antimicrobial peptides.
  • Development of solution-phase methodologies for preparation of unnatural amino acid building blocks.
  • Improvement of solid-phase methodologies for preparation of antimicrobial peptide analogs.
  • Biological evaluation of antimicrobial peptide analogs.

Read more about Rasmus Jahnsen
Role in DanCARD: Rasmus Jahnsen is connected to work package 1.

(Enrolled 2010-2013)


Department of Pharmaceutics and Analytical Chemistry

Hanne Mørck Nielsen
Associate Professor, MSc. (pharmacy), PhD

Background and research interests:

2004- Associate Professor, PHARMA
1999-2003 Total of 2½ year Assistant Professor, PHARMA
2001-2002 Post doc, ETH Zürich
1998-2000 Drug Formulation Course Leader, PHARMA
Maternity leave for a total of 2 years (2002-2003 and 2005-2006)

The research area of Hanne Mørck Nielsen is drug delivery of therapeutic peptides and oligonucleotides especially focussing on (trans)membrane delivery. The influence of the excipients in advanced drug delivery systems as well as the drug formulation parameters on the toxicity and drug interaction with, uptake and transport across the biological membranes and intracellular processing are the primary focus and related to the (physical and chemical) stability of therapeutic peptides. A mechanistic approach to understanding the challenges of formulation development and delivery of biopharmaceuticals is the key point of the research. Present projects comprise research in particulate systems as well as the use of membrane penetrating peptides, polymers and lipids for cellular delivery enhancement of biopharmaceuticals investigating the (potential targeting) effect and mechanisms leading to a desired cellular response.

Role in DanCARD: collaborator on workpackage 2 and workpackage 3

Jesper Søborg Bahnsen
PhD-student, MSc. (pharmacy)

Background and research interests:
Jesper Bahnsen received his master’s degree in pharmaceutical science December 2010. His master’s thesis concerned optimization and characterization of modified cell-penetrating peptides. He joined associate professor Hanne Mørck Nielsen, department of pharmacy and analytical chemistry first as a research assistant and since as a PhD student.
The research interests of Jesper Bahnsen are:

  • Membrane active peptides as antimicrobial therapeutics and drug delivery tools.
  • Biophysical characterization of antimicrobial peptides.
  • In vitro characterization of membrane active peptides hereunder advanced imaging techniques.
  • Mechanistic evaluation of membrane interactions of peptides.

Role in the DanCARD project: Jesper Bahnsen is connected to workpackage 2

Jorrit Jeroen Water
PhD-student, MSc. pharmaceutical sciences

Background and research interests:
Jorrit Water received his master’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences in December 2011. During his master’s, he worked on the development of advanced drug delivery systems (virus-like particles and hydrogels). After completing a research internship in the group of associate professor Hanne Mørck Nielsen at the department of pharmaceutics and analytical chemistry he joined her group as a PhD student.
The research interests of Jorrit Water are:

  • Formulation (optimization) of anti-microbial peptides in polymer-based particle delivery systems
  • Pulmonary delivery of dry powder polymer-based particle formulations
  • In vitro characterization of polymer-based particle formulations using (fluorescence) imaging techniques


Department of Basic Sciences and Environment

Paul Robert Hansen
Associate Professor, MSc (chemistry), PhD

Background and research interests: Paul Robert Hansen (PRH) received his MS in Chemistry from University of Copenhagen (UC-LIFE), Denmark in 1990. He then joined Professor Arne Holm, Department of Natural Sciences & Environment, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, first as Research Assistant and later as Ph.D.-student.
From 1993-1994, he was a visiting Ph.D.-student at the Department of Chemistry, University of Minnesota, working in the laboratory of Professor George Barany. He then returned to Denmark to complete his Ph.D. at UC-LIFE.
In 1996, PRH received his Ph.D. focusing on "New strategies in the synthesis of 2-acetamido-β–D–2-deoxy-glucopyranose O-Glycopeptides, neoglycoconjugates and photoreactive peptides". In 1997, he joined the Department of Natural Sciences & Environment, University of Copenhagen as an Assistant Professor of Bioorganic Chemistry. He became an Associate Professor in 2000. PRH has headed the Antibacterial Peptide Group at UC-LIFE since 2001.
PRHs current research efforts lie within antimicrobial peptides, combinatorial chemistry and peptides as probes in immunology. PRH has co-authored more than 50 scientific publications.

Role in DanCARD: developing novel potent anti-gram-negative agents based on the antimicrobial peptide anoplin.

Jens K. Munk
Ph.D.-student, MSc. (biochemistry)

Background and research interests: Jens Munk received his Master’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Southern Denmark in late 2002. His Master’s Thesis concerned the design and construction of several acyl-CoA–sensitive fluorescent biosensors based on the acyl-CoA binding protein. After receiving his Master’s degree Jens worked as a biochemist at various companies for a number of years, developing animal feedstuffs, in vitro diagnostics devices, and pathogen/bioterror detection equipment before returning to academia in mid 2010 to begin his Ph.D.

Role in DanCARD as a Ph.D.-student supervised by associate professor Paul R. Hansen, Jens Munk designs, constructs and tests putative antimicrobial peptides using the natural peptide anoplin. The aim is to optimise anoplin’s antimicrobial properties with respect to pharmacokinetics, potency and specificity towards gram-negative bacteria.

(Enrolled 2010-2013)


Department of Veterinary Disease Biology

Luca Guardabassi
Associate Professor, DVM, PhD, ECPVH Diplomate

Background and research interests: Luca Guardabassi graduated at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Pisa (Italy) in 1994 and received his PhD in Microbiology from The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University in 2000. Guest researcher at Institut Pasteur, Paris, in 2004-2005. De-facto Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Public Health (ECVPH) since 2005.
Luca Guardabassi is a veterinary microbiologist with expertise in antimicrobial resistance and antibiosis. His research covers various aspects of antimicrobial resistance including origin, evolution and horizontal transfer of resistance genes and mobile genetic elements with special focus on multidrug-resistant bacteria of clinical relevance such as methicillin-resistant Straphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Escherichia coli producing extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). In recent years he has developed a strong interest in development of novel drugs and alternative treatment strategies to combat multidrug-resistant bacteria in both humans and animals. In addition to DanCARD, current projects include an EU FP7 project on prevention of community and nosocomial spread and infection with MRSA ST 398 (PILGRIM) and a national project on MRSA and ESBL in Danish pig production funded by Danish Food Industry Agency.

Role in DanCARD: Luca Guardabassi is the only veterinary partner in DanCARD. As such his group will mainly focus on development of alternative treatment strategies aimed at minimizing the negative effects of antimicrobial medication in animals. In addition, the group will also provide various porcine infection models for in vivo testing of new drugs developed by the centre.

Peter Damborg
Post doc, DVM, PhD

Background and research interests:
Peter graduated at the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University of Copenhagen in 2004, and was awarded the PhD degree in 2008. The PhD thesis concerned zoonotic and antibiotic resistant bacteria from dogs, including studies on the enteric bacteria Campylobacter upsaliensis, Enterococcus faecium and Escherichia coli.
Since 2008, most of his research has focused on antimicrobial resistance mechanisms in staphylococci and E. coli. This includes studies on the genetic diversity of the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) conferring methicillin resistance, and studies on the occurrence and spread of extended-spectrum beta-lactamases in animals following antimicrobial treatment. Furthermore, he is part of the scientific team running the veterinary diagnostic laboratory situated at his department.

Role in DanCARD:
Peter’s role is to investigate alternative treatment strategies against bacterial pathogens of veterinary relevance. This includes testing the effect of novel antimicrobial compounds developed by collaborating partners. Initially, selected peptoids and anoplin derivatives will be tested for their in vitro and in vivo efficacy against bacteria causing pyoderma in dogs.

Angelika Schoster
PhD Student, DVM, Dr.med.vet, DVSc, DACVIM

Background and research interests:
Angelika graduated with a DVM from the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Austria in 2006 where she also completed a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 2008. The research was focused on the role of Bovine Papillomavirus in Equine Hoof Canker. She then moved to the University of Guelph, Canada where she completed a residency in Large Animal Internal Medicine and became board certified with the American College of Veterinary Internal medicine in 2011. At the same time she completed her Doctor of Veterinary Science degree (DVSc). The DVSc thesis concerned epidemiologic investigations of Clostridium difficile and Clostridium perfringens in healthy horses in an attempt to better understand the epidemiology and transmission of this important animal and human pathogen.

Role in DanCARD:
Angelika is currently a PhD student at the University of Copenhagen supervised by Luca Guardabassi. Her research concerns the the use of probiotics for prevention and treatment of clostridial enteric disease. This approach has potential applications in the prophylaxis of widespread clostridial diseases in humans (i.e. Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea, CDAD) and in animals (e.g. colitis X in horses, chronic antibiotic-responsive diarrhea in dogs and neonatal enterocolitis in pigs).

Marit Gaastra Maaland
PhD Student, DVM

Background and research interests: Marit received her Master’s degree in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Copenhagen in 2011. Her Master’s Thesis concerned the potential use of the antimicrobial agent nitrofurantoin for the treatment of canine urinary tract infections caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria.
Role in DanCARD: Marit is currently enrolled as a PhD-student at the University of Copenhagen, supervised by Luca Guardabassi. The aim of Marits research is to optimize and implement the use of older antimicrobial agents such as nitrofurantoin, amphenicoles and tetracyclines for the treatment of infections caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria recently emerged in dogs, namely methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MRSP) and extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) -producing Escherichia coli.



Department of Biomedical Sciences

Klaus Skovbo Jensen
Associate Professor, MSc. (Eng.), PhD
Web: www.pkpdsim.dk

Background and research interests: Klaus Skovbo Jensen’s background is in physics (electronics) and applied mathematics from the Tecnical University of Denmark (MSc. 1984) where he also finished his PhD study (nonlinear phenomena in physiological systems, 1987).
During the years Klaus has worked in a number of research institutions and companies applying mathematical modelling to topics such as collaboration between osteoblasts during bone formation, signal processing in neuronal microtubules, bioreactor design (fermentation), population dynamics in ecosystems, analysis of treatment capacity and waiting times in the public health system, etc. The main research interests comprise PK/PD modelling (e.g. finding the optimal dosage regimens), mechanism-based models of “drug-bug” interactions, probability estimation by Monte Carlo simulation, and epidemic dynamics of MRSA. 

Role in DanCARD: Klaus Skovbo Jensen will contribute to Work Package 2 and 4 and also collaborate with project participants in various work packages to ensure optimal usage of advanced machematical modelling for planning as well as interpretation of experimental work. 












Last revised 15 July 2014