Originating from a background between chemistry and (molecular) biology this interface has always been a focal point in the lab, aiming at understanding biology from a molecular and chemical point of view and by exploiting chemistry as a tool to study and manipulate biological processes. Since the 1990s, the DNA mimic peptide nucleic acid (PNA) and its properties and potential has been the major focus of the lab. In the process of developing PNA into biological tools (and eventually medical drugs) for control of gene expression, we (also) have been forced to address the non-trivial and general challenge of cellular and in vivo delivery and bioavailability of oligonucleotides and their derivatives and mimics.
About the lab
The group in Copenhagen consists of 4 Ph.D. students, 2 post docs and 2 technicians with (molecular and cell) biology, pharmaceutical and chemical background. It is an international group (Japan, Spain, Ireland and Iran at present) with an open atmosphere with extensive knowledge sharing. Group members are expected to be independent, responsible and ambitious with a genuine interest in science. The lab is part of a larger institute within cellular and molecular medicine, with infrastructure also available for the group. In addition the Faculty has several core facilities including in vivo and cellular fluorescence and PET imaging and transgenic mice. Finally, the group is also connected to Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology, a dedicated chemistry lab at the Faculty.
About the project
Project 13: Efficient cellular and in vivo delivery of RNA oligonucleotides is a major challenge, requiring either chemical modification, conjugation to or complexation with appropriate delivery ligands or nanocarriers. In the project we shall design and synthesize novel agents for in vivo intracellular delivery of RNA, and study the cellular and in vivo activity of these as well as the in vivo biodistribution of the RNA. The work shall involve organic chemical synthesis and characterization as well as some biological testing, including in vivo fluorescence imaging.