Intracellular signalling in brain and cerebral arteries may involve second messenger signalling through cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). However, the function and interaction of these signalling pathways and the cellular location in either neuronal or vascular cells is not fully understood.
The research group focus on such intracellular signalling involving cAMP and cGMP relating to the brain and its arteries. Special emphasis is on the location and function of the cyclic nucleotide degrading enzymes phosphodiesterases (PDE) and their interplay in neurovascular signalling.
We have previously worked with migraine pathophysiology, but, within the LUCENS group we are currently undertaking experiments associated with stroke pathophysiology, basic cyclic nucleotide signalling and PDE function associated to neurovascular signalling. Further, projects relating to schizophrenia have been established in collaboration with Lundbeck Foundation Centre for Clinical Intervention and Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CINS) . The research spans from clinical studies to molecular biology. Because of the need of cross disciplinary research within this field, close collaborations between basic science and clinic is established. Studies all associate to PDE, cyclic nucleotide signalling or messenger molecules related to such signalling.
The LUCENS donation from the LUNDBECK Foundation has not only provided for greater collaboration between different research groups at Glostrup Hospital, but has also provided long-term financial stability. This made it possible 2½ years ago to recruit a highly qualified Indian Post-Doc. with a thesis from Rotterdam University – Saurabh Gupta. He has been an extremely valuable contribution to our research group and quickly obtained a post-doc stipend from the Danish Research Council for Health Sciences. Furthermore, he has been helpful in recruiting new Ph.D.students. Because of the shortage of labor in almost all academic disciplines in Denmark, the number of qualified Danish applicants to Ph.D.grants is limited. Saurabh was able to recruit 3 new Ph.D.students from the highly prestigious national institute of Pharmacology in Chandigarth India. This national school takes only the best candidates from all of India and out of several applicants with a degree from this institution we selected 3 of the best. The Indian Ph.D.students arrived gradually over the last 6 months and have very rapidly adapted to Danish conditions and are well integrated in our research group. All of them are extremely bright, well educated and dedicated to science. These Indian colleges because of their excellent English have been able to join the research group as if they were Danish natives. Without donation from the Lundbeck Foundation, such bold recruitment strategy would not have been possible.
Glostrup Research Park to be expanded
Glostrup Research Park is the home of the basic branch of LUCENS research. It consists of top modern laboratories, a landscape for Ph.D.students and office space for senior researchers. It is connected to the newly opened and still expanding center for research into aging and osteoporosis and at the moment also the Medical Library is being installed in the research park. Although the park has only been in operation for 2 years it has already proven to be too small because of rapidly increasing research not least under the LUCENS umbrella. As a consequence of this, plans have now been made for an almost doubling of the research park. A draft proposal has been made in a close collaboration between LUCENS partners and the architect company CREO (figure). The plan is to build an additional story on the existing buildings and to unite them with a glass roof. the existing buildings will be connected with the canteen used jointly by researchers and employees at the psychiatric hospital. The plan also includes expansion of the animal stable, rooms for several new research groups and for an animal experimental MR-scanner. The necessary amount for the expansion is 40 Million DKK and this is currently being applied for in private foundations.