Employees – University of Copenhagen

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Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology > Employees

Henrik Franzyk

Henrik Franzyk

Associate Professor

Henrik Franzyk (HF) has for more than 10 years designed and synthesized biologically active peptides and peptidomimetics as well as glycolipids and cationic lipids (used as components for drug delivery and nanoparticles). In addition, HF has performed optimization of several lead structures via medicinal chemistry.

National collaborators comprise:

Lone Gram (Prof. Systems Biology, DTU); Peter M. H. Heegaard (Prof. Immunology, DTU-VET); Anders Løbner-Olesen (Prof. Biology, KU); Peter E. Nielsen, Prof. Dept. Cellular and Molecular Biology, KU); Peter P. Damborg (Assoc. Prof., IVS, KU); Statens Serum Institut (several senior scientists); Dept. Pharmacy (Prof. Hanne M. Nielsen and Assoc. Prof. Camilla Foged; KU)

International collaborators comprise:

Claes Dahlgren, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden; R. E. W. Hancock, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; Luca Guardabassi, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, St. Kitts; Ian Mellor, University of Nottingham.

Current projects are supported by University of Copenhagen and EU (IMI project: ENABLE). The scientific outcome during 2012-2016 comprise identification and characterization of:

(i) Potent antibacterial peptidomimetics with activity against multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria and biofilm;

(ii) Antimicrobial activity of AMP-PNA conjugates (i.e. antimicrobial peptides covalently linked to peptide nucleic acid oligomers);

(iii) Immunomodulatory peptidomimetics capable of LPS- and LTA-neutralization as well as with nanomolar agonistic and antagonistic selective effects on formyl peptide receptor 2 (FPR2); 

(iv) Components for liposomal and nanoparticular drug formulations, e.g. of siRNA aiming at silencing of genes (or the resulting mRNA) involved in chronic diseases. 

During 2012-2016 these studies have been published in 41 articles in peer-reviewed journals. Currently, HF has published a total of 109 peer-reviewed articles and monographies, 2 book chapters, and 55 other research contributions (e.g. communications/presentations/posters);

Bibliometric data: 

h-index: 24 (Web of Science);  26 (Google Scholar)

i10-index: 56 (Web of Science); 68 (Google Scholar).   

Primary fields of research

Design, synthesis and optimization of biologically active compounds:

  • Structure-activity relationships for peptidomimetic analogues of antimicrobial peptides;
  • Mechanisms and structural requirements of immunomodulating peptides and peptidomimetics;
  • Antimicrobial peptides as delivery vehicles for genetic antibiotics;
  • Studies towards improved cell-penetrating peptides for macromolecular drug delivery;
  • Solid-phase synthesis of unnatural amino acid building blocks and novel types of peptidomimetics.



  • Biopharmaceuticals: Bioorganic Chemistry (theory and excercises; course director)
  • Biopharmaceuticals: Chemical Modification of Biomacromolecules (course director)


Current research


Ongoing PhD projects:


  • Natalia Molchanova: PhD scholarship from SUND/UC (UC-CARE): Antimicrobial peptides and peptidomimetics. Collaboration with the group of Prof. Niels Høiby (Rigshospitalet, UC).
  • Malene V. Christensen: PhD (FTP project): Use of a 19F NMR-HPLC-MS hyphenated methodology to investigate the stability, fate and uptake of CPPs. Collaboration with Dept. Pharmacy (SUND, UC)


Selected publications

  1. Published

    End Group Modification: Efficient Tool for Improving Activity of Antimicrobial Peptide Analogues towards Gram-Positive Bacteria

    Jahnsen, R. O., Sandberg-Schaal, A., Frimodt-Møller, N., Nielsen, H. M. & Franzyk, H. 23 Jan 2015 In : European journal of pharmaceutics and biopharmaceutics : official journal of Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Pharmazeutische Verfahrenstechnik e.V. 95, Part A, p. 40–46 7 p.

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  2. Published

    Lipidated α-Peptide/β-Peptoid Hybrids with Potent Anti-inflammatory Activity

    Skovbakke, S. L., Larsen, C. J., Heegaard, P. M. H., Moesby, L. & Franzyk, H. 2015 In : Journal of medicinal chemistry. 58, 2, p. 801-813 13 p.

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  3. Published

    Nanoparticle-mediated delivery of the antimicrobial peptide plectasin against Staphylococcus aureus in infected epithelial cells

    Water, J. J., Smart, S., Franzyk, H., Foged, C. & Nielsen, H. M. 18 Feb 2015 In : European journal of pharmaceutics and biopharmaceutics : official journal of Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Pharmazeutische Verfahrenstechnik e.V. 92, p. 65-73 9 p.

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  4. Published

    Tailoring Cytotoxicity of Antimicrobial Peptidomimetics with High Activity against Multidrug-Resistant Escherichia coli

    Jahnsen, R. D., Sandberg-Schaal, A., Vissing, K. J., Nielsen, H. M., Frimodt-Møller, N. & Franzyk, H. 20 Mar 2014 In : Journal of medicinal chemistry. 57, 7, p. 2864-2873

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  5. Published

    Characterization of a proteolytically stable multifunctional host defense peptidomimetic

    Jahnsen, R. D., Haney, E. F., Franzyk, H. & Hancock, R. E. W. 10 Oct 2013 In : Chemistry & biology. 20, 10, p. 1286-1295 10 p.

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  6. Published

    Antimicrobial activity of peptidomimetics against multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli: a comparative study of different backbones

    Jahnsen, R. D., Frimodt-Møller, N. & Franzyk, H. 2012 In : Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 55, 16, p. 7253-61 9 p.

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

ID: 1302063