Systems Pharmacology Gets a New Head of Section – University of Copenhagen

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13 October 2014

Systems Pharmacology Gets a New Head of Section

After 3½ years as head of section of the research section Systems Pharmacology at Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology Associate professor Åsa Andersson has decided to turn over the management of the research section. The management team has decided that Associate professor Morten Skøtt Thomsen will become the new head of section of Systems Pharmacology from 15 October 2014.

Åsa and Morten are chatting about the
future of Systems Pharmacology.

What is the reason for the change in management?
Åsa Andersson is looking forward to dedicate more time to her research project within pathology of autoimmune inflammation. Åsa and her research group work with the molecular causes of autoimmunity, and help develop new drugs for diseases such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid/psoriatic arthritis. The research is for example based on experimental pharmacological studies in in vivo models and studies of disease pathways in congenic and transgenic mice.

What did the time as head of section mean to Åsa?
Åsa explains that being head of section has taught her a lot - both on a professional and personal level. Among other things, Åsa has learned a lot about communication - understanding that others do not necessarily think the same way as you, and how important it is that a leader is evident in communication. Åsa also says that it has been an exciting and challenging process to be head of the research section in the time of the department merger where research groups with different cultures should be reconciled.

Thanks to Åsa for her fantastic effort!

Who is this new head of section of Systems Pharmacology?
Morten Skøtt Thomsen started as Associate professor at the Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology (ILF) in May 2014. Morten is a valued researcher at the department, which is self-evident since he was offered this position as head of section after his short time at ILF.

Morten’s research area is within back translation. For the last couple of years Morten has focused on building an experimental platform and scientific network to study proteins that interact with the α7 nicotinic receptor. Importantly, Morten has developed an affinity purification method using recombinant proteins to study interactions between nicotinic receptors and protein interaction partners. Combined with the use of surgically excised human brain tissue, this is a powerful method that Morten has used to demonstrate that the α7 nicotinic receptor interacts with several other proteins in the human brain.

What is Morten's vision as head of section of Systems Pharmacology?
Morten has two goals: He wants to increase the section’s focus on research and highlight its skills externally and internally at ILF.

Good luck to Morten with his new position!