Dan Stærk

Dan Stærk

Professor

Personal data:
Born 1969. Married and have two children.

Education:
1994: B.Sc. from Odense University (Chemistry and molecular biology/biochemistry). Project: Thermostability of 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase from the thermophilic Synechococcus sp.
1997: M.Sc. from Odense University (Chemistry and molecular biology/biochemistry). Project: 1H-NMR studies of bis-intercalation in DNA.
2000: Ph.D. from the Danish University of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Project: Isolation, NMR-spectroscopic studies and pharmacological evaluation of alkaloids from some medicinal plants.

Employments:
2000-2003: Assistant Professor at Department of Medicinal Chemistry at the Danish University of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
2003-2008: Associate Professor at Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Copenhagen.
2008-2012: Professor with special duties at Department of Basic Sciences and Environment, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen.
2011-2016: Titled Taishan Distinguished Experts and Scholars (similar to Adjunct Professor) at Shandong Analysis and Test Center, Shandong Province, China.
2012-2014: Professor with special duties at Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen.
2014-: Full professor at Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen.

Prizes:

  • Teacher of the Year in 2001 at the Royal Danish School of Pharmacy.
  • Hede Nielsen Prize 2004 from Hede Nielsen Foundation.
  • Teacher of the Year in 2018 at PharmaSchool, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.

Academic achievements: 
Since my appointment as professor at the Faculty of Life Sciences in 2008, I have strived to create a strong research group with international partners and state-of-the-art facilities. This has led to establishment of Copenhagen Small Molecule NMR Center - a nationally leading NMR center for studies of low-molecular weight organic molecules (hosting two 600 MHz instruments with cryogenic probe detection, a 400 MHz instruments, two HPLC-SPE interfaces for HPLC-SPE-NMR) and high-resolution mass spectrometry. Likewise, I have established Copenhagen Shandong Metabolomics Infrastructure Center, a research- and instrument collaboration between Shandong Analysis and Test Center and my research group - financially supported by Shandong Province, China, which also awarded me the title Taishan Distinguished Experts and Scholars. Other important achievements include committee- and board memberships. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Head of Research and Innovation Committee at Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology (2015-) and member of Executive Committee of Drug Research Academy
  • Section Head and member of Departmental leader team at Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology (2014-2018)
  • Member of the extended departmental leader team at Department of Basic Sciences and Environment, Faculty of Life Sciences (2011-2012)
  • Member of the Board of the Phytochemical Society of Europe (2012-2015 and 2018-)
  • Regular reviewer of top-ranking journals within my research area (Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry, Phytochemistry, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Journal of Natural Products, and Planta Medica)

External funding
Since my appointment to professor MSO on 2008, I have attracted external funding (> 100.000,- DKK) as main or co-applicant for the below projects concerning use and development of advanced NMR methods for investigation of functional food and other complex matrices:

  • Carlsberg Foundation - 2008. New nutri- and pharmacometabolomics techniques for investigation of lifestyle diseases – diabetes mellitus type 2.1.000.000,- DKK 
  • National Infrastructure Fund - 2008. Metabolomics infrastructure – in integrated platform for the study of metabolism in microorganisms, plants, animals and man. Total 14.000.000,- DKK (DTU and KU). FARMA: 3.250.000,- DKK (Dan Stærk main author for FARMA)
  • Villum Kann Rasmussen Foundation - 2009. Future functional food and tomorrows targeted treatment – improved health and better treatment of type 2 diabetes. 1.050.000,- DKK 
  • Carlsberg Foundation - 2009. Future functional food and tomorrows targeted treatment. 100.000,- DKK
  • The Danish Research Council for Independent Research - Nature and Universe - 2010. NMR spectrometer for Life Science – marine macroalgae as a source of health-promoting bioactive compounds. 3.852.000,- DKK
  • Shandong Academy of Science - 2010. From Traditional Chinese Medicine to Tomorrows Targeted Treatment (TCM -> T3). 1.850.000,- DKK.
  • Private Danish Company - 2013. Functional food project. 2.250.000,- DKK (with colleagues in the Natural Products Research group).
  • The Danish Research Council for Independent Research½Technology and Production – 2013. Quantitative 19F NMR technology for analysis of complex biological matrices from cellular uptake studies: optimization of delivery of biologics using peptide-based delivery systems (with colleagues in the Natural Products Research group).
  • Carlsberg Foundation - 2015. Research infrastructure: Ultra-high performance liquid chromatography – triple quadrupole mass spectrometer to Copenhagen Small-Molecule NMR Center. 400.000,- DKK
  • Private Danish Company - 2016. Functional food project. 1.410.000,- DKK (with colleagues in the Natural Products Research group).
  • Novo Nordisk Foundation - 2016. Desert-Loving Therapeutics. 15.000.000,- DKK (CoPI with colleagues from University of Copenhagen).
  • Lundbeck Foundation - 2016. Brewing diterpenoids. 9.200.000,- DKK (CoPI with colleagues from University of Copenhagen).
  • Aase og Einar Danielsen Fond – 2016Ligand-fiskning efter nye antidiabetiske lægemidler. 95.000,- DKK
  • Private Danish Company - 2017. Functional food project. 1.410.000,- DKK (with colleagues in the Natural Products Research group).
  • NoFima – 2017. PEPfishing. 226.072,- DKK
  • Styrelsen for Patientsikkerhed - 2019Simultaneous use of prescription medicine and herbal drugs among people with multiple sclerosis. 225.000,- DKK (Total 1.600.000,- DKK with Scleroseforeningen)

Project- and research management: 
Many years' experience with aspects related to managing cross-disciplinary research projects, i.e., administrative tasks, symposia-management, research funding allocation, steering committee work, etc. List of projects given above. Currently managing interdisciplinary project 'Fungal Fight' (funded by the Strategic Research Council) and involved in managing core-facilities for cross-disciplinary research projects:

  • Member of the Board of Scandinavian Culture Collection of Algae & Protozoa
  • Heading Copenhagen Small-Molecule NMR Center

Supervision and pedagogy: 
Formal pedagogical training at the associate professor level and training in supervision of PhD students. Supervision of postdocs (>10), PhD-students (>15), MSc students (>60), and laboratory technicians – in addition to supervision of 'University pedagogy for assistant professors'. Memberships include:

  • Member of 'Forum for Fagdidaktik og Universitetspædagogik - FFU' (2008-2009)
  • Member of teaching committee at Department of Medicinal Chemistry (2007-2008) and at Department of Basic Sciences and Environment (2008-2010)
  • Member of the PhD Study Board at Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen (2013- )

Key research areas: 
Main research interests include discovery of small-molecule and peptide-based drug leads from natural sources like medicinal plants, marine organisms, and microorganisms, with disease areas covering type 2 diabetes, infectious diseases (antibacterial and antifungal compounds), and cancer. Another line of research includes sustainable drug discovery as well as development of sustainable functional food from sources like food by-products and biosynthetically modified organisms. A central part of his research is development and application of new state-of-the-art bioanalytical techniques for advanced chemical and pharmacological profiling of complex extracts. This includes high-resolution bioactivity profiling and ligand fishing for identification of bioactive constituents in crude extracts - followed by HPLC-PDA-HRMS-SPE-NMR analysis for full structural identification of individual constituents. Similarly, bioactivity-correlated metabolomics and bioaffinity NMR are regularly employed techniques used to study bioactive natural products.

Bibliometrics (per 2019-10-10): 
Published 128+ regular research papers in the highest-ranking international peer-reviewedjournals within my field – including Nat. Commun. (IF = 12.353), Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. (IF = 9.504), and Angew. Chemie Int. Ed. (IF = 12.102) – in addition to 9 popular magazine articles and numerous conference abstracts. Hirsch-index = 35 and sum of citations = 3008 according to Web of Science and Hirsch-index = 38 and sum of citations = 3899 according to Google Scholar. DS's research is highly cited, and according to NIHs iCite database, his 2015-2018 research production equals the top 30% of NIH-funded projectsTwo patent applications filed in 2016.

Education

PhD

ID: 1299056