Employees – University of Copenhagen

Christian Adam Olsen

Christian Adam Olsen


Research Focus

Organic, Bioorganic, and Medicinal Chemistry
With a foundation in chemical synthesis my laboratory seeks to explore the function of small molecules, peptides, peptidomimetics, and proteins in biological systems. We are focusing on peptidomimetic secondary structures with potential as antimicrobial agents, as non-proteinogenic ligands for disruption of protein-protein interactions, and for multivalent display. We are also exploring naturally occurring macrocyclic peptides and analogues thereof for development of class- or isoform-selective HDAC inhibitors and quorum sensing modulators, as well as investigating substrate-specificity of the human lysine deacylase enzymes using chemical biology tools.

2004. Ph.D., Danish University of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
2000. Cand. polyt. (M.Sc. Chemical Engineering), Technical University of Denmark.

2014 - present. Professor, University of Copenhagen.
2010 - 2013. Associate Professor (with tenure), Technical University of Denmark.
2007 - 2010. Postdoctoral fellow with Prof. Ghadiri, Scripps Research Institute, CA.
2005 - 2006. Assistant Professor (non-tenured), Danish University Pharm. Sciences.
2001 - 2004. Ph.D. student, Danish University of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
2000 - 2001. Research Associate, Novozymes A/S, Protein Chemistry, Denmark.

Awards and Honors
2016. ERC Consolidator Grantee (European Research Council)
2016. FRIAS Guest Scientist (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg, Germany)
2014. EFMC Prize for a Young Medicinal Chemist in Academia.
2012. Burgenstock Conference JSP Travel Fellowship.
2010. Lundbeck Foundation Fellow.
2010. Steno Grantee, The Danish Council for Independent Research | Natural Sciences.
2007. Young Elite Researcher's Award, Danish Agency for Sci. Technol. Innovation.
2004. Novo Nordisk Ph.D. Plus Prize.
2004. Tegners Mindelegat. 

Academic Affiliations
2018 - present. Chair, Section of Org. Chem. Danish Chemical Society.
2014 - 2017. Board Member, Section of Org. Chem. Danish Chemical Society.
2011 - present. Member, American Peptide Society.
2004 - present. Member, Danish Chemical Society.
2004 - present. Member, American Chemical Society.

Selected Publications
P. Martín-Gago, C. A. Olsen. Arylfluorosulfate-based Electrophiles for Covalent Protein Labeling: A New Addition to the Arsenal. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 201958, 957–966.

C. Moreno-Yruela, I. Galleano, A. S. Madsen, C. A. Olsen. Histone Deacetylase 11 is an ε-N-Myristoyllysine Hydrolase. Cell Chem. Biol. 201825, 849–856.
UCPH Health Science
BCN News
BioWorld Science

N. Rajabi, M. Auth, K. R. Troelsen, M. Pannek, D. P. Bhatt, M. Fontenas, M. D. Hirschey, C. Steegborn, A. S. Madsen, C. A. Olsen. Mechanism-based Inhibitors of the Human Sirtuin 5 Deacylase: Structure–Activity Relationship, Biostructural, and Kinetic Insight. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 14836–14841.

B. Kitir, A. R. Maolanon, R. G. Ohm, A. R. Colaço, P. Fristrup, A. S. Madsen, C. A. Olsen. Chemical Editing of Macrocyclic Natural Products and Kinetic Profiling Reveal Slow, Tight-Binding HDAC Inhibitors with Picomolar Affinities. Biochemistry 2017, 56, 5134–5146.

A. R. Maolanon, A. S. Madsen, C. A. Olsen. Innovative Strategies for Selective Inhibition of Histone Deacetylases. Cell Chem. Biol. 201623, 759–768.

J. S. Laursen, J. Engel-Andreasen, C. A. Olsen. β-Peptoid Foldamers at Last. Acc. Chem. Res. 201548, 2696–2704.

J. S. Laursen, P. Harris, P. Fristrup, C. A. Olsen. Triangular Prism-Shaped β-Peptoid Helices as Unique Biomimetic Scaffolds. Nat. Commun. 20156, 7013.

J. S. Laursen, J. Engel-Andreasen, P. Fristrup, P. Harris, C. A. Olsen. Cis-Trans Amide Bond Rotamers in beta-Peptoids and Peptoids: Evaluation of Stereoelectronic Effects in Backbone and Side Chains. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 2835-2844.

A. S. Madsen, C. A. Olsen. Profiling of Substrates for the Zinc-Dependent Lysine Deacylase Enzymes: HDAC3 Exhibits Decrotonylase Activity In Vitro. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2012, 51, 9083-9087.

C. A. Olsen. Expansion of the Lysine Acylation Landscape. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2012, 51, 3755-3756.

Selected Lectures
Bordeaux Foldamer Meeting, France, September 2018
Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark, June 2018

RIKEN, Tokyo, Japan, April 2018
EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland, February 2018.
Visions in Chemistry–Torkil Holm Symposium, Copenhagen, Denmark, January 2018
EpiChemBio and Mutalig COST Meeting, Porto, Portugal, September 2017
Novabiochem 12th Chem. Biol. Peptides Conference, Durham, UK, Sep. 2017
Lundbeck A/S, Copenhagen, Denmark, August 2017
10th Peptoid Summit, Bekeley, CA, USA, August 2017
AsiaTIDES, Kyoto, Japan, February 2017
Karlsruher Institut Technologie (KIT), Germany, November 2016.
FRIAS Lecture, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg, Germany, November 2016
Guest Lecturer Pharmazie, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg, November 2016
3rd Freiburg Epigenetic Spring Meeting, Freiburg, Germany, April 2016
Advances in Peptide and Protein Chemistry, Pacifichem, Honolulu, HI, December 2015
Synthetic Modulators of PPIs, Pacifichem, Honolulu, HI, December 2015
University of Geneva, Switzerland, November 2015
Short presentation, COST Action Epichembio Meeting, Budapest, September 2015
German Pharmaceutical Society (DPhG) Annual Meeting, Düsseldorf, September 2015
Peptoid Summit, Berkeley, CA, USA, August 2015
Danish Chemical Society Mini Symposium on Foldamers, Copenhagen, June 2015
Singapore International Chemistry Conference, SICC-8, Singapore, December 2014
Inaugural Professorship Lecture, University of Copenhagen, September 2014
International Symposium on Med Chem, Lisbon, September 2014 (prize lecture)
ACS National Meeting, San Francisco, CA, USA, August 2014
ACS National Meeting, Dallas, TX, USA, March 2014
Australian Peptide Symposium, Penang, Malaysia, September 2013
ACS National Meeting, New Orleans, LA, USA, April 2013
PepCon, Suzhou China, March 2013
University of Barcelona Seminar Series, Barcelona, Spain, October 2012
Danish Chemical Society Annual Meeting, Odense, June 2012
Danskernes Akademi [televised (in Danish)], DTU, Kongens Lyngby, November 2011
EuCheMS Young Investigator Workshop, Crete, Greece, July 2011
Frontiers in Peptide Chemistry, Pacifichem, USA, December 2010
ACS National Meeting, New Orleans, LA, USA, April 2008


Interview in ChemistryViews, DOI: 10.1002/chemv.201400082

Participated in the DR2 TV program 'Danskernes Akademi' (Fall 2011).

Article in DTU-Avisen about the Lundbeck Junior Group Leader project (December 2010, http://emagstudio.win.dtu.dk/E-books/DTU-Avisen/2010_10/flash.html#/13/).

Participated in an interview regarding my Lundbeck Junior Group Leader Fellowship project in the TV2 talk show Lounge (Fall 2010, http://www.lorry.dk/arkiv/2010/10/27?video_id=33554).

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