1 August 2023

Two new professors: Rasmus Prætorius Clausen and Anders Bach

Pharma Research

Announcement by Head of Department Dan Stærk: It is with great pleasure that I can announce two new professors, Professor Anders Bach and Professor Rasmus Prætorius Clausen, starting today August 1st at Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology.

Rasmus Prætorius Clausen and Anders Bach
Professor Rasmus Prætorius Clausen (left) and Professor Anders Bach

Our department has always had a strong focus on bridging chemistry and pharmacology for a better understanding of molecular and biochemical mechanisms underlying the response to drug molecules, and with these two professorships, we want to strengthen this focus.

Anders started his own research group at our department in 2016 with the aim of making biologically active small-molecule inhibitors of protein-protein interactions involved in oxidative stress and inflammation by using fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD). This has led to several key discoveries of drug candidates against targets such as Keap1 and NOX2.

While this work continues with a focus on various lead optimization strategies, his FBDD platform will be applied to new protein targets of relevance to therapeutic areas such as CNS diseases, inflammation and cancer. Anders was also recently appointed Head of Studies of the Master of Science programme in Medicinal Chemistry, and he teaches and runs courses in drug discovery and development.

Rasmus’ main research interest is within design and development of new chemical compounds for signalling systems in the brain, such as the systems involving the major transmitter compounds in the brain (γ-aminobutyric acid and glutamate) that mediate most of the cell communication in the brain, as well as unravelling the effects of γ-hydroxybutyric acid, commonly known as fantasy. The aim is to qualify new drug targets that can be used to treat brain disorders.

Currently his focus is on the group of glutamate receptors called N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors that constitute known drug targets, but also have been targets for drugs of abuse. As Professor, he will continue this work developing chemical tool compounds that can modify the function of the receptor or act on subpopulations of receptors.

He will also pursue new strategies to target brain disorders, involving new methods employing artificial intelligence and at the same time use sustainable methods in the discovery process.

Head of Department
Dan Stærk