Research Group: High-Value Phytochemicals
Our group is involved in the research of the biochemistry and biosynthesis of plant high-value specialized metabolites and more precisely terpenoids.
Terpenoids are used by plants for defence and adaptation purposes. In addition, they are also exploited by humans as many of them have been proven effective in the treatment of a wide range of health disorders.
Our work is focused on the identification, elucidation and characterization of plant terpenoids biosynthetic pathways and development of platforms for heterologous production of high-value bioactive compounds. Using the principles of combinatorial biochemistry, we aim to develop new-to-nature diterpenoids with unique, altered or improved pharmacological properties.
- Elucidation of the biosynthetic pathways of plant produced bioactive diterpenoids. We are engaged mainly with medicinal plant species such as Coleus forskohlii (target compound: Forskolin), Vitex agnus-castus (target: dopaminergic compounds), T. wilfordii (target: Triptolide), Euphorbia lathyris and Euphorbia peplus (Target: ingenol-3-angelate pathway), Eremophila spp. (target: serrulatanes) and Ginkgo biloba (target: Ginkgolide diterpenoids).
- Combinatorial biochemistry by mixing and matching biosynthetic modules/enzymes from different species, in plant or yeast cells, to identify structural analogs or new-to-nature diterpenoids.
- Sustainable production of diterpenoids: Through techniques of synthetic biology, we are introducing functional biosynthetic pathways in scalable heterologous hosts (e.g. yeast).
- Regulation of diterpenoids biosynthesis: We study the factors that regulate terpenoids biosynthesis at molecular and biochemical level. Forskolin pathway is used as model where structural and functional roles of the forskolin metabolon components are studied.
- From prehistory to the future: Expanding the potential of Ginkgo biloba – study the biosynthesis of Ginkgo terpenoids, funded by DFF, Grant holder Irini Pateraki
- Brewing Diterpenoids - platform for enhanced drug discovery , Grant holder Birger Lindberg Møller
- Desert-loving Therapeutics, 2017-2021 (Interdisciplinary Synergy Programme funding by Novo Nordisk Fonden). Profiling of the diterpenoid composition of all approx. 230 species of the Australian desert plant genus Eremophila and pathway elucidation of target diterpenoids based on their observed bioactivities, Grant holder Birger Lindberg Møller
- Professor Poul Erik Jensen, Department of Plant and Environmental Science, University of Copenhagen
- Professor Ulrik Gether, Department of Neuroscience, University of Copenhagen
- Dan Stærk, Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology, University of Copenhagen
- Dr Mike Bayly, University of Melbourne, Australia
- Bevan Buirchell, Wise Owl Consulting, Perth, Australia
- Dr Susan Semple, University of South Australia, Australia
- Evolva A/S
- Assoc. Professor Sotirios Kampranis, Department of Plant and Environmental Science, University of Copenhagen
- Professor Albert Boronat, University of Barcelona
|Allison Maree Heskes||Assistant professor||+45 353-36973|
|Birger Lindberg Møller||Professor||+45 353-33352|
|Dan Luo||Postdoc||+45 353-36180|
|Despoina Kapiki||Laboratory assistant||+45 353-36870|
|Irini Pateraki||Assistant professor||+45 353-31103|
|Nikolaj Lervad Hansen||Postdoc||+45 353-20250|
|Oliver Gericke||PhD student||+45 353-37808|
|Victor Forman||PhD fellow||+45 353-31367|
- Nikolaj Strande Henriksen
News from Plant Biochemistry