Ulrik Gether – University of Copenhagen

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Center for Synthetic Biology > Meet the Researchers > Ulrik Gether

Ulrik Gether



Title: Professor, DMSc
Phone: +45 23 84 00 89
E-mail: gether@sund.ku.dk
Address: Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology
Blegdamsvej 3
2200 København N 
Office: 18.6, 42

Read about my research within molecular neuropharmacology and within synthetic biology below.

Molecular Neuropharmacology and Genetics Research

I am expecially interested in the molecular, cellular and genetic processes responsible for synaptic signal transmission and how these processes can be modulated by drugs. My group has main focus on the receptors and transporters for the biogenic amine transmitters, dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. 














This manifests itself through different focuses within my group including:

 - The study of the molecular mechanisms behind the activation and de-activation of G-Protein Coupled Receptors, which constitutes the largest group of proteins in the human genome. Being present in most tissues in the human body, including neural tissue, they are the target of most of the medicinal drugs on the market.

- The study of the structural dynamics and molecular pharmacology of Neurotransmitter-Sodium Symporters (NSS). This class of transporters are responsible for the re-uptake of neurotransmitters that play important roles in neuropsychiatric diseases such as depression, schizophrenia and ADHD. The transporters are the targets of many anti-depressant medicines and drugs of abuse such as cocaine and amphetamine. Among other studies, my lab group has described modulation of the dopamine transporter with Zn2+, the molecular basis for the competitive action of cocaine on the dopamine transporter and the requirement for PDZ domain scaffolding interactions for synaptic expression of the transporter.

 
Read more about the work in the Molecular Neuropharmacology and Genetics Laboratory here. 

 

For publication list click here.

Synthetic Biology

   

Within Center for Synthetic Biology, the above mentioned research activities include close collaborations with other members of the Center for Synthetic Biology. As a natural continuation of our work on receptors and transporters, my group has initiated studies on reconstitution of these proteins into larger organized protein scaffolds of key importance for neuronal signalling processes.

This includes studies on PDZ domain mediated neuronal scaffolding interactions and BAR (Bin/amphyphysin/Rvs) domain mediated protein-lipid interactions. Of particular interest is the PDZ domain protein PICK1 (protein interacting with C kinase 1), whose scaffolding capacities show great potential for building organized, synthetic biological systems, by using proteins being studied in other labs within the center.

The work has both provided novel important insights into cellular function of PICK1 and led to the identification of the first small molecule inhibitor of the PICK1 PDZ domain. The compound represents a possible lead in future development of therapeutics against neuropathic pain and stroke and, thus, the study strongly corroborate the potential of targeting intracellular protein-protein interactions in CNS-related diseases. 

 

Read more on the researcher profiles of the neurobiology group leaders within the Center for Synthetic Biology (incl. lists of their crossdisciplinary collaborators):
 

Claus Juul Løland

Søren Gøgsig Faarup Rasmussen

Kenneth Lindegaard Madsen

 

Read more about the Center’s research here 

 

View the Center’s scientific publication output here