Curriculum Vitae – University of Copenhagen

Birger Lindberg Møller

Plant Biochemistry Laboratory
Department of Plant and Environmental Science (previously Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology), University of Copenhagen
Thorvaldsensvej 40, 1871 Frederiksberg C, Copenhagen, Denmark
Phone: +45 3533 3352;

Date and Place of Birth: November 17th, 1946, Frederiksberg, Denmark  

Academic degrees:    M.Sc. 1972; Ph.D. 1975; D.Sc. 1984; D.Sc.h.c.


2014-2015: Director and Head of Carlsberg Laboratory, 25% employment
2013-present: Director of Villum Research Center for Plant Plasticity
2013-present: Scientific head of bioSYNergy, the 2016 UCPH funds
2010-2013:  Section Director of “Plant Pathway Discovery” in the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Bio-Sustainability
2010-present: Director of UNIK Synthetic Biology, one of four “Centres of Excellence ”established in Denmark by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.
2008-2013: Director of Villum Research Centre Pro-Active Plants.
1998-2008:  Director, Centre of Molecular Plant Physiology (PlaCe), the “centre of excellence” in plant biology in Denmark.
1990-present: Professor in Plant Biochemistry, University of Copenhagen, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Section for Plant Biochemistry, 100% employment
1984-1990: Research Professor, Department of Plant Physiology, Royal Veterinary & Agricultural University, Denmark
1977-1983: Senior Research Scientist and Niels Bohr Fellow, Department of Physiology, Carlsberg Laboratory, Copenhagen
1975-1977: Fulbright-Hays Act Fellow, Depart­ment of Biochemistry, Biophysics, UC Davis, University of California,
1972-1975: Ph.D. studies, Department of Organic Chemistry, Royal Veterinary & Agricultural University, Denmark

Academic Societies

Appointed member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, 1994-present
Appointed member of the Danish Academy of Technical Sciences, 1993-present
Appointed member of the Danish Academy of Natural Sciences, 1993-present

Research Awards


Promoted by the Queen of Denmark as Knight of the Dannebrog, 1st degree


Invited Visiting Professor at University of Melbourne and Monash University, Melbourne, Australia during the month of May

2007: Villum Kann Rasmussen Research Prize. The largest Danish research award
2004: The Academy of Future Research, “The Future Prize”
2003: Societas Physiologia Plantarum Scandinavica “Popularization Prize”
1995: Promoted by the Queen of Denmark as Knight of the Dannebrog
1994: “Director Ib Henriksens Research Prize”
1994: Carlsberg Research Prize Award
1991: “Fabrikant Ulrik Brinch og hustru Marie Brinchs Legat” Technical University of Denmark
1988: Pedersholm Legat
1985: Hans Gram Medal, the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters



Recent Positions of Trust at the University of Copenhagen (2009-2010)

  • Appointed by the Deans of the Science, Life Science and Pharma Faculties of the University of Copenhagen as Member of a Research Committee to recommend how the University fusions in the Copenhagen area should be optimized across and within different disciplines. This work resulted in the influential report P. Krogsgaard-Larsen, B.L. Møller, E. H. Larsen, B. Vestergaard, C. Lunde and P. Stæhr: Synergies with the natural sciences at the University of Copenhagen - an interfaculty evaluation of barriers and opportunities to improve the quality of infrastructure, research and education.  ISBN 978-87-90655-79-2 (2009) 43 pp 
  • Appointed by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Copenhagen as Member of a Task Force to restructure collaboration between industrial partners and governmental institutions and the University of Copenhagen. This resulted in the report S.P. Olesen, H.Harmsen and B.L.Møller: The Recommendations of the Task Force regarding collaboration between Private Industries and the University of Copenhagen” (2009-2010), 57 pp


Mentoring: Main advisor of 43 PhD students (8 ongoing in Denmark and 3 in Australia) and of numerous BSc and MSc students. Mentor for biotechnology Bio-Hacker Spaces in Denmark and California. Talk at the TEDxCopenhagen event Sept. 18th 2012 on “Plant Power: the ultimate way to go green”. Numerous newspaper contributions on the importance of science and citizen engagement.


Current Funding

  • 2012: ARC Linkage Grants with Melbourne University and Monash University
  • 2012: ERC Advanced Grant (2,5 million €)
  • 2012: Villum Foundation Post Doc Block Stipend
  • 2008-2012: Pro-Active Plants Villum Research Centre of Excellence: The total grant for the period 2008-2012 is 3.3 million €. My own research group receives 80.000 €/year from the centre grant for studies of cyanogenic glucoside metabolism in sorghum and cassava
  • 2008-2012: UNIK Synthetic Biology: The total grant is 16 million € for the period. Of these 4.8 million € is assigned to projects, instrumentation and infrastructure within plant biology. My research group receives 90.000 €/year for studies on light driven hydroxylations obtained by linking Photosystem I to cytochrome P450 enzymes.

Previous Granting Agencies

The Danish Council for Independent Research, Human Frontier Science Programme, EU LifeSciHealth STREP, EU Marie Curie, Australian Research Council, Spanish Research Council, Carlsberg Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Danish National Research Foundation, Villum Kann Rasmussen Foundation, Danish Research Councils and DANIDA.



10-Year-Track-Record (self-citations not included, IF: Journal impact factor)

  • T. Frisch and B. L. Møller: Possible evolution of alliarinoside biosynthesis from the glucosinolate pathway in Alliaria petiolata  FEBS Journal 279: 1545–1562 (2012) IF: 3.790
  • K. Jensen, P.E. Jensen, B.L. Møller: Light-driven cytochrome P450 hydroxylations.  ACS Chemical Biology 6(6): 533-539 (2011) IF: 6.446
  • B.L. Møller: Functioning dependent metabolons.  Science 330:1328-1329 (2010) IF: 31.201
  • B.L. Møller: Functional diversifications of cyanogenic glucosides.  Current Opinion in Plant Biology (2010)  - in press. DOI: 10.1016/j.pbi.2010.01.009 IF: 9.272
  • R. Sánchez-Pérez, K. Jørgensen, M.S. Motawia, F. Dicenta and B.L. Møller: Tissue and celluar localization of individual ß-glycosidases using a substrate specific sugar reducing assay.  The Plant Journal 60:894-906 (2009)  IF: 6.160
  • S.A. Osmani, S. Bak, B.L. Møller: Substrate specificity of plant UDP-dependent glycosyltransferases predicted from crystal structures and homology modeling.  Phytochemistry 70: 325-347 (2009) IF: 3.351
  • R. Sánchez-Pérez, K. Jørgensen, C. E. Olsen, F. Dicenta and B. L. Møller: Bitterness in almonds.   Plant Physiology 146: 1040-1052 (2008) IF: 6.535
  • S.A. Osmani, S. Bak, A. Imberty, C.E. Olsen and B.L. Møller: Catalytic Key Amino Acids and UDP Sugar Donor Specificity of a Plant Glucuronosyl Transferase, UGT94B1. Molecular Modeling Substantiated by Site-Specific Mutagenesis and Biochemical Analyses.  Plant Physiology 148: 1295-1308 (2008)  IF: 6.535
  • K. Jørgensen, A.V. Rasmussen, M. Morant, A.H. Nielsen, N. Bjarnholt, M. Zagrobelny, S. Bak and B.L. Møller: Metabolon formation and metabolic channeling in the biosynthesis of plant natural products.  Current Opinion in Plant Biology 8: 280-291 (2005) IF: 9.272
  • K. Jørgensen, S. Bak, P.K. Busk, C. Sørensen, C.E. Olsen, J. Puonti-Kaerlas and B.L. Møller: Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) plants with a depleted content of cyanogenic glucosides in leaves and tubers. Distribution of cyanogenic glucosides, their site of synthesis and transport and blockage of the biosynthesis by RNAi technology.  Plant Physiology 139: 363-374 (2005) IF: 6.535
  • M. Zagrobelny, S. Bak, A.V. Rasmussen, B. Jørgensen, C.M. Naumann and B.L. Møller: Cyanogenic glucosides and plant-insect interactions.  Phytochemistry 65: 293-306 (2004) IF: 3.351


H-Index: 43

>5000 citations of 199 refereed publications on topics within organic chemistry, natural product chemistry, plant biochemistry, plant physiology, plant molecular biology, bioinformatics, molecular modelling and plant biotechnology. For full publication list click here.


Research Monographs and Chapters in Collective Volumes

L.H.Skibsted and B.L.Møller: Genmodificerede fødevarer (Gene modified foods) in: A.Astrup et al (eds.):Menneskets Ernæring. (Textbook for studies in Human Nutrition) (2010) Munksgaard, in press

B.L. Møller: A future with plants.  Villum Kann Rasmussen Foundation Yearbook 2007. 46-55 (2007) ISSN: 0905-1015.

K.A. Nielsen and B.L. Møller: Cytochrome P450s in Plants. 553-583 (2005) Cytochrome P450: Structure, Mechanism, and Biochemistry, 3rd ed. (ed. P.R. Ortiz de Montellano) Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers, New York. ISBN: 0-306-48324-6.

P.R. Jones, M.D. Andersen, J.S. Nielsen, P.B. Høj and B.L. Møller: The biosynthesis, degradation, transport and possible function of cyanogenic glucosides.  Recent Advances in Phytochemistry. “Evolution of Metabolic Pathways” 191-247 (2000) (eds. J.T. Romeo et al) 

B.L. Møller Science Advisor within Plant Biology at the Editorial Board for "Den Store Danske Encyklopædi”(“The Great Danish Encyclopedia") and author of numerous articles (20 large volumes published 1992-2004, supplements and in electronic form in 2008)


Granted Patents

I am co-inventor of the following granted patents: EP 95902091.8, publ. 0733112; US 08/656,177, publ. 5,882,851; US 09/256,797, publ. 6,133,417; WO 98/40470, publ. PCT/EP 98/01253; US 6,649,814 B2, appl. 09/899,642; EP 00987323.3, publ. 1234046; US 10/148,606, publ. 7,122,657.

The patents granted are covering different plant cytochrome P450 enzymes and glycosyltransferases and their use in crop improvement


Selected Invited Presentations in 2006-9

Photosynthesis: revolutionizing the transformation of energy, 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference - Scientific Essentials of a COP15 deal. Copenhagen, December 7, 2009

The cytochromes P450 in cyanogenic glucoside synthesis. Plenary Lecture. 16th International Conference on Cytochrome P450. June 21-25th , 2009,  Okinawa, JP

Engineering biosynthetic pathways. Synthetic Biology Workshop 2009, July 23-25th, 2009, Berkeley, California, US

Bio-active plant natural products: diversity and possibilities. Key-note lecture. 4th Danish Conference on Biotechnology and Molecular Biology, May 27-29th, 2009,  Munkebjerg, DK

Metabolon formation and metabolic channeling in the biosynthesis of plant phenolics. Plenary Lecture. 24th International Conference on Polyphenols, July 8-11th, 2008, Salamanca, ES

P45s all over! Opening lecture (sponsored by the Societé Francaise de Biologie Végétale Lecture), 9th International Symposium on Cytochrome P450 Biodiversity and Biotechnology. June 8-12th, 2008, Nice, FR

Cyanogenic glucosides in plants, insects and the environment. Key-note lecture. Phytochemical Society of North America, July 21-25th, 2007, St. Louis, US

Metabolic engineering of secondary metabolites for crop improvement: Lessons learned from cyanogenic glucosides. Plenary lecture. July 14-18th, 2007. Gordon Research Conference – Plant Metabolic Engineering, Tilton, New Hampshire, US.

Metabolic engineering of cyanogenic glucoside synthesis for crop improvement. 8th International Congress of Plant Molecular Biology, August 20-26th, 2006, Adelaide, AU

Cyanogenic glucosides in plants and insects and their role in plant-insect interactions. 22nd Annual Meeting International Society of Chemical Ecology, July 15-19th, 2006, Barcelona, ES.

Engineering of Plant Metabolic Pathways. From Functional Genomics of Model Organisms to Crop Plants for Global Health, Arthur M. Sackler Colloquia, April 3-5th, 2006, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC, US


More than 25 presentations as invited speaker at international conferences in the past 10 years. More than 50 oral presentations and seminars at international universities.


Current Research Interests:

Synthetic biology, plant-insect interactions, plant-pathway discovery, light-driven synthesis of complex diterpenoids, co-evolution, gene clustering, metabolon formation, self-assembly in biological systems, cytochromes P450, glycosyltransferases, metabolic engineering, molecular modeling, plant biotechnology, bioinformatics, metabolomics.
For further information please see
Synthetic Biology:


Marie Curie Training sites and Summer/Spring Schools:

Grant holder and co-ordinator of two Marie Curie Research Training Networks (Human Potential HPMT-CT-2000-00204 and Quality of Life QLK3-CT00-60078) . Co-applicant of new Marie Curie Training Network (FP7-People-2010-ITN) with Dr. N. Bruce, York as co-ordinator. Organizer of several Spring and Summer Schools


Organization of International Conferences in 2010

P450 Biodiversity and Biotechnology, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, October 3-7, 2010

International Workshop on Synthetic Biology in Copenhagen, Denmark, August 25-27, 2010


Evaluation Panels and Positions of Trust

  • 1999: Member of an international panel to evaluate agricultural research in Sweden
  • 1993: Appointed by the Danish Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries as member of the supreme committee to establish a “National Strategy for the Agricultural Sciences in Denmark”
  • 1992-1998: Appointed by the Minister of Research as Member of the Danish Research Council for Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences


Memberships to Recruitment Panels/Editorial Boards/Journal Referee

Member of numerous panels responsible for recruitment of Research Directors and Full Professors in Denmark and abroad. Member of the Editorial Board of Phytochemistry; Reviewer for Science, PNAS, Plant Cell, Plant Journal, Plant Physiology, Phytochemistry and others