• Postadresse

    Fredrik Bajers Vej 7E

    9220 Aalborg




Head of research group: John D. Vestergaard Nieland


Who we are?

As a research group, we represent a broad spectrum of specialists within diverse fields of expertise spanning from molecular biology to pharmacy. We are very passionate about what we do and we like to be challenged in our scientific work.

The common interest of our group is pharmacology, which is the science of drugs, both biologics as well as small molecules, and their effects on the living system.

Understanding these allow us to discover and develop better drugs to help fight diseases, to optimize the effectiveness of medicines, to reduce unwanted side effects of medicines, and also to understand why individuals differ in the way they respond to certain drugs.

The overall aim of the Molecular Pharmacology Group is the identification of optimized therapeutic strategies for the treatment of complex diseases. We use fundamental and advanced research techniques to reveal mechanisms underlying diseases and action of the optimized therapeutics.


Our research – what we do?

The research of the Molecular Pharmacology group concentrates mainly on studying the pathophysiology of the causes of diseases and how diseases can be treated. We study diseases based on a systemic biology background. We hypothesize that diseases develop when several functions in the body/organism get out of balance. This can be understood as follows in diseases and several organismal functions like metabolism, hormone system, symbiosis with microorganisms in the gut, mouth, lungs and skin, immune system, mitochondria, CNS, environment such as diet that may all work together and are in balance in a healthy organism/person. When several of these systems come out of balance, disease can develop. Our primary focus is on central nervous system (CNS) diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease (PD) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), migraine, and brain cancer. Our study results suggest that the interplay between environment, diet, metabolites and genetics is critical for evoking a specific condition of metabolic imbalance that leads to disease development. The research in the group has shown that several CNS diseases are linked to an imbalance in the metabolic process.

The balance is different for each individual. Therefore, the treatment of diseases must be personalized. We have begun to test our hypothesis with neurodegenerative conditions. Further, we are also testing this concept of “metabolic shift” in other diseases ranging from migraine, brain cancer, kidney pathologies, psoriasis, vitiligo and others. We try to identify the balance of a healthy and a diseased individual, respectively, and based on that identify how this balance needs to be corrected either to make the person healthy or to prevent disease by maintaining the balance in the healthy person. The treatment can be a mix of several options such as diet, probiotics, medicine and psychological treatment.


How does our research contribute to societal health challenges?

Considering the aging population, one of the major medical challenges is CNS diseases. A promising approach to prevent or treat these diseases is based on identification of causative pathways and biomarkers. Research conducted in our group has resulted in developing a very promising medicine for treating Parkinson’s, MS and ALS. The medicine is currently being tested in a startup company that has sprouted from our team. Encouraged by this success, we are working hard to discover new disease markers for fast and accurate diagnostics and new therapeutic approaches in CNS pathologies and others. In addition, we have identified biomarkers for migraine and glioblastoma.


Who are our key collaborators?

  • Liliana M. Davalos, Professor of Conservation Biology, Stony Brook University, USA

  • Dina Dechmann, Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, Germany

  • Tae-Hwan Kwon, School of Medicine Kyungpook National University, Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, South Korea

  • Angelique Corthals, Assistant Professor, John Jay CUNY school of criminal Justice, New York, USA

  • Paul Krimpenfoort, MCCA Transgenic Facility at the Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • 2A Pharma ApS, Aalborg, Denmark

  • 2N Pharma ApS, Biological Innovation Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark


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