Physiology of Ion Channel Complexes – University of Copenhagen

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In a nutshell

My research is focused on the impact of mutations, molecular regulatory mechanisms and accessory subunits on the function of ion channel complexes with special focus on cardiac arrhythmia. Many studies dealt with the molecular regulation and biophysical mechanisms behind ion channel dysfunction observed in cardiac arrhythmia, especially in atrial fibrillation, Brugada syndrome and Long QT syndrome.

Due to the fact that many of the studied channels are expressed in a variety of tissues, we are also interested in their characterization in e.g. neurons, pancreatic cells, and the vasculature. Here, the different patterns observed in different organs give valuable hints for the understanding of the complexity (and beauty) of human physiology.

Further core areas of my research are the molecular mechanisms of cardiac ion channel trafficking, and the posttranslational modification and regulation of cardiac ion channel complexes.

Major ongoing research themes

  • Molecular understanding of cardiac arrhythmia with focus on atrial fibrillation;
  • Beyond the genes – unravelling epigenetic mechanisms leading to heart disease;
  • Physiology and pathophysiology of KCNE potassium channel subunits in the heart and elsewhere.

Group members

Nicole Schmittt, MSc, PhD
Associate Professor
Phone: +45 3532 7448 
See CV and publication list
Joana Larupa, MSc
PhD student (share with Bo Hjorth Bentzen)
See CV and publication list
Louise Koch
Laboratory Technician (shared)
Phone: +45 2384 0111
Nancy Thomsen Mutsaers
Laboratory Technician (shared)
Phone: +45 2384 0111
Amer Mujezinovic
Laboratory Technician (shared)
Phone: +45 2384 0111

Marie Bølling Kongsted

Bachelor Student (molecular biomedicine)

Alex Berg Kristensen

Bachelor student (medicine & technology)

For previous students, see here.

Ongoing international collaborations

Prof. Geoffrey Abbott
(University of California Irvine, USA)
Physiological and pathophysiological roles of accessory potassium channel subunits
Assistant prof. Sara Liin and Prof. Fredrik Elinder
(Linkoeping University, Sweden)
Regulation of potassium channels by polyunsaturated fatty acids
Karl-Ludwig Laugwitz
(Technical University Munich, Germany)
Human pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes in arrhythmia research
Prof. Hiroaki Misonou
(Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan)
Molecular mechanisms of ion channel trafficking
Prof. Melvin Scheinman
(University of California San Francisco, USA)
Functional characterization of congenital ion channel mutations associated with cardiac arrhythmia
Prof. Guiscard Seebohm
(U Muenster, Germany)
Molecular mechanisms of potassium channel regulation in health and disease

Ongoing national collaborations

Assoc. prof. Morten Salling Olesen (University Hospital of Copenhagen – Rigshospitalet – , Denmark) Genetics and molecular basis for early-onset lone atrial fibrillation, long-term collaboration
Assoc. prof. Jean-François Perrier (Dept. of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark) Application of molecular and biochemical techniques in neuroscience
Prof. Lars Ellgard
(Dept. of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
Determination of the molecular mechanisms underlying protein folding