Povl Krogsgaard-Larsen is a professor of medicinal chemistry in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, at the University of Copenhagen. In 1970, he received his PhD in natural product chemistry. As an associate professor, he established a research program focusing on the conversion of naturally occurring toxins into specific pharmacological tools and therapeutic agents. Key lead structures in this research program were the Amanita muscaria constituents, muscimol and ibotenic acid, and the Areca nut alkaloid, arecoline, all of which interact nonselectively with GABA, glutamate, and muscarinic receptors, respectively. The redesign of muscimol resulted in a variety of specific GABA agonists, notably THIP and isoguvacine, and specific GABA uptake inhibitors, including nipecotic acid and guvacine. Ibotenic acid was converted into a broad range of subtype-selective glutamate receptor agonists including AMPA, from which the AMPA receptor subgroup was named. Arecoline was redesigned to provide a variety of subtype-selective muscarinic agonists and antagonists. Whereas nipecotic acid was subsequently developed into the antiepileptic agent tiagabine, THIP is currently used in advanced clinical trials.
In 1980, Dr. Krogsgaard-Larsen received his DSc. He has published nearly 440 scientific papers, edited a number of books, and, since 1998, has been European editor of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. He has been awarded honorary doctorates at the universities of Strasbourg (1992), Uppsala (2000), and Milan (2008), apart from receiving numerous other scientific awards and prizes. He is a member of a number of academies, including the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. In 2002, he founded the Drug Research Academy as an academic/industrial research training center. He is currently the chairman of the Carlsberg Foundation and the deputy chairman of the Benzon Foundation.
Kristian Str0mgaard is a professor of chemical biology in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, at the University of Copenhagen. He received his master's degree in chemical research from the Department of Chemistry at the University College London under the supervision of Professor C. Robin Ganellin. In 1999, he received his PhD in medicinal chemistry from the Royal Danish School of Pharmacy (now the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences). Subsequently, Dr. Str0mgaard carried out his postdoctoral studies with Professor Koji Nakanishi in the Department of Chemistry at Columbia University. During this period his main focus was on medicinal chemistry studies of neuroactive natural products, with a particular emphasis on polyamine toxins and ginkgolides. In 2002, he returned to the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences as an assistant professor and became an associate professor in 2004 and a professor in 2006. He is currently the head of the chemical biology group in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry that has about 20 people with expertise in applying chemistry and biology in studies of membrane-bound proteins in the central nervous system.
Ulf Madsen is currently an associate dean in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen. In 1988, he received his PhD in medicinal chemistry from the Royal Danish School of Pharmacy (now the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences), where he later became an associate professor in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry. Dr. Madsen has been a visiting scientist at the University of Sydney, Australia; at Johan Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany; and at Syntex Research, California. He has extensive research experience with the design and synthesis of glutamate receptor ligands. This includes structure activity studies and the development of selective ligands for ionotropic as well as metabotropic glutamate receptors, work which has led to a number of important pharmacological tools. Compounds with antagonist activities have shown neuroprotective properties in animal models and are consequently leads for potential therapeutic candidates. Recent projects involving biostructure-based drug designs have resulted in the development of important pharmacological agents with high subtype selectivity. The work generally involves the synthesis of heterocyclic compounds, the use of bioisosteric principles, and molecular pharmacology on native as well as recombinant receptors. The work has led to more than 100 scientific papers. Before becoming the associate dean, Dr. Madsen was the head of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry for nine years.
Was this article helpful?