Olsen lab – University of Copenhagen

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With a foundation in chemical synthesis, we seek to explore the function of small molecules, peptides, peptidomimetics, and proteins in biological systems. We are focusing on peptidomimetic secondary structures with potential as antimicrobial agents, as non-proteinogenic ligands for disruption of protein–protein interactions, and for multivalent display. We are also exploring naturally occurring macrocyclic peptides – and analogues thereof – for development of class- or isoform-selective HDAC inhibitors and quorum sensing modulators, as well as investigating substrate-specificity of the human lysine deacylase enzymes using chemical biology tools.

Development of HDAC inhibitors

With inspiration from naturally occurring non-ribosomal cyclic tetrapeptides we explore the possibility of achieving selective inhibition of individual HDAC isoforms. Also, we investigate the effects of novel zinc-binding groups.

Posttranslational modification of lysine

We develop chemical tools for screening and kinetic investigation of novel acyl modifications of the epsilon-amino group of lysine residues in the proteome.

Biomimetic oligomers

We are investigating the structural and functional properties of oligomers containing non-canonical amino acids such as the so-called beta-peptoid residues.

Quorum sensing modulators

Using natural macrocylic depsipeptides and AIPs as inspiration, we are seeking to develop novel inhibitors of virulence and biofilm formation.