Research theme – University of Copenhagen

Development, Cognition and Healthy Ageing despite Oxidative Stress

Cellular redox imbalance or oxidative stress (OS) is an almost universal pathophysiological mechanism. OS sources include cellular energy production, exhaustive exercise, signaling with e.g. dopamine and NO, multiple environmental and probably psychosocial exposures or conditions, such as obesity, stress, ischemia/reperfusion, infection, infestation and inflammation. OS is associated with damage to DNA, protein and lipids as well as activation and perturbation of multiple signaling pathways that inflict upon the normal physiological function of the cell. A cross-cutting research effort in the Section of Environmental Health with extensive departmental and Faculty collaboration will address mechanisms of OS in development, cognition, depression and ageing. This includes OS-induced molecular damage, cellular dysfunction and epigenetic and gene expression changes in relation to 1) OS across the placental barrier in a human perfusion model; 2) fetal exposure to sources of OS in animal models and birth cohorts, including a second generation, and associations with cognitive function; 3) depression and cognitive dysfunction associated with ageing addressed in animal models and ageing human populations. The theme is new, but builds heavily on high-profiled research in the section during the past years

  • The research theme has been strengthened in 2012 by appointing a professor with special duties in research on oxidative stress in relation to environment and health and will be further strengthened in 2013 by a new position as associate professor in Toxicology and environmental health.
  • There is a potential for wide collaboration within the Department, e.g. in CAMB and DNBC, the Faculty, including Center for Healthy Ageing with e.g. Laboratory for Molecular Ageing, and Department of Veterinarian Disease Biology