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Poul Nissen


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Poul Nissen


  • Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics - Neurobiology
  • DANDRITE - Nissen Group
  • Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center - INANO-MBG, Gustav Wied 10
  • Department of Biomedicine - Forskning og uddannelse, Vest
Postal address:
Gustav Wieds Vej 10
3130, 2.02
Aarhus C
Postal address:
Ole Worms Allé 4
Aarhus C

Email: pn@mbg.au.dk

Mobile: +4528992295

Phone: +4587155508


Professor of Protein Biochemistry & Director                                              pn@mbg.au.dk

Aarhus University (AU), Dept. of Molecular Biology and Genetics (MBG)     phone +45 28992295

Gustav Wieds Vej 10C                                                                                http://dandrite.au.dk

DK – 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark                                                                 http://mbg.au.dk


1993 – 1997    PhD, molecular biology, AU

1987 – 1993    MSc, Chemistry/protein crystallography, AU


2006 – now      Professor of Protein Biochemistry, AU-Dept. Molecular Biology and Genetics (MBG)

2002 – 2006    Assoc. prof., AU-MBG

2000 – 2004    Ole Rømer research fellow, AU-MBG

1997 – 2000    DFF Postdoctoral fellow with Prof. T.A. Steitz, Yale University (Nobel laureate 2009)

1997                Postdoctoral fellow with Prof. J. Nyborg, AU-MBG


2013 – now      Director, Danish node of Nordic-EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine, Danish Research Institute of Translational Neuroscience – DANDRITE (dandrite.au.dk)

2007 – 2017    Director, PUMPkin Centre, Danish National Research Foundation (pumpkin.au.dk)

2005 – 2013    Coordinator, Dept. Molecular Biology and Genetics, Section for Structural Biology

Research Interests

Integrative neuroscience and structural biology, membrane proteins, P-type ATPases and secondary transporters, protein-protein and protein-lipid interactions of biomembranes, calcium signaling, memory research, action potentials, neurotransmitter transporters, structure-based protein engineering and drug discovery, single-molecule studies, spin-out, innovation.

International Science Evaluation and Advisory committees (selected)

2018 – now      Speaker for Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine

2018 – now      Committee member at the BII of the Novo Nordisk Foundation 

2017 – now      ERC-Synergy Evaluation panel

2016 – now      Scientific Advisory Committee, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)

2016 – now      Scientific Advisory Board (chair), Max-Planck Institute of Biophysics, Frankfurt

2015                Board of Scientific Counselors, US National Institute Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH/NINDS)

2011 – now      Scientific Advisory Board, Center for Structural Systems Biology, Hamburg

2008 – 2016    Scientific Advisory Board, Center for Protein Research, Copenhagen University

2006 – now      Site visit committees: 2019, EMBL-Hamburg, 2018 EMBL-Heidelberg, 2018 KU-Biology, 2015 EMBL-Hamburg, 2013 EMBL-Grenoble, 2010 MRC-LMB Structural Biology Division, Cambridge, 2006 INSERM-Rennes

2005 – now      Reviewer for research councils in Canada (NSERC), Holland (NWO), Sweden (VR), France (INSERM, ANR), UK (MRC, BBSRC), Spain, Wellcome Trust, EMBO, BIF, ERC

2002 – now      More than 40 PhD dissertation committees (e.g. Aarhus, Copenhagen, Yale, Paris, Leuven, Göteborg, Cambridge, Helsinki, Nijmegen, Trondheim, Sydney, Frankfurt)

2005 – now      15 full professor position evaluation committees

2008 – 2015    Project Evaluation Committee (chair 2012-2015), EMBL-Hamburg

2010 – 2013    EMBO Membership committee

2010                ERC panel LS1, Starting Grants

Danish Research Agencies

2017 – now      Coordinator, Nordic-EMBL-ESS working group

2016 – now      Coordinator, Danish ESS Lighthouse Research Initiative

2015 – now      ESS Strategy working group, Danish Agency for Research and Innovation

2015 – now      Danish Roadmap for Research Infrastructures EMBIO (Electron Microscopy of Biological Molecules)

2011 – 2017    X-ray and neutron facilities advisory committee, Danish Agency for Research and Innovation

2010                Health, biotech and life science, infrastructure roadmap committee, Danish Agency for Research and Innovation

Aarhus University Committees (selected)

2015 – now      AU Science and Technology Faculty  “Tenure and Promotions Committee”

2011 – now      Management committee, AU Dept. Molecular Biology and Genetics

2005 – now      Research Committee, AU Dept. Molecular Biology and Genetics

2013 – now      Research Committee, AU iNANO

2010                AU committee (chair) “Research organisation and infrastructure” 

2010 – now      AU leadership position review committees (2010 head of department, 2011 TTO director, 2013 dean, 2015 head of department)

2005 – 2009    Chairman of the PhD committee, Dept. Molecular Biology and Genetics

Editorial Activities

2010 – 2015    Editorial board, FEBS Journal

2002 – 2008    Contributor to Biomed Central “Faculty of 1000”

2000 – now      reviewer for e.g. Nature and Nature journals, Science, EMBO J, PNAS, Structure

Other Organizational, Editorial Activities (selected)

2017 – now      Executive board of Videnskabsklubben

2013 – now      Grant committee, Margrethe Møller Fonden

2015                Organizer, 2015 meeting of the Nordic-EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine

2014                Chairman, Gordon Research Conference on Membrane Transport Proteins

2013                Co-organizer, Benzon Symposium “Structure Function and Dynamics of Membrane Proteins”

2008                Co-organizer 12th“Na,K-ATPase and related transport ATPases of P-type”

2011 – 2016    School board at Risskov Skole (acting chair 2014, elected chair 2015-2016)

2007 – now      Editorial Advisory Board, EMBO Journal and EMBO Reports

2005 – 2011    Member of the board, Danish Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Scientific Societies

Danish Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Danish Society for Crystallography

Danish Society for Neuroscience

2014                Elected fellow of the Academy of Technical Sciences in Denmark (ATV)

2011                Elected fellow of the Danish Academy of Natural Sciences (DNA)

2008                Elected fellow of the Royal Danish Academy for Science and Letters

2006                Elected fellow of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO)

Honors and Awards

2018                The Carlsberg Foundation Research Prize

2017                The Novo Nordisk Prize

2017 – 2022     Distinguished Chair Professor for Research, National Taiwan University, 

2016 – 2021    Adjunct Professor, University of Copenhagen

2016                Dir. Ib Henriksen Foundation Research Prize

2016                Gregori Aminoff Prize, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

2013 – 2018     Adjunct Professor, Aalborg University

2010                Aarhus University, Holst-Knudsen Research Prize

2009                Invited delegate, Chemistry Nobel Prize ceremony, Stockholm

2009                ERC Advanced Research grant, BIOMEMOS

2008                Elite Researcher Prize, Danish Ministery of Science & Technology

2006                Anders Jahre Prize for Young Researchers, Norway

2006                Hede Nielsen Prize for Young Researchers

2005                Hallas-Møller Stipend, Novo-Nordisk Foundation

2002                Newcombe-Cleveland Prize, AAAS

2001                EMBO Young Investigator

2000                Ole Rømer grant award, Danish Research Council

1997                PhD Gold Medal from Danish Academy of Natural Sciences

1997                Postdoctoral award, Danish Research Council

Invited talks/keynotes (recent, selected)

·       GRC on Membrane Transport Proteins, March 2019

·       Public University Lectures, Aarhus and Copenhagen, Oct.- Nov. 2018

·       IRB/IBMB-CSIC Biomed Seminar, Barcelona Sep. 2019

·       mPEPC1 workshop, EMBL-Hamburg, Sep. 2018

·       COMPPAA Symposium, New Center for Structural Biology, June 2018

·       Membrane Proteins in Health and Disease, Banff, Canada, April 2018

·      Gordon Research Conference “Ligand Recognition & Molecular Gating“, Ventura CA, Mar. 2018

·       Hamburg Life Science Summit, Hamburg, Jan. 2018

·       2017 ShanghaiTech-SIAIS Bioforum, Shanghai, China, Nov. 2017

·      15thinternational conference on Na,K-ATPase and related P-ATPases, Otsu, Japan, Sep. 2017

·       Neutrons in Structural Biology meeting, Institut Laue-Langevin, Grenoble, France June 2017.

·       50thErice Course "Integrative structural biology", Erice Sicily, June 2017


Completed: 19 MSc, 21 PhD, 4 PhD (co-supervisor), 19 postdocs 

Current: 2 BSc students, 3 MSc students, 9 PhD students (incl. 2 Boehringer-Ingelheim stipends, 2 Lundbeck Foundation fellowships, 2 industry-PhD with Novo Nordisk), 5 postdocs (incl. Lundbeck Foundation 

fellowship, MS Curie Fellow, Region of Extremadura Research Fellowship)