Rikke Katrine Jentoft Olsen

Associate Professor, PhD, MSc, Associate Professor

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Profile

My main research field is mitochondria; the components of our cells that transform the food we eat and the air that we breath into energy. While doing so, our mitochondria produce signaling molecules to increase our cells’ defense mechanisms against stress, and as such promote healthy cells and bodies.

We study genetics and mitochondria in rare inborn errors of mitochondrial energy metabolism (with focus on fatty acid oxidation disorders), and in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) and other fatigue syndromes, where an initial (inflammatory) event may play a central role in disease development (post-HPV, post-COVID-19, post-concussion). Our overall working hypothesis is that this broad group of patients have an inherited or acquired dysfunction in mitochondrial energy and stress signaling capacity, which influence their ability to tolerate metabolic-demanding stress events, such as physical and mental activity or an infection.

Besides science, I organize and teach at PhD courses and summer schools within my research fields. I am an active member of several University committees and scientific boards, e.g. the National Neonatal Screening Group for Inborn Errors of Metabolism, the International Network for Fatty Acid Oxidation Research and Management (INFORM) and the European ME Research Group (EMERG).

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