Prof. Dr. Ulrik Gether
Department of Neuroscience
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
University of Copenhagen
Maersk Tower 7.5.21, Blegdamsvej 3B, DK-2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark
» Gether Lab at the University of Copenhagen
Ulrik Gether’s lab has long-standing expertise in studying the molecular, cellular and physiological function of monoamine receptors and transporters. The key goals of his lab include i) dissecting mechanisms controlling activity and availability of the monoamine (dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine) transporters and receptors in the synapse; ii) determining how these mechanisms are affected by disease and how they are modulated by drugs; iii) investigating how genetic variation in monoamine transporters and receptors contributes to diseases characterized by altered monoamine homeostasis; and iiii) developing genetic mouse models for these diseases and decipher the underlying disease biology. Currently, the main focus of Ulrik Gether’s research is on dopamine and on diseases characterized by dysfunctional dopamine homeostasis such as parkinsonism, ADHD, and addiction. We use advanced imaging tools (e.g. super-resolution microscopy and live single molecule imaging) and biochemical approaches to study the molecular organization of the monoaminergic presynapse including the role of synaptic scaffold proteins.
We use classical pharmacological tools, biophysical techniques and electrophysiology to investigate the molecular phenotype of disease-associated missense mutations in the monoamine receptors/transporters and we develop knock-in mice expressing selected disease mutations as putative novel model for dopamine pathologies. Ulrik Gether’s lab has linked missense mutations in the dopamine transporter (DAT) to early-onset parkinsonism and ADHD and it is expected that the efforts will provide important new opportunities for correlating discrete changes in dopamine homeostasis to disease characteristics. Parallel work involves use of chemogenetics and optogenetics to dissect cellular mechanisms and monoaminergic circuits responsible for the pharmacological actions of psychostimulants (e.g. cocaine and amphetamine) and ADHD medication.