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Christian Adam Olsen

Christian Adam Olsen

Professor MSO

Research Focus
Organic, Bioorganic, and Medicinal Chemistry
With a foundation in chemical synthesis my laboratory seeks 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.

2004. Ph.D., Danish University of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
2000. Cand. polyt. (civil engineer in chemistry), Technical University of Denmark.

2014 - present. Professor, University of Copenhagen.
2010 - 2013. Associate Professor (with tenure), Technical University of Denmark.
2007 - 2010. Research Associate with Prof. Ghadiri, Scripps Research Institute, CA.
2005 - 2006. Assistant Professor (non-tenured), Danish University Pharm. Sciences. 
2001 - 2004. Ph.D. student, Danish University of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
2000 - 2001. Research Associate, Novozymes A/S, Protein Chemistry, Denmark.

Awards and Fellowships
2014. EFMC Prize for a Young Medicinal Chemist in Academia.
2012. Burgenstock Conference JSP Travel Fellowship.
2010. Lundbeck Foundation Fellow.
2010. Steno Grantee, The Danish Council for Independent Research | Natural Sciences.
2008. Postdoctoral Fellowships, The Benzon and Lundbeck Foundations. 
2007. Young Elite Researcher's Award, Danish Agency for Sci. Technol. Innovation. 
2004. Novo Nordisk Ph.D. Plus Prize. 
2004. Tegners Mindelegat.

Academic Affiliations
2015 - present. Board Member, Departmental Committee of Research and Innovation.
2014 - present. Board Member, Section of Org. Chem. Danish Chemical Society.
2011 - present. Member, American Peptide Society.
2004 - present. Member, Danish Chemical Society.
2004 - present. Member, American Chemical Society.

Selected Publications
E. McDonnell, S. B. Crown, D. B. Fox, B. Kitir, O. R. Ilkayeva, C. A. Olsen, P. A. Grimsrud, M. D. Hirschey. Lipids Reprogram Metabolism to Become a Major Carbon Source for Histone Acetylation. Cell Rep. 2016, 17, 1463–1472.

A. R. Maolanon, A. S. Madsen, C. A. Olsen. Innovative Strategies for Selective Inhibition of Histone Deacetylases. Cell Chem. Biol. 2016, 23, 759–768. (Free Featured Article).

J. S. Laursen, J. Engel-Andreasen, C. A. Olsen. β-Peptoid Foldamers at Last. Acc. Chem. Res. 2015, 48, 2696–2704.

J. S. Laursen, P. Harris, P. Fristrup, C. A. Olsen. Triangular Prism-Shaped β-Peptoid Helices as Unique Biomimetic Scaffolds. Nat. Commun. 2015, 6, 7013 (doi: 10.1038/ncomms8013).

A. R. Maolanon, J. S. Villadsen, N. J. Christensen, C. Hoeck, T. Friis, P. Harris, C. H. Gotfredsen, P. Fristrup, C. A. Olsen. Methyl Effect in Azumamides Provides Insight Into Histone Deacetylase Inhibition by Macrocycles. J. Med. Chem. 2014, 57, 9644–9657.

J. S. Laursen, J. Engel-Andreasen, P. Fristrup, P. Harris, C. A. Olsen. Cis-Trans Amide Bond Rotamers in beta-Peptoids and Peptoids: Evaluation of Stereoelectronic Effects in Backbone and Side Chains. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013135, 2835-2844.

A. S. Madsen, C. A. Olsen. Profiling of Substrates for the Zinc-Dependent Lysine Deacylase Enzymes: HDAC3 Exhibits Decrotonylase Activity In Vitro. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 201251, 9083-9087.

C. A. Olsen. Expansion of the Lysine Acylation Landscape. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 201251, 3755-3756.

Selected Lectures
Karlsruher Institut Technologie (KIT), Germany, November 2016.
FRIAS Lecture, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg, Germany, November 2016.
Guest Lecturer Pharmazie, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg, November 2016.
3rd Freiburg Epigenetic Spring Meeting, Freiburg, Germany, April 2016.
Advances in Peptide and Protein Chemistry, Pacifichem, Honolulu, HI, December 2015.
Synthetic Modulators of PPIs, Pacifichem, Honolulu, HI, December 2015.
University of Geneva, Switzerland, November 2015.
Short presentation, COST Action Epichembio Meeting, Budapest, September 2015.
German Pharmaceutical Society (DPhG) Annual Meeting, Düsseldorf, September 2015.
Peptoid Summit, Berkeley, CA, USA, August 2015.
Danish Chemical Society Mini Symposium on Foldamers, Copenhagen, June 2015.
Singapore International Chemistry Conference, SICC-8, Singapore, December 2014.
Inaugural Professorship Lecture, University of Copenhagen, September 2014.
International Symposium on Med Chem, Lisbon, September 2014 (prize lecture).
ACS National Meeting, San Francisco, CA, USA, August 2014.
ACS National Meeting, Dallas, TX, USA, March 2014.
Australian Peptide Symposium, Penang, Malaysia, September 2013.
ACS National Meeting, New Orleans, LA, USA, April 2013.
PepCon, Suzhou China, March 2013.
University of Barcelona Seminar Series, Barcelona, Spain, October 2012.
Danish Chemical Society Annual Meeting, Odense, June 2012.
Danskernes Akademi [televised (in Danish)], DTU, Kongens Lyngby, November 2011.
EuCheMS Young Investigator Workshop, Crete, Greece, July 2011.
Frontiers in Peptide Chemistry, Pacifichem, USA, December 2010.
ACS National Meeting, New Orleans, LA, USA, April 2008.


Interview in ChemistryViews, DOI: 10.1002/chemv.201400082

Participated in the DR2 TV program 'Danskernes Akademi' (Fall 2011).

Article in DTU-Avisen about the Lundbeck Junior Group Leader project (December 2010,

Participated in an interview regarding my Lundbeck Junior Group Leader Fellowship project in the TV2 talk show Lounge (Fall 2010,

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