Christian Adam Olsen

Christian Adam Olsen



Research Focus
Organic, Bioorganic, and Medicinal Chemistry
With a foundation in chemical synthesis the Olsen Lab is developing peptidomimetic secondary structures and using naturally occurring macrocyclic peptides for development of HDAC inhibitors and quorum sensing modulators. We are also developing a suite of chemical tools for investigation of the function of human lysine deacylase enzymes.

2004. Ph.D., Royal Danish School of Pharmacy.
2000. Cand.polyt. (M.Sc. Chemical Engineering), Technical University of Denmark (DTU).

2014 - present. Professor, University of Copenhagen.
2010 - 2013. Associate Professor (with tenure), DTU.
2007 - 2010. Postdoctoral fellow with Prof. Ghadiri, Scripps, La Jolla, CA.
2005 - 2006. Independent Research Associate, Danish University Pharm. Sci. 
2001 - 2004. Ph.D. student, Royal Danish School of Pharmacy.
2000 - 2001. Research Associate, Novozymes A/S, Protein Chemistry, Denmark.

Awards and Honors
2017. ERC Consolidator Grantee (European Research Council)
2016. FRIAS Guest Scientist (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg)
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.
2007. Young Elite Researcher's Award, Danish Agency for Science. 
2004. Novo Nordisk Ph.D. Plus Prize. 
2004. Ludwig Tegner & Hustrus Mindelegat.

Academic Affiliations
2022 - present. Advisory Board Member: Center for Medicinal Chemistry
2020 - present. Member, EFMC Chemical Biology Initiative
2019 - present. Leader, Center for Biopharmaceuticals
2019 - present. Departmental Research Committee
2018 - present. University of Copenhagen Grant Review Panel
2018 - 2021. Chair, Section of Org. Chem. Danish Chemical Society.
2014 - 2017. 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
B. H. Gless,* S. H. Schmied, B. S. Bejder, C. A. Olsen.* Förster Resonance Energy Transfer Assay for Investigating the Reactivity of Thioesters in Biochemistry and Native Chemical Ligation. JACS Au 2023, 3, 1443–1451.

J. E. Bolding,+ P. Martín-Gago,+ N. Rajabi, L. F. Gamon, T. N. Hansen, C. R. O. Bartling, K. Strømgaard, M. J. Davies, C. A. Olsen. Aryl Fluorosulfate Based Inhibitors that Covalently Target the SIRT5 Lysine Deacylase. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2022, 61, e202204565. [ChemRxiv]

N. Rajabi,+ T. N. Hansen,+ A. L. Nielsen,+ H. T. Nguyen, M. Bæk, J. E. Bolding, O. Ø. Bahlke, S. E. G. Petersen, C. R. O. Bartling, K. Strømgaard, C. A. Olsen. Investigation of Carboxylic Acid Isosteres and Prodrugs for Inhibition of the Human SIRT5 Lysine Deacylase Enzyme. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2022, 61, e202115805. [ChemRxiv] (Hot Paper)

C. Moreno-Yruela, M. Bæk, F. Monda, C. A. Olsen. Chiral Posttranslational Modification to Lysine ε-Amino Groups. Acc. Chem. Res. 2022, 55, 1456–1466[ChemRxiv]

C. Moreno-Yruela,† D. Zhang,† W. Wei, M. Bæk, W. Liu, J. Gao, D. Dankova, A. L. Nielsen, J. E. Bolding, L. Yang, S. T. Jameson, J. Wong, C. A. Olsen,* Y. Zhao.* Class I Histone Deacetylases (HDAC1–3) are Histone Lysine Delactylases. Sci. Adv. 2022, 8, eabi6696.
Highlighted: UCPH Health Science, 19 January 2022
EurekAlert! 20 January 2022

C. Moreno-Yruela, M. Bæk, A.-E. Vrsanova, C. Schulte, H. M. Maric, C. A. Olsen. Hydroxamic Acid-Modified Peptide Microarrays for Profiling Isozyme-Selective Interactions and Inhibition of Histone Deacetylases. Nat. Commun. 2021, 12, 62.
Behind the Paper
UCPH Health Science, 19 January 2021

B. H. Gless, B. S. Bejder, F. Monda, M. S. Bojer, H. Ingmer, C. A. Olsen. Rearrangement of Thiodepsipeptides by S–N Acyl Shift Delivers Homodetic Autoinducing Peptides. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2021143, 10514.

B. H. Gless, M. S. Bojer, P. Peng, M. Baldry, H. Ingmer, C. A. Olsen. Identification of Autoinducing Thiodepsipeptides from Staphylococci Enabled by Native Chemical Ligation. Nat. Chem. 201911, 463–469.
Highlighted: News & Views Nat. Chem. 2019, 11, 398–399
Behind the Paper
UCPH Health Science, 10 May 2019
Dansk Kemi 100 (6), September, 2019

P. Martín-Gago, C. A. Olsen. Arylfluorosulfate-based Electrophiles for Covalent Protein Labeling: A New Addition to the Arsenal. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 201958, 957–966.

C. Moreno-Yruela, I. Galleano, A. S. Madsen, C. A. Olsen. Histone Deacetylase 11 is an ε-N-Myristoyllysine Hydrolase. Cell Chem. Biol. 201825, 849–856.
Highlighted: UCPH Health Science

N. Rajabi, M. Auth, K. R. Troelsen, M. Pannek, D. P. Bhatt, M. Fontenas, M. D. Hirschey, C. Steegborn, A. S. Madsen, C. A. Olsen. Mechanism-based Inhibitors of the Human Sirtuin 5 Deacylase: Structure–Activity Relationship, Biostructural, and Kinetic Insight. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 14836–14841.

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.

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
International Peptide Symposium, Brisbane, QLD, AUS, October 2023
Solid Phase 2023, Gold Coast, QLD, AUS, October 2023
International Conference on Medicinal Chemistry, Lille, France, July 2023
University of Colorado–Anschutz Medical Campus, Denver, CO, USA, March 2023
NYU Chemistry, New York, NY, December 2022
8th EuChemS Congress, Lisbon, Portugal, August 2022
FASEB Reversible Acetylation in Health and Disease, Puerto Rico, August 2022
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, April 2022
ACS National Meeting, San Diego, CA, USA, March 2022
1st MedChem Symposium, University of Copenhagen, February 2022
Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark, November 2021
National Cancer Institute, Frederick, MD, USA, October 2020 (webinar)
BRIDGE Program, Copenhagen, Denmark, August 2020 (webinar)
MolTag Lecture, Vienna, Austria, June 2020 (webinar)
Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany, November 2019
CNRS, Bordeaux, France, September 2019
13th Australian Peptide Conference, Port Douglas, Qld, AUS, September 2019
7th Annual Discovery Chemistry & Drug Design Congres, Berlin, June 2019 
7th Drug Discovery Innovation Programme, Frankfurt, Germany, April 2019
Bordeaux Foldamer Meeting, France, September 2018
Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark, June 2018
RIKEN, Tokyo, Japan, April 2018
EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland, February 2018.
Visions in Chemistry–Torkil Holm Symposium, Copenhagen, January 2018
EpiChemBio and Mutalig COST Meeting, Porto, Portugal, September 2017
Novabiochem 12th Chem. Biol. Peptides Conference, Durham, UK, Sep. 2017
Lundbeck A/S, Copenhagen, Denmark, August 2017
10th Peptoid Summit, Bekeley, CA, USA, August 2017
AsiaTIDES, Kyoto, Japan, February 2017
Karlsruher Institut Technologie (KIT), Germany, November 2016
FRIAS Lecture, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg, Germany, November 2016
Lecturer Pharmazie, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg, November 2016
3rd Freiburg Epigenetic Spring Meeting, Freiburg, Germany, April 2016
Advances in Peptide and Protein Chemistry, Pacifichem, HI, December 2015
Synthetic Modulators of PPIs, Pacifichem, Honolulu, HI, December 2015
University of Geneva, Switzerland, November 2015
COST Action Epichembio Meeting, Budapest, September 2015
German Pharmaceutical Society (DPhG) Meeting, Düsseldorf, September 2015
Peptoid Summit, Berkeley, CA, USA, August 2015
Danish Chemical Society Mini Symposium on Foldamers, June 2015
Singapore International Chemistry Conference SICC-8, Singapore, Dec 2014
Inaugural Professorship Lecture, University of Copenhagen, September 2014
International Symposium on Med Chem, Lisbon, Sept 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
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

Media and Outreach
Sustainable labs are climate-friendly and save money (UCPH Health Science, 3 Jan 2023; Ritzau)

You can feel this acid when you work out. Now it may help increase knowledge of cancer medicine (UCPH Health Science, 19 Jan 2022)

Researchers develop promising way to find new cancer drugs (UCPH Health Science, 19 Jan 2021)

Behind the Paper, January 2021, nature research community post

Researchers map communication between staphylococci (UCPH Health Science, 10 May)

Dansk Kemi, vol. 100, September 2019, Ny metode identificerer stafylokokkers signalmolekyler

Behind the Paper, April 2019, nature research community post


Vin & Videnskab, Copenhagen, February 2019.
Title: The 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry (for 300 non-scientists)

New enzyme discovery may help improve drugs against cancer, diabetes and obesity (2018UCPH Health Science, 25 July 2018BCN News, 2 August 2018BioWorld Science, 6 August 2018)

Interview in ChemistryViews regarding our publication in ChemMedChem (Fall 2014).

Participated in the DR2 TV program ”Danskernes Akademi” Fall 2011 (approx. 30.000 viewers).

Article in DTU-Avisen about the Lundbeck Group Leader project (December 2010).

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

Interview regarding my postdoc project at TSRI was published in the annual report of the Danish Research Council for Technology and Production Sciences (Fall 2008).

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