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Aarhus University has a new Doctor of Medical Science in immunology

Thomas Vorup-Jensen has just defended his higher doctoral dissertation on the molecular mechanisms of the immune system. The dissertation opens up for a better understanding of the mechanisms that contribute to disease and the diagnosis of diseases related to the immune system.

An increasing number of patients are affected by chronic infections. Thomas Vorup-Jensen’s doctoral dissertation attempts to clarify basic mechanisms in the immune system and the causes of the infection. His research has focused on the treatment of multiple sclerosis and the immune system's response to arthritis.

"Treatment of diseases with chronic inflammation can today be carried out by blocking the binding of certain proteins to their targets – in particular proteins on the surface of cells in the immune system. Proteins in the immune system can also bind to nanoparticles, which can e.g. ruin the effect of certain types of nanomedicine," explains Thomas Vorup-Jensen.

He stresses that more knowledge about the binding mechanisms is therefore central to designing better drugs to treat patients.

Better opportunities for diagnosing

According to Thomas Vorup-Jensen relatively simple biophysical methods that are used in the analysis of patient samples can provide new knowledge about how the structure of proteins are altered. An alteration that happens as part of the activation of the immune system.

"By identifying the mechanisms that cause infections at the molecular level, we give ourselves better opportunities for diagnosing and in the long term improving the treatment of diseases which are related to the immune system," he says.

Thomas Vorup-Jensen has previously been employed as a Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School in Boston and now lives in Aarhus, where he is employed at Aarhus University. He is a member of the Learned Society of Aarhus and the American Association for Immunology. In his leisure time he is a member of the board of Aarhus Music Association and an active singer in the choir Notakoret.

His defence of the doctoral dissertation takes place on Friday 5 September 2014 at Aarhus University. The title of his dissertation is: "On the roles of polyvalent binding in immune recognition: perspectives in the nanoscience of immunology and the immune response to nanomedicines."

Further information

Professor Thomas Vorup-Jensen
Aarhus University, Department of Biomedicine
Direct tel.: +45 8716 7853
Mobile: +45 2148 9781