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Receptor Structure and Function
Provider: Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Activity no.: 3119-24-00-00 
Enrollment deadline: 01/04/2024
Date and time13.05.2024, at: 09:00 - 17.05.2024, at: 17:00
Regular seats14
Course fee12,360.00 kr.
LecturersJette Sandholm Kastrup
ECTS credits3.80
Contact personMarianne Wieslander Jørgensen    E-mail address: marianne.joergensen@sund.ku.dk
Enrolment Handling/Course OrganiserPhD administration     E-mail address: phdkursus@sund.ku.dk

Aim and content
This course is free of charge for PhD students at Danish universities (except Copenhagen Business School), and for PhD Students from NorDoc member faculties. All other participants must pay the course fee.

Anyone can apply for the course, but if you are not a PhD student at a Danish university, you will be placed on the waiting list until enrollment deadline. This also applies to PhD students from NorDoc member faculties. After the enrollment deadline, available seats will be allocated to applicants on the waiting list.

Learning objectives
A student who has met the objectives of the course will be able to:

1. relate the 3-dimensional structure of a receptor to its function as well as get insight on receptor-ligand interactions
2. understand some of the most important methods for studying receptor structure and pharmacology
3. find information on structure and function of receptors in various databases
4. validate the quality of 3-dimensional receptor structures
5. benefit from hands-on experience with crystallization of receptors, structure analysis and databases as well as on methods for studying function, pharmacology and biophysical characteristics of receptors

The objective of the course is to provide a basic knowledge on receptor structure and function and receptor-ligand interactions, and to give an introduction to the fields of molecular biology and 3-dimensional structure determination of receptors.

Cellular communication relies on receptor-ligand interactions. Receptors mediate physiological responses to e.g. hormones and neurotransmitters, and have a large potential as therapeutic targets. Most receptors are membrane proteins and might be challenging to work with. However, great progress has been made in the understanding of receptors, from pharmacology to functional characterization, and high-resolution structures have provided detailed insight into the molecular mechanisms of activation and interaction with ligands. The course will equip the student with a solid knowledge and understanding of receptors as well as on methods for studying receptors.

The lectures will cover:
• Introduction to receptors
• Functional characterization of receptors
• In vivo studies of receptors
• Expression, purification and crystallization of receptor proteins
• Protein crystallography and other methods in structural biology
• Validation of structures
• Bioinformatics and molecular modelling of receptors

The practicals will cover:
• Receptor pharmacology
• Electrophysiology and voltage-clamp fluorometry
• Receptor biophysical characterization (electron microscopy)
• Receptor crystallization
• Receptor-ligand interaction analysis
• Extraction of functional and structural information from databases

Student presentations:
• 7 min presentations of own research and 8 min of discussion/feedback

DRA lecture:
• Afternoon lecture with international speaker

The course is primarily offered to PhD students who have completed undergraduate courses in pharmacy, medicine, pharmacology, biochemistry, biology, chemistry, molecular biology or similar topics. In addition, the course is offered to researchers within the pharmaceutical industry.

Applicants enrolled in part-time master's programs at the University of Copenhagen may participate in the course.

Based on the course evaluation in 2023, 93% of the students would recommend this course to other students.

Relevance to graduate programmes
The course is relevant to PhD students from the following graduate programmes at the Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences, UCPH:

Pharmaceutical Sciences (Drug Research Academy)


The course is organized as a one-week course and comprises about 14 lectures, 8 hands-on workshops and short student presentations. The participants will be supplied with study material composed of lecture notes or selected scientific publications that can be downloaded from the course homepage (preparation hours 57).

Course director
Jette Sandholm Kastrup, Professor, Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, email: jsk@sund.ku.dk

Teachers are primarily from the University of Copenhagen. Also other national and international teachers.

May 13-17, 2024

Course location
Universitetsparken 2, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø

Please register before April 1 2024

Seats to PhD students from other Danish universities will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and according to the applicable rules.
Applications from other participants will be considered after the last day of enrolment.

Note: All applicants are asked to submit invoice details in case of no-show, late cancellation or obligation to pay the course fee (typically non-PhD students). If you are a PhD student, your participation in the course must be in agreement with your principal supervisor.

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