Welcome to Henrik - new PhD student at DynaMo! – University of Copenhagen

05 April 2018

Welcome to Henrik - new PhD student at DynaMo!


Henrik Munk Frisenvang commenced a PhD project on Protein complexes in regulation of biological processes in the DynaMo Center 15 December 2017.

Henrik i lab

From plants to vaccines and back to plants

Henrik M. Frisenvang graduated from the MSc Biology-Biotechnology Program at the University of Copenhagen in December 2015.

In his bachelor Henrik worked with discovery of plant pathways producing high-value compounds. In his master project he went on to work at expression of these plant pathways in photosynthetic hosts for production.

After graduating from the MSc Biology-Biotechnology, Henrik worked at Statens Serum Institute investigating chemical contamination leaching from production materials into vaccines.

In December 2017 Henrik Frisenvang began a 3-year PhD position at the DynaMo Center.

Intrinsically disordered proteins

At DynaMo Henrik will study how intrinsically disordered proteins play a role in regulation.

The common paradigm in protein science is that proteins exert their function through their 3D structure. However, proteins without any stable 3D structure have been found to play major roles in the cell. These are called intrinsically disordered proteins.

What makes intrinsically disordered proteins interesting is that despite their lack of structure and highly dynamic nature they still have function, often through their specific binding to other proteins.

In the model plant in Arabidopsis thaliana, two small, membrane-anchored proteins have been found to interact with transcription factors that are predicted to be intrinsically disordered and control plant defense.

Unravelling the role of intrinsically disordered proteins in plant defense regulation

Henrik explains:

“Proteins are the functional components of living systems and a key requirement for their function is often the ability to specifically interact with other proteins. Thus, in order to better understand living systems we need to increase our knowledge on how proteins interact. I find the intrinsically disordered proteins fascinating as they may interact in new ways, not seen for the more structured proteins”.

Henriks PhD supervisor is DynaMo partner Associate Professor Meike Burow.