Barbara Ann Halkier

Plant specialized metabolism

As organic chemists par excellence, plants produce an amazing array of diverse metabolites and the unique natural products (also called specialized metabolites) are essential for plant fitness and survival. Our research focuses on plant specialized metabolites with the goal to gain understanding of pathway orchestration, transport processes from site of synthesis to storage and the role of specialized metabolites in the communication and interaction with other organisms in the surroundings. As model compounds we use the glucosinolates that function as defense compounds, signaling cues as well as nutritional factors. The gained knowledge is applied in pathway and transport engineering to increase plant disease resistance, remove anti-nutritional compounds in e.g. seed meal, and to promote human health.

Since 2012, Professor Barbara Ann Halkier is Head of DynaMo Center of Excellence. In DynaMo, we seek to understand the dynamics of molecular processes that enable a plant to coordinate growth and survival in the everchanging environment, using glucosinolates in Arabidopsis as model system.

Research topics





Deyang Xu, Assistant Professor
Niels Christian Holm Sanden, Postdoc
Line Lykke Hansen, PhD student
Michal Poborsky, PhD student 
William Thomas Wajn, PhD student 
Laura Dethier, PhD student
Christos Theodorou, PhD student
Lasse Meyer, Research assistant
Christoph Crocoll, Facility Manager
Louise Svenningsen, Laboratory Technician
Ydun Kalsbeek-Hansen, MSc student
Guanhua Liang, MSc student
Marlene Niedermayer, MSc student (Erasmus)



DynaMo Center of Excellence, Danish National Research Foundation: January 2012 - June 2022

Industrial Biotechnology and Environmental Biotechnology, Novo Nordisk Foundation: February 2021 -   January 2024 (3 mill.)

Distinguished Investigator, Novo Nordisk Foundation: February 2021 - January 2026 (10 mill.)

Villum Investigator, Velux Foundation: July 2021 - June 2027 (30 mill.)