Henrik Toft Simonsen

Henrik Toft Simonsen

Department: ,

Position: Supervisor for ESR3, Department of Systems Biology, Technical University of Denmark

Email: hets@dtu.dk

Supervisor for ESR3 – Domesticating deadly carrots. Predicting the biosynthetic pathway of Thapsigargins for the treatment of solid tumours.

Associate Professor in Plant Biochemistry and Phytochemistry

The aim of my research group is to study the biosynthesis of sesquiterpenoids. We mainly study the specific biosynthesis of valuable sesquiterpenoids such as patchoulol, thapsigargin and others. We also aim to construct a physcomitrella (moss) that can produce high amount of our desired sesquiterpenoids, and this has led to study how we can enhance the use of green cells as chemical factories.

My interest is sesquiterpenoids from the plant family Apiaceae, and especially sesquiterpenoid lactones. This includes the high value compound thapsigargin, which biosynthesis we are working on elucidating. Simultaneously we aim at engineering moss into a green cell factory with the same potential as yeast.

I am currently involved in several projects including www.spotlight.ku.dk, www.medplant.eu, www.drugtissuecult.eu and a project with the company Firmenich with whom we recently filed a patent on production of valuable terpenoids in moss. Within Medplant I’m the main supervisor of ESR3, and co-supervising ESR4 and ESR5. ESR3 will perform the main part of the studies in my lab, but also work closely with our collaborators.

Publication list: http://scholar.google.dk/citations?user=Jk3IrQgAAAAJ

Orcid profil: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3070-807

Selected publications

1. Guaianolides in apiaceae: Perspectives on pharmacology and biosynthesis
Drew, D. P., Krichau, N., Reichwald, K. & Simonsen, H. T. 2009 In : Phytochemistry Reviews. 8, 3, p. 581-599 19 p.

2. Perspectives on using Physcomitrella Patens as an alternative production platform for Thapsigargin and other Terpenoid drug candidates
Simonsen, H. T., Drew, D. P. & Lunde, C. 2009 In : Perspectives in Medicinal Chemistry. 3, p. 1-6 6 p.

3. Identification and characterization of a kunzeaol synthase from Thapsia garganica: implications for the biosynthesis of the pharmaceutical thapsigargin
Pickel, B., Drew, D. P., Manczak, T., Weitzel, C., Simonsen, H. T. & Ro, D-K. 2012 In : Biochemical Journal. 448, 2, p. 261-271 11 p.

4. Transcriptome analysis of Thapsia laciniata rouy provides insights into terpenoid biosynthesis and diversity in apiaceae
Drew, D. P., Dueholm, B., Weitzel, C., Zhang, Y., Sensen, C. W. & Simonsen, H. T. 2013 In : International Journal of Molecular Sciences (Online). 14, 5, p. 9080-9098 19 p.