Muscle growth and metabolism

Our research focus areas currently include proteins and topics which are often studied in collaboration with members of the other research groups in the section.


  • Identifying and characterizing novel phospho- and redox signaling proteins in the contexts of acute and chronic exercise adaptation, insulin resistance and anabolic resistance. We strive to study cell signaling from the global proteomic level to the subcellular compartmentalized level.
  • Regulation of muscle GLUT4 translocation and glucose uptake by exercise and insulin-stimulation in heath and disease.
  • Regulation of muscle hypertrophy and atrophy by exercise and disuse.
  • Cancer-associated muscle wasting (cachexia) and its cross-talk with insulin action.





Skeletal muscle, comprising ~40% of human body mass, is necessary for locomotion, a major site of macronutrient storage and metabolism. Inactivity, nutrient excess and ageing adversely affect skeletal muscle function and share several overlapping pathological traits. These include changes in the extracellular matrix (ECM) , oxidative stress, low-grade inflammation and  intracellular disturbances in protein, organelle and redox-homeostasis. Within skeletal muscle fibers, the predominant cell type of skeletal muscle tissue, the above factors have all been linked to impaired metabolism (e.g. insulin resistance) and decreased maintenance of muscle mass/strength.

Regular exercise is among the most powerful interventions to curb these muscular calamities. Intriguingly, apart from improving muscle fiber function itself, these interventions also stimulate beneficial adaptations in other cell types within the muscle tissue and throughout the body through the release of para/endocrine signals in the form of myokines and/or exosomes from the muscle fibers and other cell types.

The goal of our research is to identify the molecular mechanisms causing muscle dysfunction in different contexts and how physical activity impacts on these. To accomplish this, we work in experimental systems ranging from cell culture to mouse models to the intact human. In these, we apply state-of-the-art methods ranging from global omics-methods to classical biochemistry, transgenic muscles and advanced microscopy of in vivo transfected biosensors.



We are always looking for bright, highly motivated people to join our team. Our lab has a mix of Danish and foreign people, so the working language is English. If you are interested in working with us, please contact Thomas or Erik

  • Potential PhD students from abroad: Please be aware of the possibility of becoming a double-degree PhD student (partial funding from the University of Copenhagen and a degree from both your home University and the University of Copenhagen in the end). Conditions can be viewed here.
  • Potential post docs: No open positions but we may be interested in co-applying for research funding if you want to join our lab.


The research group has three groups

Members of research group

Name Title Phone E-mail
Carlos Henriquez Olguín Postdoc   E-mail
Erik A. Richter Professor +4535321626 E-mail
Jonas Roland Knudsen Postdoc   E-mail
Kaspar Wredstrøm Persson PhD Fellow +4535320305 E-mail
Louise Slot Christiansen Postdoc +4535324818 E-mail
Lykke Sylow Visiting Associate Professor +4535321767 E-mail
Maximilian Kleinert Assistant Professor +4535321769 E-mail
Roberto Andrés Meneses Valdés PhD Student   E-mail
Samantha Gallero San Martin Guest Researcher   E-mail
Thomas Elbenhardt Jensen Associate Professor +4535321757 E-mail


Muscle growth and metabolism Associate Professor Thomas Elbenhardt Jensen
Molecular Metabolism in Cancer and Ageing
Associate Professor Lykke Sylow
Muscle Glucose Metabolism
Professor Erik A. Richter