Project XI

Communication between osteoclasts and the extracellular matrix.

Henrik Löfvall

My name is Henrik and I come from Lund in Sweden. I have a bachelor and a master degree in biomedicine from Lund University. I graduated in 2014 after having done a master thesis at the Division of Molecular Medicine and Gene Therapy focused on the optimisation of a potential gene therapy treatment against infantile malignant osteopetrosis (IMO), a rare and fatal genetic disorder in which the osteoclasts are unable to resorb bone and the patients have an excess amount of bone.

When I'm not busy with osteoclasts I like to spend my time composing music, playing the piano, the organ or the cello, and reading.

Since July 2014, I travel daily by train across the strait Öresund that separates Sweden and Denmark to work as an Early Stage Researcher at Nordic Bioscience in Herlev, Denmark. You can email me at: hlo@nordicbioscience.com

Kim Henriksen

I have a biochemistry degree from the University of Copenhagen and a PhD in cell biology from the University of Copenhagen. I have been working with different aspects of osteoclasts since I started my master project in 1999, which has resulted in the publication of 50 peer-reviewed papers on this subject.

I am presently head of the musculoskeletal disease unit at Nordic Bioscience, which has its focus on developing inhibitors of the osteoclastic chloride transporter ClC-7 for therapeutic use in osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, in addition to understanding the consequences of inhibition of ClC-7 on the skeleton at a more basal biology level, i.e. studies of patients and mice with defective acid secretion.

My spare time: I spend most of it with my family, but I try to find time for mountain biking and running as well. You can email me at: kh@nordicbioscience.com


Our Project

Bone resorption by osteoclasts and bone formation by osteoblasts are coupled processes that are highly dependent on one another and are crucial for skeleton homeostasis. We are investigating how osteoclasts communicate with the osteoblasts in order to regulate the formation of bone. Our aim is to improve the understanding of how the osteoclasts and bone resorption regulate bone formation via various coupling factors.

In order to achieve this goal we will selectively manipulate parts of the osteoclast resorption machinery and thus alter the osteoclasts’ ability to resorb bone, what factors the osteoclasts secrete and what by-products remain after bone resorption and subsequently analyse any changes in bone formation, bone structure and bone mass. The knowledge acquired through this project could ultimately prove useful for the development of novel therapeutics against diseases such as osteoporosis that focus on increasing bone formation and strengthening the weakened bone instead of primarily decreasing bone resorption which only prevents disease progression.

Additionally, an ongoing collaboration between Lund University in Lund, Sweden and our team at Nordic Bioscience aimed at developing a gene therapy treatment against infantile malignant osteopetrosis (IMO) will also be part of our Euroclast project. This part of the project could potentially provide a new treatment option for patients with IMO as well as explore the possibilities of modifying osteoclast functions in disease by altering the genetics of osteoclasts.

Our postal address:
Herlev Hovedgade 207
DK-2730 Herlev, Denmark
nordicbioscience.com

Henrik Löfvall and Kim Henriksen

Henrik Löfvall and Kim Henriksen