Metabolism and Molecular Pharmacology in the Clemmensen Group

The Clemmensen Group studies the biological regulation of body weight and aims at developing new therapeutic strategies that can correct obesity and its metabolic comorbidities.

Group photo of the Clemmensen Group
From left to right: Ronni Eg Sahl, Christoffer Clemmensen, Pablo Ranea Robles, Cecilie Vad Mathiesen, Vaida Juozaityté, Nicole Fadahunsi, Cláudia Gil, Nathalie Krauth, Alberte Wollesen Breum, Isabella Larsen, Nana Mathiesen, Trine Nicolaisen, Charlotte Sashi Aier Svendsen




The focus of the Clemmensen Group is to dissect key regulatory nodes of body weight biology. We are particularly invested in parsing the physiological and molecular mechanisms that protect against weight gain. Toward this goal, we have established rodent and human models of ‘experimental overfeeding’. Another major focus area of the group is to unravel the consequences of energy balance perturbations on neuroplasticity – with special emphasis on glutamatergic post-synaptic events in the hypothalamus.

Inspired and encouraged by our research in energy balance and neuroscience, we employ medicinal chemistry to engineer new drug candidates for the treatment of obesity and obesity-associated diseases. We utilize modified peptide hormones to deliver small molecules of interest to target cells, with the long-term aspiration to create new drugs that will lower the defended level of body fat. 







“Acute and long-term effects of psilocybin on energy balance and feeding behavior in mice”
Published in Translational Psychiatry in 2022 this article is the first to experimentally consider the potential for serotonin 2A receptor (5-HT2AR) targeting compounds for promoting long-lasting changes to neurocircuits important for feeding behavior and body weight regulation. This work was followed up by a 2022 perspectives article in Nature Reviews Endocrinology in which we propose that obesity could be the next frontier in psychedelic research.

“Pharmacological but not physiological GDF15 suppresses feeding and the motivation to exercise”
Published in Nature Communications in 2021 this work demonstrates key differences between exogenous and endogenous GDF15 on energy balance and behavior.

"The unidentified hormonal defense against weight gain"
Published in PloS Biology in 2020 this article gives an overview of the endocrine regulation of body weight and lays the foundation for the experimental work we do on this topic.



The Clemmensen Group is funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, The Lundbeck Foundation, The BioInnovation Institute, Independent Research Fund Denmark, The Danish Diabetes Academy, Copenhagen Bioscience PhD Programme and the European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes (EFSD).  




























Group Leader

Christoffer Clemmensen
Associate Professor

Phone: +45 22916333

Christoffer Clemmensen

Staff list

Name Title Phone E-mail
Alexopoulou, Flora External Postdoc   E-mail
Buch-Rasmussen, Alberte Silke Industrial PhD   E-mail
Clemmensen, Christoffer Associate Professor +4522916333 E-mail
Holm, Stephanie Kjærulff PhD Fellow   E-mail
Johansen, Valdemar Brimnes Ingemann Master Student   E-mail
Juozaityté, Vaida Special Consultant +4535336425 E-mail
Merrild, Christoffer Master Student   E-mail
Nielsen, Mathilde Balle Bachelor student   E-mail
Petersen, Jonas Odgaard Postdoc +4535328066 E-mail
Pregnolato, Chiara Trainee   E-mail
Ranea Robles, Pablo Postdoc   E-mail
Sager, Caroline Kragh Bachelor student   E-mail
Springborg, Emilie Caroline Bachelor student   E-mail
Svendsen, Charlotte Sashi Aier Laboratory Technician   E-mail
Vear, Anika Else Postdoc +4535328658 E-mail