Steffen Sinning's Lab

Steffen Sinning's Lab

  • Department of Forensic Medicine, Aarhus University, located at Aarhus University Hospital

The Department of Forensic Medicine performs research in basic molecular mechanisms associated with drug of abuse and medications targeting the brain. In Steffen Sinning’s lab we are using a variety of techniques from molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics and pharmacology to investigate how drugs, regulatory proteins and lipids modulate the function of key proteins in depression and addiction.

Our research is performed in collaboration with research groups at DANDRITE (AU), Translational Neuropsychiatry Unit (TNU), Yale University and New York University

The main focus of the Sinning lab is on molecular neuropharmacology, in particular how drugs of abuse and experimental antidepressants interact with target proteins (transporters and receptors) in the serotonergic and dopaminergic pathways. Specifically, we are interested in:

  • ­How new psychoactive substances (designer drugs) related to amphetamines affect targets of the serotonergic, dopaminergic and norepinephergic pathways
  • How we can use photopharmacology to develop new tools and treatments for depression
  • How lipid-membrane protein interactions modulate the function and pharmacology of key drug targets in depression and addiction
  • How regulatory proteins interact with and modulate monoamine transporter trafficking to and from the cell surface    

Research focus

  • Depression
  • Antidepressants
  • Addiction
  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamine
  • Photopharmacology
  • Lipids
  • Transporter
  • Receptor
  • Serotonin
  • Dopamine
  • Norepinephrine
  • Protein-protein interactions
  • Membrane protein    


  • Molecular cloning in GMO-lab Class I
  • Mammalian cell culture in dedicated cell laboratory
  • Fluorescence-based and isotope-based activity assays of membrane proteins in dedicated isotope lab using advanced plate reader technologies
  • Lipid-membrane protein interactions using advanced mass spectrometry techniques
  • Protein-protein interaction studies using Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer    


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