Staff – University of Copenhagen

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Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology > Staff

Jens Christian Rekling

Jens Christian Rekling

Associate Professor

Graduated as a Medical Doctor in 1988, and finished a Medical Doctorate (dr.med. or DMSci) in Neuroscience in 1999, and currently holds a position as Associate Professor at the Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology at the Faculty of Health Sciences, Copenhagen University.

Primary fields of research

My scientific work has been focused on cellular and systems neurophysiology - in particular the electrophysiology of brainstem neurons. My main research interest is understanding how small assemblies of neurons produce motor behavior, and how this behavior is modified by neuropeptides and other neuroactive compounds. At Copenhagen University I uncovered the electrophysiological properties of several important brainstem neurons and described the effect of TRH and met-enkephalin. At C.N.R.S, in Paris, I studied respiratory neurons, and identified a particular neuron type, which is remains the most likely candidate for generating inspiratory rhythm. At UCLA I performed studies to further support the group-pacemaker hypothesis for respiratory rhythm generation, and also studied properties of other brainstem neurons. At H. Lundbeck A/S I developed a number of cellular models for neurological diseases. Upon returning to Copenhagen University I continued work on the brainstem respiratory system, and launched a new research program studying the function of the olivocerebellar system. My overall goal for the future is to understand simple motor or sensory behaviors from the cellular to the network level, and plan to reach this goal by applying the latest electrical and optical recording methods.

Teaching

1990: Lecture at the School of Medicine, Copenhagen University. 'Synaptic transmission'.
1991: Lecture at 'Course in basic electrophysiological techniques'. Copenhagen University.
1992: Lecture at the School of Medicine, Copenhagen University. 'Electrophysiological actions of neuropeptides'
1993: Double lecture at the School of Medicine, Copenhagen University. 'Synaptic transmission'.
1998: Molecular and cellular mechanisms of neural integration (PhySci-M210). S98. Two hours teaching for graduate students. UCLA-Dept. Physiol. Science.
1998: Principal coordinator and Lecturer in PhySci-3 “Introduction to Human Physiology”. 28 lectures all given by J.C. Rekling (several multimedia presentations - A.D.A.M. Interactive Physiology bundle - 600 powerpoint slides, 100 pages of notes, 224 overheads prepared). Presentation of integrative approach to basic anatomy and physiology of major organs and organ systems. 20 office hours with individual tutering. Preparing all questions and grading midterm and final exam. UCLA-Dept. Physiol. Science.
2000: Principal coordinator and Lecturer in course “Basal neurobiologi. Synaptisk transmission”. H. Lundbeck A/S. 2 full lectures.
2000 and 2001: Double lecture: 'CNS sygdomme og Lundbeck's produkter I. Depression og angst ’ and  'CNS sygdomme og Lundbeck's produkter II. Skizofreni og neurologiske sygdomme.' H.Lundbeck A/S.Repeated 3 times over the period.
2002-: Censor at Organkursus I (neurophysiology). School of Medicine, Copenhagen University.
2003: Lecture at the School of Medicine, Copenhagen University, Ph.D. course in integrative neurobiology, ‘Analysis of the respiratory network in in vitro preparations’.
2005-: Associate Professor (Lektor) at Dept. Medical Physiology. Aprox. 275 hours (UAT) of teaching per semester in Neuroscience-related subjects.

Current research

The aim of the research is to understand how neurons in small assemblies interact to produce sensory and motor functions in the brain. A variety of electrophysiological and optical techniques are used to study living neurons in preparations of nervous tissue that maintain functional sensori-motor systems under in vitro conditions. We seek to answer fundamental questions such as: What neural microcircuit mechanisms in the brainstem are involved in generating breathing movements? How do sensory and motor systems produce precision movements? What developmental processes are involved in specifying functional microcircuits? Ultimately we wish to contribute to an understanding of how brain function emerges from network interactions between individual neurons.

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