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Personal profile


University Address

Nucleic Acid Center
Department of Physics and Chemistry
University of Southern Denmark, Odense
Campusvej 55
DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark
Tel. +45 6550 2510
Fax. +45 6615 8780
E-mail: jwe@sdu.dk

University Education:

Cand. scient.: Odense University (Chemistry/Biology; December 1988)
Ph.D.: Odense University (January 1992): "Synthesis of 2',3'-Dideoxynucleoside Analogues with Potential Activity against HIV"

Research Fellow: Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Colorado, USA (October 1990 - June 1991)

Assistant Professor: In organic chemistry at Department of Chemistry, Odense University (September 1991 - March 1994)

Associate Professor: In organic chemistry at Department of Chemistry, Odense University (April 1994 - September 1996)

Professor In bioorganic chemistry at Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen (October 1996 - July 2000)
In organic chemistry at Department of Chemistry, University of Southern Denmark, Odense (August 2000 -)

Present Research:
Bioorganic chemistry; nucleic acid biotechnology; Nanobioscience

Editorial Board Member:
Oligonucleotides (Mary Ann Liebert). Artificial DNA: PNA & XNA (Landes BioScience)

Author or co-author of >400 research papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. H-Index = 57; Citations > 15.200 (SCI: Wengel J*; first publication in 1989)

Lectures and Seminars:
More than 120 invited lectures and seminars have been presented during the last 10 years in Denmark and abroad

IPR and Innovation:
Inventor or co-inventor on more than ten patents and patent applications. Co-inventor of the LNA (Locked Nucleic Acid) technology that forms the basis of the business activities of the companies Exiqon A/S (~60 employees) and Santaris Pharma A/S (~70 employees). Co-founder (2006) of RiboTask ApS.

Honors and Awards:
- Elected member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters;
- Elected member of the Danish Academy of Natural Sciences;
- Elected member of the Danish Academy of Technical Sciences;
- Natural Science Faculty Teaching Award, Odense University, 1995;
- Bjerrum-Brøndsted-Lang Lecturer, 1997;
- Parker-Davis Lecturer, Ohio State University, 2000;
- Biochemistry Teaching Award, University of Copenhagen, 2000;
- The Bjerrum Chemistry Award, 2001;
- The Lundbeck Foundation's Research Prize for Young Researchers, 2002;
- The Danish Academy of Natural Sciences Industry Award, 2002;
- The UCB Award for Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry 2004;
- Villum Kann Rasmussen Grant for Technical Research 2005;
- OBC Lecture Award Winner 2006;
- The Danish Association of Masters and PhD Research Award 2007;
- The Ib Henriksen Foundation Research Award 2008

Major Research Funding since 2001: 

ERC Advanced Grant
- EVOLNA – Evolution of LNA-based Aptamers (2011-2016; 2.5 mio. €).

International Funds – Partner in EU projects, local PI
- Pharmaco-Gene (LSHB-CT-2007-037283) - Design of Targeted Gene Pharmaceutics Using Self-assembling Functional Entities (2007-2010; 0.43 mio. € share of funding);
- RIGHT (LSHB-CT-2004-005276) - RNA Interference Technology as Human Therapeutic Tool (2005-2008; 0.74 mio. € share of funding);
- NAC-DRUG (MEST-CT-2004-504018) - Nucleic Acid Based Drug Design Training Center (2004-2008; 1.65 mio. €);

Public Danish Funds – Center Director and PI
- The Danish National Research Foundation: “Nucleic Acid Center” (2001-2011; 9.0 mio. €)

Private Danish Funds – PI 
- The Biomolecular Nanoscale Engineering Center (2012-2022; 60 mio. DKK) – A VKR Center of Excellence funded by the Villum Foundation

- VKR Fonden: “Electronic Properties of DNA-Based Molecules - Single Molecule Nanoscience” (2007-2010; 1.06 mio. €);
- Lundbeckfonden: “NanoCan Center - Nanomedicine research center for cancer stem cell targeting therapeutics” (2009-2014; 0.70 mio. € share of funding)

- Member of the board, Department of Chemistry, Odense University (1991-1992 and 1996)
- Member of the board, The Danish Chemical Society: Organic Chemistry Section (1997-2000); Chairman of the board (1999-2000)
- Chairman of the board, Chemical Laboratory II, Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen (1998-2000)
- Director of the Nucleic Acid Center funded by the Danish National Research Foundation (2001-)
- Chairman of the board, RiboTask ApS (2006-)
- Member of the Leadership Group, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Southern Denmark (2006-)
- Chairman of the research strategy board, Science Faculty, University of Southern Denmark (2011-)

Research areas

  • Organic chemistry
  • Bioorganic chemistry
  • Nucleic acids
  • Nano chemistry
  • Nanobioscience
  • LNA


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