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He combines computer science, physics, chemistry and biology

Jens Carlsson

Inspired by Dolly the sheep and genetically modified tomatoes, Jens Carlsson started his university studies in biotechnology. Now he is researching molecule interactions with applications to drug discovery.

Jens Carlsson is driven by the thrill of making new and unexpected discoveries or solving a challenging problem.

− For example, we often predict the outcomes of experiments and it is always very exciting when our computer models can predict the future, said Jens Carlsson.

The goal of his research is to improve atomic level understanding of protein-ligand interactions using computer models. By molecular dynamics simulations and virtual screening, his research group studies how small molecules interact with proteins and thereby modulate their function. The focus is primarily on pharmaceutically relevant membrane proteins such as G protein-coupled receptors.

− The most obvious application of our work is drug discovery. In the future I hope to develop strategies and ideas for drug discovery that will become widely used by the pharmaceutical industry.

Inspired by Dolly the sheep and genetically modified tomatoes, he started his university studies thinking that he would work with biotechnology.

− My master’s program was very cross-disciplinary and, towards the end, I felt that I wanted to work in a field where knowledge in computer science, physics, chemistry, and biology could be used together. Computational chemistry was the perfect combination of everything.

He completed his PhD studies at the department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Uppsala University and then spent two years at the University of California in San Francisco. After that, he started his research group at Stockholm University, where he has spent the last three years.

Jens Carlsson has been recruited as a SciLifeLab fellow and will officially start his employment at the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Uppsala University, in July 2015.

− I applied to become a SciLifeLab fellow because I think SciLifeLab has the potential to develop into a great research environment and it is an exciting opportunity to be part of it.

Short facts:

Name: Jens Carlsson.

Profession: Currently assistant professor at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Stockholm University.

Connection to SciLifeLab: SciLifeLab fellow at the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Uppsala University from July 2015.

Leisure activities/hobbies: Cooking and spending time with his family.

What you didn’t know about Jens Carlsson: About 20 years ago, he was a decent bowler and once scored the maximal 300 points in a bowling competition.

Research group
December 2014
Sara Engström