Agnete Kirkeby – University of Copenhagen

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Agnete Kirkeby

Associate Professor of Stem Cell Biology

Link to the Kirkeby Laboratory Homepage

Research Profile

Agnete Kirkeby has founded her research on applying human pluripotent stem cells to generate subtype-specific neural cells for developmental studies and regenerative therapy. During her time at Lund University, Agnete has been heavily involved in developing protocols for producing dopaminergic progenitor cells as a cell therapy for Parkinson’s Disease patients – a project which is currently in translation to the clinic. Moreover, Agnete has focused on producing novel tools for studying human neural development through modelling of neural tube patterning with microfluidic morphogenic gradients. The main focus of Agnete Kirkeby’s group is to use these 3D in vitro models of human brain development to map and understand human neural subtype specification and maturation.

Curriculum Vitae

2017:  Group leader, Associate Prof., Danish Stem Cell Center, University of Copenhagen

2015-2017: Group leader, Research Scientist, Medical Faculty, Lund University, Sweden

2009-2015: Postdoc/Research scientist, Lund University, Dept. Developmental and Regenerative Neurobiology. (Malin Parmar group), Lund University, Sweden

2006-2009: Ph.D in Neurobiology, Performed at Sloan Kettering Institute, New York and H. Lundbeck A/S. Title: Studying the effects of low oxygen on stem cells. PhD Institution: Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Supervisors: Prof. Jan Sap and Dr. Lorenz Studer. Doctoral degree obtained Sept. 2009. 

2003-2006: MSc in Human Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Masters project performed at H. Lundbeck A/S.

2000-2003: BSc in Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark 

Selected publications

Nolbrant S, Heuer A, Parmar M, and Kirkeby A. Generation of high-purity ventral midbrain dopaminergic progenitor cultures for in vitro maturation and intracerebral transplantation. Nature Protocols, 2017 Sep; 12(9): 1962-7

Kirkeby, Agnete, Sara Nolbrant, Katarina Tiklova, Andreas Heuer, Nigel Kee, Tiago Cardoso, Daniella Rylander Ottosson, Mariah J. Lelos, Pedro Rifes, Stephen B. Dunnett, Shane Grealish, Thomas Perlmann & Malin Parmar Predictive Markers Guide Differentiation to Improve Graft Outcome in Clinical Translation of hESC-Based Therapy for Parkinson's Disease. Cell Stem Cell, 20(1), 135-148, doi:10.1016/j.stem.2016.09.004.

Kee, Nigel, Nikolaos Volakakis, Agnete Kirkeby, Lina Dahl, Helena Storvall, Sara Nolbrant, Laura Lahti, Åsa K. Björklund, Linda Gillberg, Eliza Joodmardi, Rickard Sandberg, Malin Parmar & Thomas Perlmann (2017). Single-Cell Analysis Reveals a Close Relationship between Differentiating Dopamine and Subthalamic Nucleus Neuronal Lineages. Cell Stem Cell, 20(1), 29-40, doi:10.1016/j.stem.2016.10.003.

Kirkeby, Agnete, Malin Parmar & Roger A. Barker (2017). Strategies for bringing stem cell-derived dopamine neurons to the clinic: A European approach (STEM-PD). Progress in Brain Research, book series: Functional Neural Transplantation – IV, Elsevier, doi: 10.1016/bs.pbr.2016.11.011.

Grealish, Shane, Elsa Diguet, Agnete Kirkeby, Bengt Mattsson, Andreas Heuer, Yann Bramoulle, Nadja Van Camp, Anselme L Perrier, Philippe Hantraye, Anders Björklund & Malin Parmar (2014). Human ESC-Derived Dopamine Neurons Show Similar Preclinical Efficacy and Potency to Fetal Neurons when Grafted in a Rat Model of Parkinson’s Disease. Cell Stem Cell, 15(5), 653-665, doi:10.1016/j.stem.2014.09.017.

Kirkeby, Agnete, Shane Grealish, Daniel A Wolf, Jenny Nelander, James Wood, Martin Lundblad, Olle Lindvall & Malin Parmar (2012). Generation of Regionally Specified Neural Progenitors and Functional Neurons from Human Embryonic Stem Cells under Defined Conditions. Cell Reports, 1(6), 703-714, doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2012.04.009.

Pfisterer, Ulrich*, Agnete Kirkeby*, Olof Torper*, James Wood, Jenny Nelander, Audrey Dufour, Anders Björklund, Olle Lindvall, Johan Jakobsson & Malin Parmar (2011). Direct conversion of human fibroblasts to dopaminergic neurons. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(25), 10343-10348, doi:10.1073/pnas.1105135108. *contributed equally