Jesper Svejstrup

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Jesper Qualmann Svejstrup
Born (1963-03-28) 28 March 1963 (age 60)
EducationLangkær Gymnasium & HF
Alma materAarhus University
  • EMBO Member (2003)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society (2009)
Scientific career
  • Francis Crick Institute
  • London Research Institute
  • Stanford University
  • Aarhus University

Jesper Qualmann Svejstrup (born 28 March 1963)[1][2][3] is a Danish biochemist and molecular biologist specialising in research on gene transcription and its interface with other DNA-associated processes, such as DNA repair, recombination and replication[4]. He is currently Professor and Deputy Head of Department for Research at Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at University of Copenhagen and a Visiting Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute in London.[5][6][7] He is also an Honorary Professor at University College London[2], Honorary Skou Professor at Aarhus University[8] and Adjunct Professor at University of Copenhagen[9].

Career and research

During his PhD, Svejstrup studied the molecular mechanism of DNA Topoisomerase|Topoisomerases, enzymes that remove the overwinding or underwinding of DNA. During this period, he discovered 'suicide substrates' for DNA topoisomerase I, which led to finding that the anti-tumour drug camptothecin specifically inhibits the re-Ligation (molecular biology)|ligation reaction of the enzyme[10].

After finishing his PhD in 1993, he moved to Stanford University to join the group led by Roger D. Kornberg|Roger Kornberg[7]. In Kornberg's laboratory, Svejstrup studied the General transcription factor|basal transcription factor TFIIH as well as the mediator complex.

In 1996, Svejstrup moved to the United Kingdom to establish his own group at the London Research Institute, funded by the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, which subsequently became known as Cancer Research UK. In 2016, his laboratory moved to the Francis Crick Institute in London.[7]

Awards and honours

Svejstrup was elected as a member of European Molecular Biology Organization|EMBO in 2003[11], a fellow of the Royal Society in 2009[2], a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (United Kingdom)|Academy of Medical Sciences in 2018[3], and a Foreign Member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters in 2016[12]. He serves on the Danish Council for Independent Research[13] and on the scientific council of the European Research Council[14].


  1. "Svejstrup, Dr Jesper Qualmann". UK Who's Who 2020. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U254932. Retrieved 29 July 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Jesper Svejstrup Royal Society". The Royal Society Fellows Directory. Retrieved 29 July 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Professor Jesper Svejstrup The Academy of Medical Sciences". Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  4. "Mechanisms of Transcription Laboratory". The Francis Crick Institute.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. Schou, Mette Kjær (22 August 2019). "Svejstrup Group". Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  6. "Internationally renowned researcher to return to Denmark after 27 years". 17 December 2020. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Jesper Svejstrup". Crick. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  8. [email protected]. "Honorary Skou Professors". Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  9. "Dr Jesper Svejstrup associated as Honorary Professor". University of Copenhagen. 11 February 2009. Retrieved 29 July 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. Svejstrup, Jesper Q.; Christiansen, Kent; Gromova, Irina I.; Andersen, Anni H.; Westergaard, Ole (December 1991). "New technique for uncoupling the cleavage and religation reactions of Eukaryotic Topoisomerase I." Journal of Molecular Biology. 222 (3): 669–678. doi:10.1016/0022-2836(91)90503-X.
  11. "Jesper Q Svejstrup - EMBO Member Profile". Retrieved 29 July 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. "Medlemmer | Royal Academy". Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  13. "Board of directors and five councils". Danmarks Frie Forskningsfond. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  14. "ERC President and Scientific Council". ERC: European Research Council. 2017-03-03. Retrieved 2020-07-29.

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