Samuel Hjorth-Jensen

I grew up in Pittsworth, a small country town in Queensland, Australia. Growing up in Australia has provided me with a love of the outdoors – I enjoy being in the sun while kayaking, hiking or swimming in the ocean. Education wise, I have completed a Bachelor degree in Exercise Science from James Cook University in tropical far-north Queensland, as well as a Postgraduate Diploma of Biotechnology and a Masters Degree in Applied Science (Research) from Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane. My Masters was about investigating the protein cross-linking activity of the transglutaminase class of enzymes. In my free time here, I enjoy playing guitar and experimenting in the kitchen.

University of AARHUs

start date | 01/09/2017

supervisor | Poul Nissen 


Crystallographic investigations of the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase:
towards neutron, time-resolved, and novel
inhibitor structures

His research object is the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA), a membrane protein that transports calcium and that is known to be implicated in several diseases such as Parkinson’s and metabolic syndrome. Furthermore, blocking the calcium pump appears to be a promising strategy to kill drug-resistant cancer cells. Samuel Hjorth-Jensen investigated the application of neutron and time-resolved crystallography techniques to the pump, aiming to gain new insight into the molecular mechanism of its activity. Structural studies were also performed to elucidate the binding of a new type of calcium pump inhibitors that can be regulated by light exposure. The results of these studies contribute to the development of a new class of calcium pump inhibitors which may provide future therapeutic benefit, as well as providing a foundation for further investigations into the mechanism of the calcium pump.

Original project advert

Skills & Expertise

#protein crystallization

#Protein crystallography

#Structural biology

#membrane proteins


AstraZeneca (Sweden), January 2020

Université Grenoble Alpes (France), August 2019

European Spallation Source (Sweden), October 2018

Workshops & conferences

HALOS Annual Meeting in Hamburg, February 2020

British Crystallographic Association | Spring Meeting in Nottingham, April 2019

Novo Nordisk Symposium (Denmark), November 2018

MAX4ESSFUN Summer school | Data collection and structure determination in macromolecular crystallography in Aarhus, July 2018

Outreach activities

Samuel has not just been doing research, he has also been involved in science communication activities to engage citizens with science.

Performing school visits to the Aarhus Academy for Global Education (AAGE) | March & May 2019

Blogging about science and PhD life| see all blogposts from Samuel: Portrait, First scientific publication on producing large SERCA crystals, Two months secondment at IBS, in Grenoble, Final sprint: Overcoming whatever challenge stands in your way

Participating to the event “Crystals made of tears: from misery to cheer” at The Devereux pub in central London | July 2019

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