Henriette Elisabeth Autzen

Henriette Elisabeth Autzen

Associate Professor

I am passionate about membrane protein structural biology, and specialize in a palette of techniques ranging from molecular dynamics simulations to protein crystallization and single-particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM).

My interest in membrane proteins began during my undergraduate and master studies in the lab of Birgit Schiøtt at Aarhus University (DK) where I studied binding of different alkaloids to the serotonin transporter using molecular modelling. From the computer, I ventured across campus, and into the wet lab to learn membrane protein biochemistry and crystallography in Poul Nissen’s lab where I worked on elucidating the structure and function of select P-type ATPases. After earning my Ph.D. early 2015, I continued to characterize P-type ATPases and their lipid dependency for another year as a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Pontus Gourdon, Copenhagen University.

In the beginning of 2016, I moved to San Francisco to work with Yifan Cheng at University of California, San Francisco to learn single-particle cryo-EM to improve our understanding of TRPM ion channels. At UCSF, my interest in developing new strategies for preparing membrane proteins in native membranes for structural and functional characterization was also sparked.

Current research

The research in my lab is centered on advancing our understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying taste signalling by single-particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and complimentary biophysical and biochemical methods. As a major bottleneck in membrane protein biochemistry is sample preparation, I aim to extend our understanding beyond the ion channels and receptors, by developing membrane protein isolation approaches to facilitate native-like conditions for membrane proteins outside their home environment.

Read more about my lab here: www.autzenlab.com

Primary fields of research

  • Membrane protein structure and function
  • Single particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM)
  • Development of amphiphilic copolymers for native nanodiscs
  • Taste signalling
  • Lipid-protein interactions


Lecturer in the courses:

Selected publications

  1. Membrane mimetic systems in Cryo-EM: keeping membrane proteins in their native environment

    Autzen, Henriette Elisabeth, Julius, D. & Cheng, Y., 2019, In: Current Opinion in Structural Biology. 58, p. 259-268

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  2. Structure of the human TRPM4 ion channel in a lipid nanodisc

    Autzen, Henriette Elisabeth, Myasnikov, A. G., Campbell, M. G., Asarnow, D., Julius, D. & Cheng, Y., 2018, In: Science. 359, 6372, p. 228-232 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  3. Controlling styrene maleic acid lipid particles through RAFT

    Smith, A. A. A., Autzen, Henriette Elisabeth, Laursen, Tomas, Wu, V., Yen, M., Hall, A., Hansen, S. D., Cheng, Y. & Xu, T., 2017, In: Biomacromolecules. 18, 11, p. 3706-3713 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

ID: 128183721