Centre for Membrane Pumps in Cells and Disease (PUMPKIN)

The Centre for Membrane Pumps in Cells and Disease (PUMPKIN) focuses on the structure and function of P-type ATPases – a large family of membrane pumps found in all forms of life. The center builds on a long-standing research tradition following the initial findings and break-through studies on the sodium-potassium pump by Nobel laureate Jens Chr. Skou.

PUMPKIN integrates several approaches ranging from molecular to physiological studies – structure-function studies of pumps lead to new ideas of their role in systems biology and physiology, while disease-oriented research inquires the pathophysiology of ion pumps at a molecular level. A major breakthrough was obtained in December 2007 with three parallel publications and a cover feature in the journal Nature on structure and function of the sodium-potassium pump, the calcium pump, and the proton pump.

Entrepeneurship derived from PUMPKIN research has lead to the succesful drug discovery start-up Pcovery (www.pcovery.com). Outreach activities include popular science communication, arts, and school teaching.