Dagbladet pluss interviews Evandro Fang

1. Why does people with Alzheimer’s sleep more during the day? How does it affect sleeping routines?
EFF: It has been well documented that sleep-wake disturbance is a common and early feature in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). If one does not have a good sleep at night, then it is common to see  a possibility of additional power naps of AD patients at daytime.  This study led by Dr. Lea T. Grinberg at UCSF showed profound degeneration of wake-promoting neurons in AD. This explains why AD patients sleep more during the day, possibly as a compensation of disturbed normal sleep at night.  Thus, increased power naps greatly affect sleeping routines and are negative to people’s daily life.

2. Could you tell me about what you find most interesting in this study, and why?
EFF: The key finding in this study is a proposed new explanation of sleep-wake disturbances in the AD patients. Thus, this finding may provide an additional phenotypical diagnostic standard for early AD patients. However, increased power naps is not specific to AD, thus other phenotypic and pathological diagnostic tools should be jointed used for AD diagnosis.

Image: Dagbladet pluss.
Online: https://www.dagbladet.no/pluss (15 August 2019 issue)
Tusen Takk to the awesome journalist Ida Bergersen

TMM review: Mitophagy and Neuroprotection

Congratulations to postdocs Guofeng Lou and Sofie Lautrup for their fresh Ópinion´ review paper in the Trends in Molecular Medicine


  • Mitophagy, an evolutionally conserved cellular self-degradation of damaged mitochondria, is impaired in major neurodegenerative diseases, including AD, PD, ALS, FTD, and HD.
  • Defective mitophagy in postmortem brain samples from AD patients and in AD animal models is caused by several mechanisms, including by the inhibition of the ULK1/TBK1-dependent initiation of the mitophagic machinery via Tau/Aβ proteinopathies.
  • In mice and rhesus monkeys, PINK1 deletion does not induce significant mitophagy impairment at physiological conditions, suggesting a compensatory response by other mitophagy pathways. Studies in the rhesus monkeys also suggest the existence of none–mitophagy–regulatory role(s) of PINK1.
  • Therapeutic strategies targeting on mitophagy induction ameliorate disease pathology and inhibit neuronal loss in both AD and PD mouse models.


Neurodegenerative diseases are strongly age-related and currently cannot be cured, with a surge of patient numbers in the coming decades in view of the emerging worldwide ageing population, bringing healthcare and socioeconomic challenges. Effective therapies are urgently needed, and are dependent on new aetiological mechanisms. In neurons, efficient clearance of damaged mitochondria, through the highly evolutionary conserved cellular process termed mitophagy, plays a fundamental role in mitochondrial and metabolic homeostasis, energy supply, neuronal survival, and health. Conversely, defective mitophagy leads to accumulation of damaged mitochondria and cellular dysfunction, contributing to ageing and age-predisposed neurodegeneration. Here, we discuss the contribution of defective mitophagy in these diseases, and underlying molecular mechanisms, and highlight novel therapeutics based on new discovered mitophagy-inducing strategies.

Read more

2020 Meetings: Global ageing and related healthcare challenges

The Nordic Centre Biennial Meeting cum The 1st International Symposium of the Hong Kong-Nordic Research Network On ‘Global ageing and related healthcare challenges’

28-29 May 2020, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
01-03 June 2020, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Hong Kong SAR

Organizers: Evandro F. Fang (Oslo), W.Y. Chan (CUHK), and Na HE (Fudan)

The Nordic Centre and the Hong Kong-Nordic Research Network are pleased to present: Global ageing and related healthcare challenges
28-29 May 2020, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
01-03 June 2020, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Hong Kong SAR

Ageing is the greatest risk factor for many diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, and neurodegeneration, especially Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, among others. The global average age is increasing dramatically because of improved healthcare system and changes in lifestyle. Accordingly, the ageing society brings formidable socio-economic challenges. In the past decades, our understanding of the mechanisms of ageing at molecular, cellular, individual, and societal levels has greatly expanded. This enables scientists to develop novel strategies to improve healthy ageing and to prevent or treat age-related diseases through lifestyle modifications, pharmacological interventions, and novel therapeutics. This conference will bring together leading ageing researchers working on molecular, cellular, individual, and societal levels of ageing, from around the world, including The University of Oslo, Copenhagen University, Uppsala University, Karolinsa Institute, Fudan University, Peking University, Duke Kunshan University, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The University of Hong Kong, National University of Singapore, among others.

The major aim of the two conferences is to foster communications, interactions, and collaborations among the ageing researchers, and to provide unique training opportunities to the undergraduate and graduate students, postdoc fellows, and early career ageing researchers. Our final goal is to explore new therapeutics and interventions to extend healthspan and lifespan in the elderly.

The event comprises two meetings, one in Fudan University, Shanghai (28-29 May 2020), and the other in The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (01-03 June 2020).

Organizing Committee
Dr. Evandro Fei Fang, MBBS, Ph.D. (Chair) Group Leader, University of Oslo (UiO) and Akershus University Hospital, Norway The Norwegian Centre on Healthy Ageing, Norway Tel: +47 92230968; Mobile: +47 92230968; Emails: evandrofeifang@yahoo.com; e.f.fang@medisin.uio.no

Prof. W. Y. Chan, Ph.D. Pro-Vice-Chancellor, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Email: chanwy@cuhk.edu.hk

Prof. Na HE, Dean, School of Public Health, Fudan University, China Tel: 86-21-54237625; Email: nhe@fudan.edu.cn

Prof. Linda Hildegard Bergersen, Ph.D. Professor of Physiology, Vice-Dean of Research, Faculty of Dentistry, UiO, Norway Professor Neurobiology of Ageing, CEHA, University of Copenhagen, Denmark Mobile: +47 97032049; Email: l.h.bergersen@odont.uio.no

Prof. Lene Juel Rasmussen Acting Director, Centre on Healthy Ageing, University of Copenhagen, Denmark Tel: (+45) 35 32 67 17; Email: lenera@sund.ku.dk

Prof. Magnar Bjørås Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway Tel: +47 95081497; Email: magnar.bjoras@ntnu.no

Prof. Shenglan Tang Director, Global Health Research Center, Duke Kunshan University, China Tel: +1 919-519-0802; Email: Shenglan.tang@duke.edu

Registration, including payment of registration fee will open in October/November 2019 in this website.

Detailed programme will be released shortly.

If you have any comments or interests of attending this event (either of the two meetings, or both), please fill in the below form and send to us

Postdoc Dr. Sofie Lautrup receives Ph.D. Award from Aarhus University

Postdoc Dr. Sofie Lautrup has received the prestigious ´Ph.D. Award´from her alma mater, Aarhus University, Denmark on 28 June 2019.

News from Aarhus University: http://mbg.au.dk/en/news-and-events/scientific-talks/annual-meetings/2019/phd-awards/

Sofie H. Lautrup and Oskar Franch were awarded the Kjeld Marcker PhD Award 2019 at the annual meeting of the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics on Friday 28 June 2019. 

The chairman of the PhD programme committe Ernst-Martin Füchtbauer presented the awards to the two prize winners with the following reasons for the selection of these two former PhD students:

Sofie Lautrup has a number of publications in journals with high impact factors and presented her work at several international meetings with oral presentations. She was also actively communicated science to the general public, by writing a popular science article, and by frequently teaching elementary and high school students. During her PhD she received several national and international travel grants, including the prestigious Dronning Margrethe II rejselegat. A very important aspect of her additional activities was her engagement in the MBG PhD Association, where she served in the board and actively participated in the planning and coordination of the first three PhD conferences.
Image: Aarhus University

Opening of the Hong Kong-Nordic Research Network

A newly established network with three founding members – The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Hong Kong SAR; The University of Oslo (UiO), Norway; and the University of Copenhagen (KU), Denmark – the Hong Kong-Nordic research network can be a driving force for the interchange of ideas between the universities, and help promote world leading research. This will be achieved by putting people in touch with each other to set up research collaborations, which will also be boosted by the great exchange opportunities offered by the universities. Both students and researchers will be given this opportunity. This will be a good way for scientists and students to expand their horizon and knowledge, and of course to meet with other peers. The network hope to foster groundbreaking research by establishing joint research collaborations.

The Nordic network coordinator Evandro F. Fang (e.f.fang@medisin.uio.no) and the Hong Kong network coordinator W.Y. Chan (chanwy@cuhk.edu.hk).