David Woldbye – University of Copenhagen

David Woldbye

Lab leader:
Associate Professor David Paul Drucker Woldbye

University of Copenhagen
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Department of Neuroscience
Maersk Tower, room 07.05.46
Blegdamsvej 3
DK-2200 Copenhagen N

Email: woldbye@sund.ku.dk
Phone: +45 40156389

Publication List
Lab Members


The Woldbye lab has been studying the role of neuropeptide Y (NPY) and other neuropeptides in rodent behavioural and CNS disease models over the past 20 years. In recent years, the main focus has been very translational, aiming to develop viral vector-mediated gene therapeutic techniques as novel treatments for CNS disorders.

The present key goals of the lab include:
i) exploration of NPY gene therapy for epilepsy in humans and dogs. In close collaboration with Prof M Kokaia (Lund Univ, Epilepsy Center), medical doctors at RH (e.g. Lars Pinborg), and CombiGene AB and daughter company Panion (Woldbye is co-founder of these companies), rodent epilepsy studies are conducted to establish efficacy and potential side effects to pave the way for the first clinical testing of gene therapy for epilepsy in humans and dogs;

ii) exploration of gene therapy for CNS neurodegenerative diseases. Based on a series of US-patented NPY-like peptides (by Woldbye/UCPH) neuroprotective treatments are being explored in rodent models and in cell cultures as potential therapy for Parkinson’s disease and dementias, as well as retinal diseases (NOVO pre-seed grant);

iii) explore mechanisms and potential treatments in mouse models of ADHD/visual attention using opto- and chemogenetics. Based on UCPH-supported major grant, in close collaboration with the Gether group, other research groups, and psychologists and psychiatrists at the UCPH, the Woldbye group studies the role of dopamine and noradrenalin projections in regulating visual attention using opto- and chemogenetics employing various behavioural mouse models.

Key publications

  • Jeon J, Dencker D, Wörtwein G, Woldbye DP, … Wess J (2010) A subpopulation of neuronal M4 muscarinic acetylcholine receptors plays a critical role in modulating dopamine-dependent behaviors. J Neurosci 30:2396-2405
  • Woldbye DP et al. (2010) Adeno-associated viral vector-induced overexpression of neuropeptide Y Y2 receptors in the hippocampus suppresses seizures. Brain 133:2778-88
  • Dencker D, … Woldbye DP, Wess J, Fink-Jensen A (2011) Involvement of a subpopulation of neuronal M4 muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in the antipsychotic-like effects of the M1/M4 preferring muscarinic receptor agonist xanomeline. J Neurosci 31:5905-8
  • Holst B, Madsen KL, … Woldbye DP, …, Gether U (2013) PICK1-deficiency impairs secretory vesicle biogenesis and leads to growth retardation and decreased glucose tolerance. PloS Biology 11:e1001542
  • Rickhag M, … Woldbye DP, Wörtwein G, Gether U (2013) A C-terminal PDZ domain binding sequence is required for striatal distribution of the dopamine transporter. Nature Commun 4:1580
  • Ledri, M and Sørensen AT, … Pinborg LH, … Woldbye DP, Andersson M, Kokaia M (2015) Differential effect of neuropeptides on excitatory synaptic transmission in the human epileptic hippocampus. J Neurosci 35:9622-31
  • Howe AS, Buttenschøn HN, … Mors O, Woldbye DP, ... De Luca V (2016) Candidate genes in panic disorder: meta-analyses of 23 common variants in major anxiogenic pathways. Mol Psychiatry 21:665-79


Inventor on two patents (US 08901094, US 2016/0060320 A1) and two patent applications (WO2009112033-A1, EPA16164686.4).