ORCID ID: 0000-0003-4878-0301

Kira Astakhova
Associate Professor 

Personal information
Date of birth: 6 August 1985
Nationality: Russian
Residency: Denmark


Current position
2017 – pres.         Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, Technical University of Denmark
Present research: organic chemistry, fluorescence, nucleic acid chemistry and biology

Innovation activities
2006 – pres.        Working on independent, highly interdisciplinary research projects which actively integrate life sciences, organic chemistry, technology and clinical work.
2008 – pres.        Submitted 5 patent applications on highly interdisciplinary innovations; participated in technological development projects in Russia, Denmark and USA.

Mnanagerial and leading experience in brief
2008 – pres.        Established and led research teams in industry and academia (up to 20 group members); organized scientific meetings, seminars and educational courses in Russia, Denmark and USA. Attracted and managed 9 research grants.
2004 – pres.        Mentoring and supervising more than 100 young researchers in Denmark, Russia and USA.

Sept – Nov 2017 Infectious diseases (5 ECTS, Stanford University, USA)
March 2017         Data Structures (University of California San Diego, by Coursera)
Feb 2017             Strategical management (Copenhagen Business School, Denmark)
Jun – Jul 2015     Data Analysis and Statistical Inference course (Duke University, USA; studied on-line)
Jan – May 2015  Project Management course (University of California Irvine, USA; studied on-line)
2013 – 2014        Lecturer Training Programme (University of Southern Denmark (SDU))
2006 – 2009        Ph. D. (bioorganic chemistry) – “Modified nucleosides containing perylene or (phenylethynyl)pyrenes in the 2'-position: synthesis and spectral properties within fluorescent oligonucleotide
probes”. Defended 22.4.2009 at the Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences (IBCH RAS), Moscow, Russia; supervisor: Prof. Vladimir Korshun
2006 – 2008        Work on PhD project under The Sixth Framework Program Marie Curie Host Fellowship for Early Stage Research Training, Nucleic Acid Center, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
2001 – 2006        M. Sc. Degree (Chemistry) – “Phenylethynylpyrene-2′-arabino-uridine carbamates as novel fluorescent labels for DNA”. Defended 2.02.2006 at IBCH RAS and Higher Chemical College of  the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia; supervisor: Prof. Vladimir Korshun

Previous positions and international mobility
2012 – 2017        Associate Professor, Nucleic Acid Center (NAC), Department of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
2013 – 2014        Visiting Scholar: Division of Oncology, Ji lab; Shriram Imaging Center, School of Engineering and School of Medicine, Stanford University (SU), USA
2012 – 2013        Visiting Professor: Luc Jaeger Lab, University of California Santa Barbara, USA
2009 – 2012        Postdoctoral Fellow: Jesper Wengel group, NAC SDU, Denmark
2008 – 2009        Researcher: Oligonucleotide development group (April 2008 – September 2008), Serology diagnostics group of the Laboratory of Postgenomic Technologies (September 2008 – April
2009), Center for Molecular Diagnostics and Central Institute of Epidemiology, Moscow, Russia
2003 – 2008        Research Fellow: Nucleic Acid Chemistry Lab, IBCH RAS, Moscow, Russia
2001 – 2003        Research Fellow: Laboratory of Fine Organic Synthesis, N. D. Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

Supervision of draduate students and postdoctoral fellows
Currently I supervise 3 PhD students, 2 Postdoctoral fellows, 7 Msc students, 4 BSc students, and partially supervise 2 MD students at Stanford University, USA

Teaching activities
2010 – 2017 class teaching, 3rd semester Organic Chemistry course, SDU, Denmark; 1st semester Chemistry course, SDU, Denmark; Responsible Professor at the 3rd semester Organic Chemistry Laboratory Course, SDU, Denmark; 3rd semester Analytical Spectroscopy course, SDU, Denmark; establishing and teaching a new course at SDU entitled “Nucleic Acids in Medicinal Chemistry and Nanobiotechnology”.

Currently: Responsible Professor for biomolecular chemistry (DTU26422), DTU, organic and inorganic synthesis (DTU26002/26474).

Danish national collaborations
Scientific collaborations in Denmark: Prof. Dr. J. Kjems, Molecular imaging studies, DNA origami, iNANO Center, University of Aarhus; Prof. M.D. A. Voss, Clinical diagnostics, Odense University Hospital; Prof. Dr. F.C. Nielsen, Cancer research, University of Copenhagen; Dr. Victoria Birkedal, Fluorescence microscopy, University of Aarhus; Prof. Dr. Jacob Kongsted, Computational chemistry, University of Southern Denmark.

International relations
Major scientific collaborators: Prof. A. Cuenda, Bioimaging, National Biotechnology Center, Madrid, Spain; Prof. MD Hanlee Ji, Dr. Peter Griffin and Prof. MD Elizabeth Mellins, Immunology and Cancer research, Stanford School of Medicine and Genome Technology Center, Stanford University, USA; Dr. Kevin Morris, Gene therapy, Beckman Research Institute, City of Hope, CA, USA.
International industrial collaborations: Lumiprobe (Russia, Germany, USA), Promega (USA), Synthesis and application of novel fluorescent dyes and probes for biorthogonal research and technology.

Funding ID
On-going Grants.

Novel tools for highly efficient detection of nucleic acids - Going beyond amplification

Villum Foundation, Denmark
940,000 Euro
Jan 16 - Dec 20
Leadership, management, supervision

Transcriptional control, target modification, and excision of HIV in the brain
National Institutes of Health, USA
350,000 Euro
Jun 15 - Dec 2016
Co-PI, leader of a work package, management, supervision

Rational design of optical probes for sensing in cellular membranes
Danish Agency for Independent Research
900,000 Euro
Jan 17 - Dec 20
Co-PI, leader of a work package, management, supervision

New therapeutic for autoimmune kidney disease: Multimodal nanoconjugate
DTU Proof of concept
70,000 Euro
Jan 18 - Dec 20
Leadership, management, supervision

Amplification-free detection of EBOLA virus using novel fluorescent probes
Augustinus Foundation, Denmark
14,000 Euro
Nov 15 - Dec 2016
Leadership, management, supervision

Prizes and Awards
1. Danish Chemical Society honor reward, 2018
2. Carlsberg Elite PostDoc fellowship, 2013
3. Talent prize received from Lundbeck Foundation, Denmark, 2012
4. Elite Research Grant, The Danish Council for Independent Research, 2012
5. Marie Curie Young Stage Training Fellowship, 2006

Organization of scientific meetings
2015 - 2017    Organizer of a monthly scientific seminar series at SDU (10-30 participants)
2009 - 2018    Organizer of >20 Danish National and International Scientific Seminars in Russia, Denmark and USA, 15-50 participants

Work with innovation
I actively transfer my research findings into business. Herein, my key focus lies on the interface of organic chemistry, optical detection methods, biotechnology and biomedicine.
To date, I am a funder and co-funder of two companies, in Denmark (IBIOTECH ApS), and USA (KKM Therapeutics; established in Feb. 2018). I have a strong IP and more patent applications to be filed in the nearest future.

- Rationally designed 2'-(O-1,2,3-triazoyl)-methoxy oligonucleotide probes for fluoresence-based bioanalysis, PCT/EP2015/064999 (2014)
- Novel artificial phospholipid-protein bioconjugates for biomolecular recognition, PCT/DK2015/050346 (2015)
- "Clickable" alkyne-LNA oligonucleotides, PCT/EP2014/052694 (2014)
- New Therapeutics for Autoimmune Kidney Disease: Synthetic antigens, P2395EP00 (2018)

Volunteer work
2010 – 2016 Dansk Flytningehjælp, Odense
2016 – pres. Lær dansk, Odense; Kræftens bekæmpelse, Hillerød