About Cimbi


The Center for Integrated Molecular Brain Imaging (Cimbi) is a research center funded by the Lundbeck Foundation. The research in the Center focuses on the neural bases of personality dimensions that predispose individuals to affective and substance use disorders, with special emphasis on the serotonergic neurotransmitter system. The serotonergic neurotransmitter system is involved in a large variety of psychophysiological functions, including feeding, mood, aggression, and pain. Serotonin is also a critical neurotransmitter in brain development and in the generation and regulation of emotional behaviour. Finally, it plays a prominent role in the inhibition of impulses. In Cimbi both PET and MRI are employed in studies of human subjects, and these are complemented with relevant studies using animal models. Advanced informatics techniques, new tracer compounds, and novel serotonergic challenge paradigms are also being developed within the center. The work venues span several institutions in Copenhagen as well as several collaborating laboratories in Europe and the U.S.

Cimbi Research

The following contains an overall description of the research carried out in Cimbi.


The overall aim of Cimbi is to uncover basic questions regarding interindividual differences in behavior and personality in healthy people with a particular emphasis on phenotypical variations that are likely to be causally related to variations in the serotonergic transmitter system. Individual differences in trait effect and personality are for a large part genetically determined and they are critical in shaping complex human behavior, social interplay and also in overcoming challenges from the ever-changing environments. Such individual differences may also serve as important predictors of vulnerability to neuropsychiatric disorders, including depression, anxiety and memory disorders. Neuroimaging studies, including molecular, structural and functional MRI studies are used to uncover the neural substrates of interindividual variability with a particular emphasis on the serotonergic transmitter system. At the same time, genetic variation is considered as an important component substantially adding to interindividual variability; the genetic variability can be determined and entered as an explanatory covariate.


Cimbi Structure

The Center for Integrated Molecular Brain Imaging is founded on a collaboration between a number of research institutions in Copenhagen. These institutions form the core of Cimbi and all the research activities in Cimbi involve one or more of these institutions. The core institutions are distributed among the Copenhagen University Hospitals, the Technical University of Denmark and the University of Copenhagen. Furthermore, a number of other Danish and international institutions are associated with Cimbi as collaborators in one or more subprojects in Cimbi. The institutions involved in Cimbi research therefore span many scientific fields and provide the strong foundation needed to carry out the diverse activities undertaken in Cimbi.


Cimbi COI

The Council of Investigators (COI) group consists of the senior researchers and postdocs with the daily responsibility for the different projects within Cimbi. The COI group meets once a month to mutually inform about status in all projects and also discuss practical and scientific aspects.


Cimbi Steering Group

The members of Cimbi's steering group are:

  • Professor Gitte Moos Knudsen who is the center director. She is based at the Neurobiology Research Unit (NRU) at Rigshospitalet.
  • Professor Hartwig R. Siebner who is based at the Danish Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance (DRCMR) at Hvidovre Hospital.
  • Professor Lars Kai Hansen who is based at the Department of Informatics and Mathematical Modelling at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).
  • Professor Terry L. Jernigan who is based at the Department of Cognitive Science at University of California, San Diego (UCSD).
  • Professor Sven Frøkjær who is based at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences (former FARMA) at University of Copenhagen.
  • Chief Medical Officer Jannik Hilsted who is based at Rigshospitalet.

The Cimbi center manager is:

  • Peter S. Jensen who is based at the Neurobiology Research Unit (NRU) at Rigshospitalet.