The Sustainable Drug Discovery Network is a cross-disciplinary network at University of Copenhagen, funded by the Rectorate of the university. The network brings together scientists from all faculties to discuss, formulate, and initiate research projects on sustainable drug discovery from renewable resources – such as traditional medicinal plants with local indigenous ownership – with the aim of future bioproduction of sustainable drugs.

We focus on sustainability in all parts of the chain from discovery and development to production and societal implementation. This raises a series of scientific, ethical, societal and legal sustainability challenges best solved in strong interdisciplinary research environments, which we aim to foster. In particular we focus on these five sustainability challenges:

  1. How do we prepare for the unknown (multi-drug resistance, pandemic preparedness, push-pull)?
  2. How can we advance sustainable lifestyle (One Health, equality in green transition and drug design)?
  3. Which technologies aid green transition and how do they affect humans? 
  4. How can we sustainably develop Nature’s treasure chest (high-value compound discovery, indigenous rights, benefit-sharing, biopiracy)?
  5. How do we build a green production and waste-conscious paradigm of benign-by-design medicinal compounds?

If you are interested in contributing, no matter your field, you are an important voice. Let’s hear from you. 

Why participate? Read our Steering Group's recommendations

The network is funded by the University of Copenhagen Rectorate via a grant awarded to Assoc. Prof. Astrid P. Jespersen, Prof. Timo Minssen, Prof. Birger Lindberg Møller, Prof. Marie Louise Nosch, and Prof. Dan Staerk (main PI).



We have hosted 3 Dialogue Meetings across the university, to gain nuanced input and ideas from the local environments. All input has been captured on our Dialogue Posters. We thank all participants for the engaging and fruitful input.

  • Output from dialogue meeting at HEALTH June 2nd 2022 can be found here
  • Output from dialogue meeting at SCIENCE September 21nd 2022 can be found here
  • Output from dialogue meeting at HUM-JUR November 8th 2022 can be found here

Cross-UCPH Workshop at Center for Applied Ecological Thinking

We hosted a larger workshop with Center for Applied Ecological Thinking in Copenhagen on 19/1-23.

The workshop was based on the collective input gained at the Dialogue Meetings. From this we have shaped and formulated nuanced topics in alignment with local environments.

Scientists from across UCPH attended with the purpose of further developing collaborative working groups with the aim of fostering collaboration eligible for green transition funding. Writing groups are now working on projects within

    1. Reduced negative environmental impact in drug life cycle
    2. Multidrug resistance and pandemic preparedness
    3. Sustainability and Nature’s treasure chest

Other activities

Members of the network have a business card on the website with interests and competences within their respective fields. Have a look here

We have presented our work to the Steering Group for Sustainable Transition at University of Copenhagen. This Steering Group was the initial instigator of the 10 cross-UCPH networks for sustainability and the network is funded by this.

The network is featured in an article in Pharma no 1 2023  written by Lotte Stig Nørgaard

The International Pharmacy Journal feature the article "The Anthropocene Epoch - what it means for Pharmacy" by Lotte Stig Nørgaard, Janine M. Traulsen, both at the University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Department of Pharmacy Copenhagen, Denmark, and Charlotte Verner Rossing, Department of Research and Development, Danish College of Pharmacy Practice, Hillerød, Denmark.

Upcoming activities

We are planning a series of meetings with writing groups over the coming period. More information to follow.

For more information contact Dan Stærk or Nanna Heinz



Dan Stærk

Main PI
Professor Dan Stærk

Nanna Heinz

Nanna Heinz