Formal Education: BSc Biology; MSc Biomedical Sciences; PhD Biomedical Sciences, PgCert in Higher Education
After obtaining a BSc in Biology from the University of Iceland in 1999, I undertook a 2 year MSc research project in comparative immunology at the Institute for Experimental Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland. I obtained an EMBO fellowship to work on parts of the research with UiT The Arctic University, Norway. My PhD (2001-2005) is the first study on the complement system and its associations with Apolipoprotein A-I in vertebrate ontogeny and formed part of the EU FISHAID project. My findings supported my hypothesis on diverse roles of the complement system in tissue remodelling and immunity and earned me the Prof. Axelsson´s Young Investigators 2005 Award. I obtained visiting fellowships from the EMBO and IUBMB to work on parts of my PhD at the MRC Immunochemistry Unit, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford (2002; with Prof KBM Reid, FRS and Dr AW Dodds) and the Department of Biomedicine, University Hospital Basel, Switzerland (2003-2005; with Profs JA Schifferli & JM Inal).
Having developed a special interest in tissue remodelling and regeneration, I spent 8 post-doctoral years at UCL in regenerative medicine. I identified novel molecules, including peptidylarginine deiminases (PADs), underlying spinal cord regeneration and stem cell maintenance (UCL Institute of Child Health 2006-2010); and showed novel roles for PADs in perinatal brain repair (UCL Institute for Women’s Health (2010-2013). I investigated PADs in neurodegenerative iPSC models and described a novel PAD-mediated pathway of extracellular vesicle biogenesis, as well as participating in the EU Flagship Human Brain Project on hippocampal modelling for in silico brain-simulation (UCL School of Pharmacy, 2013-2015). In 2015 I received the Young Scientist Award from the Icelandic Biological Society.
I joined the School of Life Sciences, University of Westminster as lecturer in Molecular Pathology in 2016. In my current role as Reader in Molecular Pathology my research focuses on the roles of PADs and extracellular vesicles in tissue architecture, regeneration, inflammatory disease and cancer, as well as in immunity and metabolism of a range of taxa across the phylogenetic tree. I have a particular interest in using comparative animal models to inform human health.
I lead the Tissue Architecture and Regeneration Research Group
7BIOM014W Diagnostic Cellular Pathology
7BIOM002W Advances in Cellular Pathology
7BIOM032W Postgraduate Project
7BIOM033W.Y Postgraduate Research Methods
6BIOM00W Cellular Pathology
5BIOM007W Applied Pathobiology
5BIOM010W.Y Research Methods
4BIOM004W Functional Anatomy
My research focuses on tissue remodelling in health and disease using comparative in vivo and human in vitro models. I have particular interest in Peptidylarginine deiminases (PADs) and the modulation of extracellular vesicle (EV) release in health and disease, also using comparative models to inform human physiology and pathologies.
- Peptidylarginine deiminases (PADs) and post-translational protein deimination in tissue architecture and regeneration
We have shown that by inhibiting PAD mediated protein deimination, tissue regeneration is promoted. We are currently working towards PAD modulatory treatments and modulation of extracellular vesicle release in models of regeneration.
- Peptidylarginine deiminases in extracellular vesicle biogenesis
We have demonstrated a novel role for PAD-mediated mechanisms in extracellular vesicle (EV) biogenesis in various pathologies, including cancers and degeneration, and have ongoing projects on EV manipulation in regeneration and various cancers.
- Using Pharmacological PAD inhibitors in regeneration and extracellular vesicle modulation
We are assessing PAD isozyme specific roles in various models of regeneration and cancer in vitro and in vivo.
- Post-translational protein deimination in neurodegeneration
We are interested in the role of PADs and protein deimination in neurodegenerative disease progression and neuroinflammation using in vitro and in vivo models.
- Peptidylarginine deiminases in mucosal immunity
We are interested in the role of post-translational protein deimination in mucosal immunity and protein moonlighting. We use a range of translatable animal models including teleost and cartilaginous fish for furthering our understanding for roles of PAD-mediated protein deimination in human mucosal surfaces I.
- PADs and post-translational protein deimination signatures in phylogeny
- This body of research investigates PADs and associated protein deimination in diverse taxa from bacteria to mammals to elucidate how post-translational deimination regulates immune and metabolic processes, many of which are conserved, throughout phylogeny. Of particular interest are also animals with unusual immunological and physiological traits to inform roles for PADs in health and disease.
- Extracellular Vesicle Signatures in the Tree of Life
This projects aims at mapping EV signatures in diverse taxa, from bacteria to mammals, elucidating patterns of EV mediated proteomic and molecular interactions in the web of life.
For details of all my research outputs, visit my WestminsterResearch profile.