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About me

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 Department of Biomedical Sciences University of Westminster in 2016. As Senior lecturer in Molecular Pathology my research focuses on the roles of PADs and extracellular vesicles in tissue architecture, regeneration and cancer. 

I lead the Tissue Architecture and Regeneration Research Group

Teaching

7BIOM014W Diagnostic Cellular Pathology

7BIOM002W Advances in Cellular Pathology

7BIOM032W Postgraduate Project

7BIOM033W.Y Postgraduate Research Methods

FBMS600 Cellular Pathology

5BIOM007W  Applied Pathobiology

5BIOM010W.Y Research Methods

4BICH001W.Y Biochemistry

4BIOM004W Functional Anatomy

FSLS603.Y Project A

Research

My research focuses on peptidylarginine deiminases (PADs) in tissue architecture, regeneration and cancer. I have described novel critical roles for PADs and pharmacological PAD-inhibitors in regenerative ability and cancer, including effects on inflammatory responses, epigenetic changes and extracellular vesicle release. Further understanding of PAD-mediated pathways and selective modulation using pharmacological inhibitors opens up novel treatment avenues in regenerative medicine and cancer.

PROJECTS

  •  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 PADs in extracellular vesicle biogenesis in various cancers  (Kholia et al., 2015; Kosgodage et al., 2017) and have ongoing projects on extracellular vesicle manipulation in regeneration and various cancers. 

  • Using Pharmacological PAD inhibitors in regeneration and extracellular vesicle modulation

We are testing PAD-specific inhibitors in collaboration with Prof Paul Thompson, Chemical Biology UMass Medical School, in our 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 and use human induced pluripotent stem cell models (iPSC) in collaboration with Dr S Wray and Prof J Hardy, UCL Institute of Neurology.

  • Peptidylarginine deiminases in mucosal immunity 

We are interested in the role of post-translational protein deimination in mucosal immunity and protein moonlighting. We use teleost fish models as a translatable tool for furthering our understanding for roles of PAD-mediated protein deimination in human mucosal surfaces I.  

Publications

For details of all my research outputs, visit my WestminsterResearch profile.