Margrét Helga Ögmundsdóttir

Research specialist at the Faculty of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, University of Iceland

Board member of the Nordic Autophagy Society

Member of the COST Transautophagy network


E-mail: mho (at)

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Iceland, Sturlugata 8, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland

2006, BS, Biochemistry, University of Iceland

2011, PhD, Oxford University

2011-2015 Postdoctoral research with Eirikur Steingrimsson at the University of Iceland

2015-present, Research specialist at the University of Iceland, Faculty of Medicine

Research interest

The degradation process autophagy has gained increased interest the past years and its role in health and disease has started to unravel. Autophagy is an important process for cellular maintanance and aids cells coping with a variety of stress conditions. The role of autophagy in cancer has proven complex. Autophagy aids cancer cells coping with stressful environment such as nutrient deprivation, however, evidence supports that autophagy can also be tumor preventive. Our aim is to shed light on the complex role of autophagy in cancer.

Current Pojects

  1. To analyse the transcriptional regulation of autophagy in melanoma. The Microphthalmia association transcription factor (MITF) controls most cellular processes in melanocytes and melanoma cells, and is required for pigment formation. MITF is of the same family of transcription factors as TFEB and TFE3, known regulators of auotphagy and lysosomal biogenesis. We aim to understand the role of MITF in regulating these processes in melanoma.
  1. To analyze the role of autophagy in tumor initiation. This is being performed in collaboration with Decode Genetics.

Current lab members

Linda Sooman, postdoctoral fellow, lsooman (at)

Vera Sommers, visiting student from Han University

Andrea Garcia-Llorca, PhD student, co-supervisor with Þór Eysteinsson

Josue Ballesteros, PhD student, co-supervisor with Eiríkur Steingrímsson

Publications in PubMed


Profile on GoogleScholar

Profile on ResearchGate


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