E-mail: mho (at) hi.is
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
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.
- 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.
- 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) hi.is
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