Ólafur Andri Stefánsson
Previous positions: 2010 – 2014: Post-Doctoral researcher. Cancer Epigenetics and Biology Program (PEBC), Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute, 08908 L'Hospitalet, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
2011: PhD in Biomedicine from the University of Iceland, Faculty of Medicine.
2004 - 2010: PhD student. Main supervisor, Professor Jorunn Eyfjorð. University of Iceland, Faculty of Medicine, Cancer Research Laboratory.
2004: BSc. Degree in Molecular biology from the University of Iceland.
My research interests for the past five years have focused on the impact of epigenetics in cancer. The study of epigenetics involves understanding factors involved in regulating the structural organization of the genetic material. An important functional role for epigenetics in normal physiological processes includes regulating the accessibility of the genetic material, i.e. which regions should be open and available for use by the cell and, in turn, which parts are to be kept in a closed/repressed conformation. Different tissues of the human body consist of cells that all contain the same genetic material (DNA) but, nonetheless, display different specialized properties, for example brain cells display marked differences from muscle cells. Epigenetic factors enables cells to differentiate towards such different cell types. Various research have indicated that human disease states can emerge from mistakes or acquired/inherited defects in the epigenetic machinery. My research is primarily involved in the study of breast- and ovarian cancer although increased interests lie in expanding this scope towards other cancer types for the years to come.
Further details can be found at the Cancer Research Laboratory homepage .
Selected publications (from peer-reviewed scientific journals):
Stefansson OA, Esteller M. Epigenetic modifications in breast cancer and their role in personalized medicine. Am J Pathol. 2013;183(4):1052-63.
Stefansson OA, Villanueva A, Vidal A, Martí L, Esteller M. BRCA1 epigenetic inactivation predicts sensitivity to platinum-based chemotherapy in breast and ovarian cancer. Epigenetics. 2012;7(11):1225-9.
Stefansson OA, Jonasson JG, Olafsdottir K, Bjarnason H, Th Johannsson O, Bodvarsdottir SK, Valgeirsdottir S, Eyfjord JE. Genomic and phenotypic analysis of BRCA2 mutated breast cancers reveals co-occurring changes linked to progression. Breast Cancer Res. 2011;13(5):R95.
Stefansson OA, Jonasson JG, Olafsdottir K, Hilmarsdottir H, Olafsdottir G, Esteller M, Johannsson OT, Eyfjord JE. CpG island hypermethylation of BRCA1 and loss of pRb as co-occurring events in basal/triple-negative breast cancer. Epigenetics. 2011; 6(5):638-49.
Stefansson OA, Jonasson JG, Johannsson OT, Olafsdottir K, Steinarsdottir M, Valgeirsdottir S, Eyfjord JE. Genomic profiling of breast tumours in relation to BRCA abnormalities and phenotypes. Breast Cancer Res. 2009;11(4):R47.
Birgisdottir V, Stefansson OA, Bodvarsdottir SK, Hilmarsdottir H, Jonasson JG, Eyfjord JE. Epigenetic silencing and deletion of the BRCA1 gene in sporadic breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res. 2006.