Sigurður Ingvarsson

Professor and Director of the Institute of Experimental Pathology, University of Iceland, Keldur


E-mail: siguring (at) 
Phone: +354-5855123

Institute for Experimental Pathology, University of Iceland at Keldur, v/Vesturlandsveg, Reykjavik

Sigurdur obtained a BS degree in biology in 1979, BS honour in 1980 and teacher credentials in 1981 from the University of Iceland. Then he did research at the Department of Pathology, University Hospital of Iceland until 1984. He received his Dr.Med.Sc. degree from the Department of Tumor Biology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm in 1989, where he studied the MYC oncogenes under the supervision of professor George Klein. Then he studied the ERBA oncogene as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Björn Vennström at the Department of Molecular Biology, Karolinska Institutet. After returning to Iceland in 1991 he started studies at the Department of Pathology, University Hospital of Iceland on breast-, colon and stomach cancer genetics and biology. From 1993 to present, Sigurdur has been a lecturer in molecular biology, cell biology and genetics at the University of Iceland, Departments of Medicine and Science. He was appointed associate professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Iceland from 1998 and professor at the same faculty from 2001. Since 2001 he has been the director of the Institute for Experimental Pathology, University of Iceland at Keldur.


Research projects

Sigurdur’s research focuses on the genetics and molecular biology of human cancer, mainly breast-, colon- and stomach cancer. In addition to studying chromosome losses and chromosome instability, he studied several tumour suppressor genes in relation to tumour growth, like: BRCA2 (important for gene and chromosome repair), FHIT (diadenosine hydrolase, important for cell turnover), CHK2 (kinase, important for cell cycle checkpoint) and CDH1 (coding for the E-cadherin cell adhesion molecule).

The research focus at the Institute for Experimental Pathology at Keldur is on various diseases, mainly infectious diseases in animals, including fishes. The activities are quite diverse with the utilization of several disciplines, e.g. prionology, virology, bacteriology, parasitology, histopathology, immunology and molecular biology. Research on the Maedi-Visna virus (MVV) has been performed from the early days of the institute (1948), a pioneering work that resulted in the first description of a lentivirus. Other research projects are on scrapie, fish bacterial diseases, fish immunology, several bacteria in domestic animals, parasites, summer eczema in horses and hereditary cystatin c amyloid angiopathy. Detailed research activities at the institute can be found at

Selected publications:

  1. Ingvarsson S, Asker C, Axelson H, Klein G, Sümegi J. Structure and expression of Bmyc, a new member of the myc  gene family. Mol Cell Biol 8, 3168-3174, 1988.
  2. Gudmundsson J, Barkardottir RB, Eiriksdottir G, Arason A, Egilsson V, Ingvarsson S. Loss of heterozygosity at chromosome 11 in breast cancer: association of prognostic factors with genetic alterations. Br J Cancer  72, 696-701, 1995.
  3. Skirnisdottir S, Eiriksdottir G, Baldursson T, Barkardottir RB, Egilsson V, Ingvarsson S. High frequency of allelic imbalance at chromosome region 16q22-q23 in human breast cancer: correlation with high PgR and low S-phase. Int J Cancer  64, 112-116, 1995.
  4. Ingvarsson S, Geirsdottir EK, Johannesdottir G, Sigbjörnsdóttir BI, Eiriksdottir G, Ragnarsson G, Agnarsson BA, Gudmundsson J, Jonasson JG, Sigurdsson A, Egilsson V, Barkardottir RB. High incidence of loss of heterozygosity in breast tumors from carriers of the 999del5 BRCA2 mutation. Cancer Res  58, 4421-4425, 1998.
  5. Ragnarsson G, Eiriksdottir G, Johannsdottir JT, Jonasson JG, Egilsson V, Ingvarsson S. Loss of heterozygosity at chromosome 1p in different solid human tumours: association with survival. Br J Cancer  79, 1468-1474, 1999.
  6. Johannsdottir JT, Bergthorsson JT, Gretarsdottir S, Kristjansson AK, Ragnarsson G, Jonasson JG, Egilsson V, Ingvarsson S. Replication error in colorectal carcinoma: association with loss of heterozygosity at mismatch repair loci and clinicopathological variables. Anticancer Res 19, 1821-1826, 1999.
  7. Ingvarsson S, Agnarsson BA, Sigbjornsdottir BI, Kononen J, Kallioniemi OP, Barkardottir RB, Kovatich A, Schwarting R, Hauck WW, Huebner K, McCue PA. Reduced Fhit expression in sporadic and BRCA2-linked breast carcinomas. Cancer Res 59, 2682-2689, 1999.
  8. Huiping C, Sigurgeirsdottir JR, Jonasson JG, Eiriksdottir G, Johannesdottir JT, Egilssson V, Ingvarsson S. Chromosome alterations and E-cadherin gene mutations in human lobular breast cancer. Br J Cancer  81, 1103-1110, 1999.
  9. Ingvarsson S, Sigbjörnsdottir BI, Huiping C, Jonasson JG, Agnarsson BA. Alterations of the FHIT gene in breast cancer: Association with tumour progression and patient survival. Cancer Detect Prev 25, 292-298, 2001.
  10. Ingvarsson S, Sigbjornsdottir BI, Huiping C, Hafsteinsdottir SH, Ragnarsson G, Barkardottir RB, Arason A, Egilsson V, Bergthorsson JT. Mutation analysis of the CHK2 gene in breast carcinoma and other cancers. Breast Cancer Res 4:R4, 2002.

Publications 2010-2012:

  1. Mei M, Liu D, Dong S, Ingvarsson S, Goodfellow P, Chen H. The MLH1 -93 promoter variant influences gene expression. Cancer Epidemiol 34, 93-95, 2010.
  2. Liu D, Fan J, Zeng W, Zhou Y, Ingvarsson S, Chen H. Quantitative analysis of miRNA expression in several developmental stages of human livers. Hepatol Res 40, 813-822,  2010.
  3. Gudleifsson BE, Sigurdsson BD, Ingvarsson S, Gudmundsson Þ. Icelandic Agricultural Sciences er nú viðurkennt ISI-vísindarit. Fræðaþing Landbúnaðarins 8, 374-377, 2011 (In Icelandic).
  4. Ingvarsson S. Anders Jahre-verðlaunin. Icelandic Medical Journal 97, 489, 2011 (In Icelandic).
  5. Wang X, Fan J, Liu D, Fu S, Ingvarsson S, Chen H. Spreading of Alu methylation to the promoter of the MLH1 gene in gastrointestinal cancer. PLoS ONE 6(10): e25913. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0025913, 2011.
  6. Tang Y, Liu D, Zhang L, Ingvarsson S, Chen H. Quantitative analysis of miRNA expression in seven human foetal and adult organs. PLoS ONE 6(12), e28730. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028730, 2011.
  7. Foxler DE, Bridge KS, James V, Webb TM, Mee M, Wong SCK, Feng Y, Constantin-Teodosiu D, Petursdottir ThE, Bjornsson J, Ingvarsson S, Ratcliffe PJ, Longmore GD, Sharp TV. The LIMD1 protein bridges an association between the prolyl hydroxylases and VHL to repress HIF-1 activity. Nat Cell Biol 14, 201-208, 2012.
  8. Liu D, Liu C, Wang X, Ingvarsson S, Chen H. Universal RNA editing in a human liver at the fetal stage. Op J Genet 2, 163-166, 2012.
  9. Ingvarsson S. Brautryðjandi í sykursýkisrannsóknum fær Jahre-verðlaunin. Icelandic Medical Journal 98, 545, 2012 (In Icelandic).
  10. Tang Y, Liu C, Wang X, Liu D, Ingvarsson S, Chen H. Demethylation of the region around exon 2 of  MLH1 gene in gastrointestinal cancer. Anticancer Res. In press 2012


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