Stefán Sigurðsson

Associate Professor at Faculty of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, University of Iceland


E-mail: stefsi (at) 
Phone: +354-525-4839

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

Stefan Sigurdsson received a BS degree in molecular biology from the University of Iceland in 1996 and a master's degree in molecular genetics from the same school in 1998. The focus of his studies was cancer biology, specifically the function of two tumor suppressor genes involved in breast cancer. He obtained his doctorate from the University of Texas 2003 where his research focused to DNA repair and DNA recombination. Stefan worked for five years as a postdoctoral fellow at Cancer Research UK where he studied transcription elongation by RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) and the connection between DNA damage and transcription elongation.

Research focus:

Genomic instability is a characteristic of most cancers, believed to arise because of the inability of cells to deal with damaged DNA. To prevent genomic instability, cells possess a complex network of processes collectively called the DNA damage response (DDR), which detects and repairs damaged DNA. This response is critical to prevent accumulation of mutations and DDR failure can lead to genomic instability and consequently cancer. Individuals with inherited DDR defects, such as mutations in ATM or BRCA2, are strongly associated with high cancer risk.

The overall aim of our work is to improve our understanding of how cancer develops and identify potential novel therapeutic targets. It is also of crucial importance in the clinic where cancer cells are treated with DNA damaging agents such as ionizing radiation and cytotoxic drugs. Increased knowledge on how the cell responds to such agents is a fundamental task in order to improve current cancer treatments.

Personal profile through Google Scholar

Group members:

Þorkell Guðjónsson, Senior Research Fellow








Dr. Kritika Kirty, Post doctoral research fellow

Dr Kirty received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Zoology from the University of Delhi, India. She received her Ph.D from the School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India. During the course of her graduate studies she worked on different aspects of skin biology related to pigmentation. Her work focused on comprehensive identification of transcriptional regulatory networks controlling melanogenesis uncovered using a chemogenomic approach. 

Dr. Kirty joined Stefán Þ Sigurðsson’s lab in February 2017 where she is currently interested in investigating novel roles of the melanogenesis master regulator, MITF in melanoma and non-melanoma cells.

E-mail: kritikakirty (at)

Phone: +354 767 0466



Stefán Þór Hermanowicz, PhD student

Project title: Researching the impact of epigenetically modified DNA repair genes on the formation and treatment of various cancers.

Email. sthh16 (at)







Elísabet A Frick, PhD Student

Project title: The role of miR-190b in breast cancer

E-mail: eaf3 (at)








Drífa Hrund Guðmundsdóttir, MSc

Project title: Identifying novel regulators of the cellular response to DNA damage

Email: dhg1 (at)








Gunnlaug Ruth Guðmundsdóttir MSc Student

Project title: The functional role of USPL1 in DNA damage response

E-mail: grg17 (at)








Jasper van der Horst, MSc student

Project title: Epigenetic modifications of DNA repair genes in breast cancer.

E-mail: jv8 (at)

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