Jens Guðmundur Hjörleifsson



Assistant professor at Faculty of Physical Sciences

Email: jensgh [at]
Phone: + 354 525 4807

Faculty of Physical Sciences, Askja, Sturlugata 7, 102 Reykjavík, Iceland

(work in progress)

Jens Guðmundur Hjörleifsson

2018 Ph.D. In Biochemistry (180 ECTS), University of Iceland. (Thesis title: Ionic effects and subunit interactions in a cold-active alkaline phosphatase from the marine bacterium Vibrio splendidus. Supervisor: Bjarni Ásgeirsson).
2016 Structured guided drug design, 6 ECTS course, University of Tromsø. Report title: Covalent docking of beta lactams to three alkaline phosphatases.
2012-2014: M.Sc. in peptide and protein chemistry (120 ECTS), University of Stockholm, Sweden. (Thesis title: Hairpin deoxyribozymes. Optimization and design of a stable all DNA containing gene knockdown agent – Supervised by Ülo Langel).
2008-2010: B.Sc. in biochemistry, University of Iceland. (Thesis title: The role of an unusual loop region in a phosphatase from a marine organism in stability, flexibility and enzyme activity – Supervised by Bjarni Ásgeirsson).

Employment history
2018-current Posdoctoral researcher, Department of Biochemistry, Science Intitute, University of Iceland.
2015 Summer specialist at the pharmaceutical stability department, Actavis.
2011-2012 Specialist at a quality control laboratory at Ölgerðin Egils Skallagrímsson brewery.

• DNA manipulation and cloning.
• Protein overexpression and protein purification.
• Experienced in several biophysical spectroscopic methods such as: UV-Vis, CD-spectroscopy, steady-state and time resolved fluorescence and phosphorescence spectroscopy, microscale thermophoresis (MST) and mass spectrophotometry.
• Gained valuable experience in X-ray crystallography at Dr. Ronny Hellands lab in The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø during three visits overseas. Protein crystal screening techniques, cryo-mounting, X-ray data acquisition and structure solving. I have been involved in starting up a small-scale X-ray crystallography lab at the Science Institute of Iceland.
• I have experience in mentoring several BSc. students and one MSc. Student and I have about 1300 hours of part time teaching experience at the university of Iceland. I am currently teaching 35% the lectures and practicals in Biochemistry 2 at the university of Iceland.

• Protein-Protein interactions and oligomerization.
• Enzymology and special interest in cooperativity of enzymatic subunits in catalysis.
• High interest in using sophisticated methods in studying protein-protein interactions and dynamics such as X-ray crystallography, NMR and theoretical calculations.
• I have a soft spot for Beta-lactamases which are involved in multidrug resistance of bacteria, especially the class-D OXA types which many exist as dimers.

(1) Papaleo, E., Hjörleifsson, J.G., Invernizzi, G., Helland, R., Magnúsdóttir, M. & Ásgeirsson, B (2019) Modulation of activity and stability of a dimeric coldadapted enzyme acting on a disordered loop-region at the monomer-monomer interface. Being re-submitted after revision.

(2) Ásgeirsson, B., Hlynsdóttir, Sigríður S., Hjörleifsson, Jens. G. (2019) Cyclohexylamine is a non-competitive inhibitor of alkaline phosphatase. Submitted to PlosOne.

(3) Jens Guðmundur Hjörleifsson and Bjarni Ásgeirsson. (2019), Chloride promotes refolding of active Vibrio alkaline phosphatase through an inactive dimeric intermediate with an altered interface. FEBS Open Bio, 9:169-184.

(4) Jens Guðmundur Hjörleifsson and Bjarni Ásgeirsson. (2017). pH-dependent binding of chloride to a marine alkaline phosphatase affects catalysis, active site stability and dimer equilibrium. Biochemistry 56, 5075-5089.

(5) Jens Guðmundur Hjörleifsson and Bjarni Ásgeirsson. (2016). Cold-active alkaline phosphatase is irreversibly transformed into an inactive dimer by low urea concentrations, Bichim Biophys Acta 1864, 755-765.