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Interested in joining the BMC?

With its recognized and engaged faculty, BMC offers excellent opportunities for masters students, PhD fellows and postdoctoral fellows to participate in cutting-edge research. 

Masters and PhD Projects

1. MS project in Mecical Life Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine

We are looking for a motivated hard working indidividual to join our group and work towards an MS degree in Medical Life Sciences. The aim of the project is to delineate the role of neutrophils and/or natural killer cells in resolution of inflammation. Timely resolution of inflammation is crucial for it not to become chronic, but chronic inflammation is implicated in the progression of many of the most prevalent degenerative diseases. Therefore, the idea has been put forth that strengthening resolution of inflammation may be a better mean of treating inflammation-related degenerative diseases than dampening acute inflammation. 
The group consists of two supervisors, two doctoral students and one MS student. We have laboratories at the Department of Immunology at Landspitali and at the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Faculty of Medicine. 
The methods used will include isolation of neutrophils and NK cells, cell culture, flow cytometry, LUMINEX and ELISA assays, Jess simple western and RT-PCR among others. 
Please contact Jona Freysdottir ( or Ingibjorg Hardardottir ( for further information.

2. M.Sc. project in biochemistry/biophysics

A masters-level project is available early year 2020 in the field of single-molecule biochemistry and biophysics.

As much as 40% of the human proteome consists of proteins that lack a stable threedimensional structure. These so-called intrinsically disordered proteins have important roles in cell signaling and regulation, are prominent players in many disease mechanisms, and are enriched in the nucleus. The prospective student will use state-of-the-art single-molecule fluorescence techniques to study the structure, dynamics, and interactions of intrinsically disordered transcription factors. The specific protein targets are strongly linked to molecular mechanisms that lead to breast cancer and cell reprogramming activity. The overall aim is to map the molecular details of chromatin interactions and understand the role of structurally disordered regions in the transcription factors.

The project is a collaboration with the Structural Biology and NMR Laboratory at the University of Copenhagen (with a possibility of short-term visits), and is funded by grants from Rannís and Göngum Saman cancer-awareness fund. Applicants with a background in biochemistry, chemistry, physics, or biology are encouraged to apply. Experience with protein expression and purification and/or fluorescence spectroscopy is an advantage but not a requirement.

Pétur Orri Heiðarsson, Associate Professor of Biochemistry, Science Institute, School of Engineering and Natural Sciences
For more information, please contact

3. Meistaranemi óskast

Við Námsbraut í efnafræði við Háskóla Íslands er unnið að smíði á nýjum lífrænum tin- og rhodiumsamböndum út frá benzoati. Á  Lífvísindasetri hafa verið prófuð tvö ný tinsmabönd og reyndist annað þeirra, SNO7, vera virkt gegn nokkrum vel þekktum krabbameinsfrumulínum í prófunum fyrir frumulifun og frumudauða. Einnig veldur það stöðvun í frumuhring og framkallar tvíþátta brot í DNA. Það er virkara en krabbameinsfyfið Cisplatin gegn nokkrum krabbameinsfrumulínum en minna virkt gegn frumum sem eru ekki úr krabbameinum. Tvö rhodiumsambönd hafa verið prófuð en höfðu ekki virkni, hugsanlega vegna þess að þau voru ekki tekin upp í frumur og verður það haft í huga við frekari efnasmíð. Markmið þessa verkefnis er skima þessi nýju tin- og rhodiumsambönd fyrir virkni gegn krabbameinum og kanna verkunarmáta þeirra. Verkefnið er samvinnuverkefni milli Námsbrautar í efnafræði og Lífvísindaseturs og verður unnið á báðum stöðum.

Áhugasamir hafi samband við Helgu M Ögmundsdóttur (

4. Sameinda- og frumulíffræðilegar rannsóknir á krabbameini - meistaraverkefni

Hópur vísindafólks leitar að kraftmiklum einstaklingi sem hefur áhuga á rannsóknum á krabbameinum. Við leitum að nemum sem eru komnir vel áleiðis í B.Sc. námi sínu í lífefna- og sameindalíffræði og hafa áhuga á að taka þátt í vísindarannsóknum meðfram námi. Hægt yrði að breyta verkefninu í rannsóknaverkefni til meistaragráðu, ef áhugi vaknaði fyrir því.

Vísindaverkefnin ganga út á að rannsaka gen sem hafa áhrif á þróun krabbameins og meðferðarmöguleika tengdum þeim. Við rannsóknirnar þarf að nota nýjustu aðferðir í frumu- og sameindalíffræði, s.s. CRISPR, þrívíð frumuræktunarmódel og háhraðaraðgreiningar (next generation sequencing). Rannsóknirnar eru unnar við Meinafræðideild Landspítalans og við Lífvísindasetur Háskóla Íslands.  

Frekari upplýsingar er að fá hjá Bylgju Hilmarsdóttur ( og Rósu Björk Barkardóttur (

5. Masters project in bioinorganic chemistry

Title: Interaction of Cytochrome c Oxidase with Molybdenum Complexes and Cyanide.

Advisor: Sigríður G. Suman, Professor Bioinorganic Chemistry, Science Institute University of Iceland

Project ECTS: 90

Start date: September 2019

Cytochrome c Oxidase is often called complex IV in the mitochondrial respiratory chain. Its function is to reduce oxygen to water and four protons that are used for ATP synthesis. Cyanide is an inhibitor of Cytochrome c Oxidase (CcO) where it coordinates to the Fe3+ iron center in its Heme a3 active site. The coordination is irreversible in vivo rendering the enzyme inactive halting ATP synthesis leading to anoxia at high cyanide concentrations. In vitro the enzyme may be reactivated with reducing agents such as dithionite under conditions that are not applicable for in vivo treatments. Reactivation of CcO is desireable for the purpose of detoxification of cyanide in vivo post-exposure to non-lethal quantities of cyanide. In our group molybdenum complexes that effectively react with cyanide and convert it to non-toxic thiocyanate have been developed and shown effective in reactions in buffers as well as in vivo as detoxification agents. This project employs these complexes to study their effects in experiments with:

In vitro experiments with CcO

o In the absence of cyanide

o In the presence of cyanide

This project requires enzymatic reactions, and analytical work. This project initially will be working with the enzyme using a UV-visible instrument and enzyme kinetics. Batches of the compounds used for the project need to be synthesized and purity confirmed. The compounds are water soluble and air-stable.

Aim of the project:

To investigate if reactivation of CcO is possible with the complexes after inhibition with cyanide.

For inquires please contact Sigríður Suman at sgsuman at

6. Masters project in Pharmaceutical Science (MS verkefni í lyfjavísindum) - exosomes

A masters project is available beginning fall 2019 in the area of exosomal isolation for pharmaceutical purposes. Exosomes, extracellular vesicles released from human cells, have an important role to play in cell to cell signalling. They could also serve as efficient nanocarriers for pharmaceuticals due to their enogenous nature and size. This research project will focus on optimizing culture conditions of a breast epithelial cell line with regards to cost efficiency and exosomal production. The project is for two years and funded by the Göngum saman cancer awareness fund. The project will be carried out both in Læknagarður (as a part of the Biomedical Center) as well as at Hagi (Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences). Applicants with background in biology, biochemistry, pharmaceutical sciences and similar fields are encouraged to apply.

Berglind Eva Benediktsdóttir, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Health Sciences

For more information, contact

7. Masterproject in molecular biology and innate immunity

A master-project is available in a research project on human lung epithelia and cell signaling linked to innate immunity and defenses against microbes. During the last decades the importance of innate immunity in lung epithelium has been partially clarified but deficiencies in the system result in repeated infections. The research group has found novel ways to stimulate innate immunity in human epithelial cell lines against infections and central signal pathways affecting the epithelial barrier. The project is for two years and funded by RANNÍS. The research laboratory is located in Læknagardur and part of BioMedical Center University of Iceland.

Gudmundur Hrafn Gudmundsson professor of Cell biology in Life and Environmental Sciences

Contact for information

PhD and postdoctoral fellows

Group leaders at the BMC are always looking for highly motivated PhD fellows and postdocs. If there are currently no open calls posted on our website, excellent PhDs and postdocs are encouraged to apply to one of our groups for fellowships at any time. The chances for a position at BMC are increased significantly if you contact us well ahead of time. Please contact the Group Leader you wish to work with directly and please enclose the following materials:

1. Cover Letter/letter of interest
2. CV
3. Three (3) letters of reference 

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Work environment at BMC

BMC is a dynamic and international research centre. We offer good working conditions with excellent possibilities in an open, collaborative atmosphere. We offer state-of-the-art research facilities in modern laboratories. The research groups at BMC collaborate closely and all our young scientists (masters students, PhD fellows and postdocs) actively participate in all our activities.

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