Research Professor at the Institute of Experimental Pathology, University of Iceland, Keldur
Ástríður obtained a BS degree in biology from the University of Iceland in 1972. She received her DPhil degree from the Department of Biochemistry at University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, in 1986, where he studied the molecular biology of Complement C4 under the supervision of prof. Rodney Porter. Returning back home she worked at the Blood Bank in Reykjavik on the Hereditary Cystatin C Amyloid Angiopathy and devised a genetic test for the disease in 1988. Between 1989-1995 she worked on thermophilic bacteria at the Biology Institute at the University of Iceland before moving to Institute for Experimental Pathology at Keldur where she worked on prion diseases and resumed work on HCCAA.
Pálsdóttir´s research focuses on the epidemiology, cell biology and pathology of Hereditary Cystatin C Amyloid Angiopathy, a dominantly inherited disease only found in Iceland. The group has studied the vessel pathology of patients, who died of brain hemorrhages, and discovered massive fibrosis and proteoglycan accumulation in arterial walls together with prominent astrogliosis surrounding the arterioles. A cell model has been established for the disease using patients´ skin fibroblasts. They were used to study the differential gene activity between patients´ cells compared to controls using microarray analysis. With regard to the transcriptome the results reflect the pathology findings of post-mortem samples. A proteome and metabolome analysis of the cells and their media is ongoing in collaboration with a research group at Manchester University, UK (group of prof. Garth Cooper). The aim of the research is to find the aberrant pathways that lead to the disease.
The Pálsdóttir group:
Dr. Birkir Þór Bragason
Ásbjörg Ósk Snorradóttir