GPMLS Distinguished Lecture Series

Previous events

GPMLS Distinguished Lecture Series –
Prof. Páll Þórðarson – June 22th

Páll Þórðarson, Ph.D. will give a lecture titled Building the Australian RNA ecosystem in our distinguished lecture series in Askja room 132 on the 22th of June from 11:00-12:00.

Páll Þórðarson has worked as a Professor of Chemistry at the University of New South Wales since 2007, where he conducts research in the field of nanomedicine, supramolecular and physiological chemistry. In recent years, he has led a group of scientists who have built up research in the field of RNA biology and chemistry, which has now led to the establishment of a new institution called the UNSW RNA Institute, which is led by Páll. Páll has also led the cooperation of 14 Universities in New South Wales on the development of the field of RNA, with the aim of promoting research in the field while also laying the ground for the RNA industry in Australia. Páll will tell us about this work and how he intends to build up knowledge about RNA in Australia.

GPMLS Distinguished Lecture Series –
Robert Ballotti, PhD – June 15th

Robert Ballotti, Ph.D. will give a lecture titled Study of intratumoral heterogeneity and identification of actionable frailties in uveal melanoma in our distinguished lecture series in Askja room 132 on the 15th of June from 9:00-10:00.

Robert Ballotti, PhD is a renowned molecular biologist specializing in cell signaling pathways and melanoma biology. Dr. Ballotti has focused on melanocytes since 1993, exploring the molecular mechanisms governing their differentiation and the connection between this process and melanoma development. He and his team recently identified a germinal mutation in MITF that predisposes carriers to develop melanoma. A dedicated research program is being established to understand how this mutation accelerates melanoma development. Moreover, the laboratory is studying the mechanisms controlling the transition between melanoma-initiating cells and their differentiated descendants. In partnership with the Department of Dermatology at the Nice Hospital, the Ballotti lab has developed an effective pre-clinical bench test. This multi-parameter analysis evaluates drug effects on signaling and viability by genotyping, conducting in situ signaling pathway analysis, and isolating patient-derived melanoma cells. A move towards truly personalized therapy.

GPMLS Distinguished Lecture Series –
Prof. Reuben Harris, PhD – March 2nd

Professor Reuben S. Harris will give a lecture titled Basic and translational studies on the second largest source of mutation in cancer in our distinguished lecture series in Fróði auditorium the 2nd of March at 11:00-12:00.

Reuben S. Harris is a professor and chair of the biochemistry and structural biology department at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and a professor and chairman at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

The Harris Lab uses a large repertoire of model systems and experimental approaches to understand how DNA mutating enzymes (APOBECs) provide immunity against viral infections, yet in many cases also contribute to tumor evolution through genomic DNA mutagenesis. Another goal of the Harris Lab is to translate these fundamental scientific discoveries into novel therapeutics against viruses and cancer. In this lecture he will focus on APOBECs and cancer.

GPMLS Retreat 2022 – October 7th in Gróska

The annual GPMLS retreat will be held in Gróska on October 7th. We encourage students, postdocs and principal investigators to mark this date in their calendar. The schedule will be released soon.

GPMLS Lecture Series – Assoc. Prof. Dominique Duncan, PhD – August 25th

Dominique Duncan, PhD, is an assistant professor of Neurology, Neuroscience, and Biomedical Engineering at the USC Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute in the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging (LONI) at the University of Southern California. She will give a presentation on Thursday 25th of August at 11:00 in lecture room 101 in Oddi.

“We are a group of neuroscientists, engineers, mathematicians, computer programmers, chemists, and data scientists who share a common goal of addressing challenges to neuroscience and public health via big data. We do so by working at the intersection of neuroimaging, signal processing, informatics, and machine learning. We leverage computational tools in conjunction with mechanistically oriented neuroimaging to develop analytic tools for multimodal data, build centralized archives for data and algorithms, and promote large-scale collaborative research. Currently, we focus on applications in traumatic brain injury, epilepsy, novel devices for intracranial stimulation, and COVID-19.”  More info available here.

GPMLS Distinguished Lecture Series – Prof. R. Jayakumar, PhD – June 16th

R. Jayakumar, PhD, is a professor at the Polymeric Biomaterials group, Centre for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine (ACNSMM), Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, India, specializing in the area of Biomaterials for Healthcare Applications. He will give a presentation in the GPMLS distinguished lecture series titled: Shape-Forming, Self-Healing, Shear-Thinning and Biadhesive Hydrogels in Biomedical Area on June 16th, 11:30 in Hringsalur at the Children’s HospitalHere is a link to the event.

“Hydrogels have been extensively used for drug delivery, hemostasis, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications. Recently, innovative hydrogels such as shape-forming, self-healing, shear-thinning and bioadhesive hydrogels have been developed and studied for biomedical applications. Based on this we have developed in-situ shape-forming hydrogel for regenerating irregular bone defects and self-healing hydrogel for treatment of incisional wounds. Further we developed injectable shear-thinning hydrogel for wound healing. In continuation we also developed in-situ bioadhesive hydrogels for bleeding control and preventing sternal infections. In this lecture, fabrication technique, in vitro and in vivo evaluation of the above-mentioned hydrogels and its applications will be discussed in detail.”


GPMLS Lecture Series – Gennady G. Yegutkin, PhD – June 16th

Gennady G. Yegutkin, PhD, is a Docent at the Instititue of Biomedicine and a Senior Research Fellow at the MediCity Research Institute at the University of Turku, Finland. He will give a presentation in the GPMLS lecture series titled: Adenosine metabolism in cancer and inflammation – exploitation for therapeutic gain on June 16th, 10:30 in Hringsalur at the Children’s Hospital. Here is a link to the event.

Adenosine is an evolutionary ancient metabolic regulator linking energy state to physiological processes including immunomodulation and cell proliferation. Tumors create an adenosine-rich immunosuppressive microenvironment through the increased release of ATP from dying and stressed cells and its ectoenzymatic conversion into adenosine. Therefore, the adenosine pathway becomes an important therapeutic target to improve the effectiveness of immune therapies. I will provide a holistic view of extracellular and intracellular adenosine metabolism as an integrated complex network, and summarize recent data on the underlying mechanisms through which adenosine and its precursors ATP and ADP control cancer immunosurveillance, tumor angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis, cancer-associated thrombosis, blood flow, and tumor perfusion. Special attention will be given to differences and commonalities in the purinome of different cancers, heterogeneity of the tumor microenvironment, and novel roles of purine-converting enzymes as targets for cancer therapies.


GPMLS Distinguished Lecture Series – Prof. Virginijus Siksnys – May 16th

Professor Virginijus Siksnys, PhD, will give a lecture in the GPMLS distinguished lecture series and the title of his talk is Novel CRISPR-Cas and other programmable nucleases as potential genome editing tools.

The lecture will take place at 15:00 in Askja, room 132. Here is a link to the event.

Virginijus Siksnys, PhD, is a Professor at the Institute of Biotechnology, and the Head and Chief Scientist of the Department of Protein – DNA Interactions at Vilnius University, Lithuania.

“The overall research theme in our lab is the structural and functional characterization of enzymes and enzyme assemblies that contribute to the bacteria defense systems which target invading nucleic acids. In particularly, we are involved in the deciphering structural and molecular mechanisms of restriction enzymes, and the molecular machinery involved in the CRISPR function. We are using X-ray crystallography, mutagenesis, and functional biochemical and biophysical assays to gain information on these systems.”



GPMLS Distinguished Lecture Series – Prof. Jóhann E. Gudjonsson – May 12th

Professor Gudjonsson, MD PhD, will give a lecture in the GPMLS distinguished lecture series and the title of his talk is Use of single-cell and spatial-sequencing for the study of inflammatory skin diseases.

The lecture will take place at 11:00 in Fróði auditorium, Sturlugata 8 (deCODE building).

Dr. Gudjonsson’s primary research focus is basic immunological and genetic research on chronic inflammatory skin diseases.  He has published over 180 peer reviewed papers in top tier journals and has received numerous awards. Here is a link to the event.


GPMLS Lecture Series – Prof. Cláudia Cavadas

We thank Professor Cláudia Cavadas for her interesting lecture titled Neuroendocrinology and ageing: from mechanisms to translational approaches. The lecture was held in Fróði auditorium and evoked lively discussion among the audience about this important topic.


Distinguished Lecture Series and BMC 10 year anniversary – Prof. Tuuli Lappalainen

We congratulate the BioMedical Center (BMC) on their 10 year anniversary again and thank them for hosting a wonderful event for this special occasion. Among the speakers in their anniversary seminar was Professor Tuuli Lappalainen who gave a talk in the GPMLS distinguished lecture series titled Functional variation in the human genome: Lessons from the transcriptome.


Distinguished lecture series – cancelled due to covid related incidence

On the 9th of September, GPMLS will host a distinguished lecture series where professor Kenneth Zaret from the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania will present his work, titled Overcoming Chromatin Barriers to Change Cell Fate.

„The goal of our laboratory is to understand ways that genes are regulated in order to allow one type of cell to change into another type of cell. Such “cell type control” occurs in embryonic development and tissue regeneration, when embryo or adult stem cells become specialized for tissue function. Understanding cell type control is crucial to being able to generate new cells at will for therapeutics and for generating experimental models to unveil the basis of, and cures for, human disease“

The lecture will be held on the 9th of September at 10.00 o’clock, at Fróði Lecture Hall at Sturlugata 8.

Distinguished lecture series

On the 17th of May GPMLS will host a distinguished lecture where Hildur Helgadóttir, MD, PhD oncologist at the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm will present her work titled: Skin cancers and research related to increasing incidence, genetic factors and treatment with immunotherapy and targeted therapy

The lecture will take place on Zoom on the 17th of May 2021 at 12-13 o’clock. A link will be available here.

Hildur graduated in 2002 as a medical doctor from the University of Iceland. After internship she moved, in 2003 to Boston, to peruse research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. In 2012, she completed her specialist training as a medical oncologist, at the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, where she has worked as a clinician and researcher since 2006. In 2015, she defended her doctoral thesis “Cancer risks and Prognosis in Familial Melanoma Kindreds”. Hildur is chief physician at Karolinska in the field of skin cancer oncology and genetics. The research she conducts is translational as she oversees a number of both clinical and preclinical studies. 

Here is a link to the lecture


2021 GPMLS Retreat at Harpan

The 2021 GPMLS Retreat will be held on the 24th of September at Harpan Conference Hall. The program starts at 9.30 and ends with dinner at Harpan. Please sign up here.

GPMLS congratulates Dr. Ardem Patapoutian on his Nobel prize!

We had the honour of welcoming Dr. Pataooutian as a lecturer in our GPMLS Distinguished Lecture Series where he presented his work in 2018. We would like to extend our warmest congratulations to Dr. Patapoutain and wish him all the best! Read here more about his great success.

Thank you all for attending the 2021 GPMLS retreat at Harpan

Special thanks to the students for their excellent student presentations, to the invited speakers for their inspiring talks, and to everyone how contributed to the discussions. Here is a link to pictures and more from the retreat, and here is a link to the weekly University of Iceland newsletter where the retreat is highlighted.


GPMLS Retreat 2022 – October 7th in Gróska

The annual GPMLS retreat will be held in Gróska on October 7th. We encourage students, postdocs and principal investigators to mark this date in their calendar. The schedule will be released soon.