Erna MagnúsdóttirGurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK F1000 Associate Faculty Member (since 13 January 2009)
Postdoctoral research associate, The Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge
2001-2007 PhD Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
1996-1999 BSc, Biochemistry Háskóli Íslands
Erna Magnúsdóttir works with Azim Surani whose lab studies Germ cells, the precursors of sperm and eggs. These cell are immortal in the sense that they generate a whole organism upon fertilisation and through them provide an enduring link between all generations, while the body cells perish with each individual. The lab specifically aims to discover how cells, and indeed any cell, could be converted into a germ cell. Furthermore, they are investigating their unique properties, which confer the immortal state on germ cells. Detailed understanding of the mechanism involved will be valuable for the detection and eradication of immortal cancer cells. This knowledge will also be important for manipulating stem cells and adult cells for the repair and rejuvenation of diseased body tissues, and for the discovery of new therapeutic agents that can prevent or reverse the trend in ageing tissues towards debilitating diseases such as Alzheimers and heart disease.
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