Ágústa Guðmundsdóttir

Professor of food chemistry
University of Iceland


Curriculum vitae


Name: Ágústa Guðmundsdóttir

Birthplace:                  Reykjavík

Date of birth:              July 2. 1945

Address:                    Skildinganes 29

                                    101  Reykjavík, Iceland

Phone:                        354-55-11168 (home), 
                                    354-525-4800 (work)

E-mail:                        ag@hi.is

Spouce:                        Jón Bragi Bjarnason, Professor of Biochemistry, University of Iceland

Work address:          Science Institute, University of Iceland, Department of Food Science,
            Laeknagardur, Vatnsmýrarvegi 16, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland

Position:                     Professor of food chemistry University of Iceland since 1993

Education:      1984-1988           University of Virginia, School of Medicine. Ph.D in microbiology

                        1982-1983           University of Iceland, B.S. honours in

                                                       biochemistry. Research at the Sci. Inst. of University of Iceland

                        1976-1980            University of Iceland, B.S. in food science

                        1972-1976            Junior college, Menntaskólinn við Hamrahlíð



1980-1984     Science Institute, University of Iceland, Department of Chemistry.

Research on heart lipid metabolism with main emphasis on the effect of various pharmaceuticals and environmental factors on the fatty acid composition of rat heart phospholipids

1984-1988     University of Virginia, Department of Microbiology

Structure of the vitamin B12 receptor, BtuB, in E.coli  using genetic engineering to manipulate the function of the protein.

1989-            Ongoing research projects:

1) Bacteriocins from lactic acid bacteria as biopreservatives.  Involving isolation, characterization and large-scale production of  carnocin UI49 from Carnobacterium piscicola  with the purpose of using it as a food preservative

2) Genetic engineering and large-scale production of cod serine proteases (cloning, sequencing, expression and mutagenesis).  The main purpose of the project is: a) to characterize the determinants for the cold-activity of  the enzymes, b) to make derivatives of the enzymes with increased stability and c) large-scale production the enzymes and their derivatives for industrial use, in particular food manufacturing and for medical purposes.

3) Expression and mutagenesis of the cDNA encoding Euphauserase, a brachyurin type Antarctic krill serine protease.  Research performed in collaboration with Phairson Medical Ltd. in London.  The main purpose of the project is to produce recombinant Euphauserase in Pichia pastoris  for medical purposes.  Also, to make derivatives of the enzyme with increased stability to autolysis in order to increase its shelf-life.


Research funding


1989               Icelandic Council of Science, National Research Council, University of Iceland Reaearch Foundation

1990               Nordic Industrial Foundation, National Research Council

1991               University of Iceland Reaearch Foundation, Icelandic Council of Science, Nordic Industrial foundation, National Research Council

1992               National Research Council, Nordic Industrial Foundation, University of Iceland Research Foundation

1993               National Research Council, Nordic Industrial Foundation, Icelandic Council of Science, University of Iceland Research Foundation

1994               National Research Council, Icelandic Council of Science, University of Iceland Research Foundation

1995               The Icelandic Research Council (R &D division and Science division), The University of Iceland Research Foundation

1996               The Icelandic Research Council (Science division),
                        The University of Iceland Research Foundation

1997               The Icelandic Research Council (Science division),
                        The University of Iceland Research Foundation

1998               Icelandic Research Council, Technical Division,
               TheUniversity of Iceland Research Foundation, Phairson Medical Ltd.

1999               Icelandic Research Council, Phairson Medical Ltd.

2000               Icelandic Research Council




1986               NATO Research Fellowship

1990               Fulbright Research Award

1993               Fulbright Research Award 


Teaching activities


1979-1980     Icelandic Nursing Academy, lectures in biochemsitry,
                        organic chemistry and nutrition

1980-1984    University of Iceland:Biochemistry and organic chemistry

1985               University of Virginia:  Medical microbiology 

1998                    University of Iceland:

Undergraduate courses in food chemistry, biochemistry, nutrition and microbiology

Graduate courses in molecular biology (membrane proteins) and genetically modified foods           



                        European Biochemistry Society

                        Biochemistry Association of Iceland

                        Icelandic Academy of Sciences

                        The Icelandic Association of Food Scientists and Nutritionists

                        Biology Association of Iceland

                        The Icelandic Accociation for Quality Control

                        Rotary Club of Reykjavík

                        Rotary International


Administrative activities

1989-1993     Nordic Industral Foundation: Steering committee member of the NI Umbrella Program on Protein Engineering

1989               Nordic Council of Ministers: Steering committee member on the use of "New Biotechnology" in the food industry

1989               Steering committee: "Bacterial enzymes for industrial use" in Iceland

1989               Steering committee: Association of Food Scientists and Nutritionists in Iceland

1989               Steering committee: The Icelandic association for Quality Control

1990-              Steering committee: The Icelandic Council for Nutrition

1991                    Steering committee: Department of Chemistry

1991-1999     Committee chairman for the evaluation of seven candidates for tenior promotions,
  Faculty of Sciences, University of Iceland.

1995-1999       Chairman of the Food Science Department, University of Iceland

1995-1999      Member of the sub-group of the European Union program on Structural Biology

1996-1999        Member of the European Union Food-FAIR Programme Committee

1997-1999        Member of the advisory committee to the president of the University of Iceland
 regarding public relations and gevernment interaction

1992-1999      Member of the Ministry of Health committee on human nutrition

1995-1999        Member of the University of Icelands committee on industrial interaction

1995-2000        In charge of a project on behalf of the University of Iceland on fundraising for a Food
                         Science Institute building in Reykjavík


  1. Sigmundur Guðbjarnason, Aðalsteinn Emilsson, Jónas Hallgrímsson and Ágústa Guðmundsdóttir (1982), "Fatty Acid Chain Composition in Myocardial Lipids i Relation to Age, Diet, Stress and Coronary Artery Disease in Man".  In Myocardial Ischemia and Protection,  Publ. H. Refsun, P. Lynge og O.D. Mjös, Churchill Livingstone Edinburg, London, Melborne and New York, pp. 79-89.

  2. S. Guðbjarnason, A. Emilsson and Á. Guðmundsdóttir (1982), "Alterations in Fatty Acid Chain Composition of Myocardial Phospholipids during Stress", Proceedings of a Symposium on "Zellulare und Molekulare Aspekte der Herzregulation", Berlin.

  3. Guðbjarnason, S., Emilsson, A., Hallgrímsson, J. and Guðmundsdóttir,  A. (1982), Scand Forum Lipid Res. 25, 15-21.

  4. Á. Guðmundsdóttir and  S. Guðbjarnason (1983), "Neonatal Changes in Fatty Acid Profile of Phospholipids in Rat Heart Muscle", Biochemica Biophysica Acta 752, 284-290.

  5. Sigmundur Guðbjarnason, Aðalsteinn Emilsson and Ágústa Guðmundsdóttir (1983), "Fatty Acid Composition of Phospholipids of Heart Muscle in relation to Age, Dietary Fat and Stress".  In Arterial Pollution, ritstj. H. Peeters, G.A. Gersham og R. Paoletti, Publ. Plenum Publ. Corp. 115-124.

  6. Gudbjarnason, S., Gudmundsdottir, A., Emilsson, A.(1983)  "Alteration in fatty acid composition of phospholipids in heart muscle induced by various forms of stress". Pathogenesis of Stress-induced Heart Disease.  Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishing; 1985: 355-368 (R.E. Beamish, V. Panagia and N.S. Dhalla.)

  7. Ágústa Guðmundsdóttir (1983), "Neonatal changes in the fatty acid composition of rat hearts", BS honours dissertation in the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University of Iceland .

  8. Ágústa Guðmundsdóttir og Sigmundur Guðbjarnason (1985), Circulation, Part II, Vol. 72, Number 4 (Abstract 1355).

  9. Á. Guðmundsdóttir, R.J. Kadner and C. Bradbeer (1987), "Structural and Functional Analysis of the Vitamin B12 Receptor of Protein (BtuB) in the Outer Membrane of E. coli  by Mutagenesis og the btuB  Gene" J. Cell. Beochem. Supplement 11C, Abstract for the UCLA Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology.

  10. Ágústa Guðmundsdóttir, Clive Breadbeer and Robert J. Kadner (1988), "Altered Binding and Transport of Vitamin B12 Resulting from Insertion Mutations in the Escherichia coli btuB gene, J. Biol. Chem. 263, 14224-14230.

  11. Ágústa Guðmundsdóttir (1988), "Genetic Analysis of BtuB:  A Vitamin B12 Binding and Transport Protein in the Escherichia coli  Outer Membrane",  A Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Faculty of the University of Virginia in Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Microbiology, University of Virginia.

  12. A. Gudmundsdóttir,  Bell, P.E., Lundrigan,  M.D., Bradbeer, C., and Kadner, R.J. (1989), "Point Mutations in a Conserved Region (TonB box) of the Escherichia coli  Outer Membrane BtuB Protein Affect Vitamin B12 Transport" J. Bacteriol.  171:6526-6533

  13. Bradbeer, C. and Gudmundsdottir, A. (1990) "Interdependence of Calcium and Cobalamin Binding by Wild type and Mutant BtuB Protein in the Outer Membrane of Escherichia coli "J. Bacteriol.  172:4919-4926

  14. Geesje Stoffels and Ágústa Guðmundsdóttir (1990) "Antagonistic Properties of Lactic Acid Bacteria Isolated From Fish Waste"  A Science Institute Report, RH-08-90.

  15. Ágústa Guðmundsdóttir (1990) "Biopreservatives from lactic acid bacteria"  Mataræði (Food habits) 5: 4,  published by Food Science students at the University of Iceland

  16. Köster, W., Gudmundsdottir, A., Lundrigan, M.D. Seifert, A., and Kadner, R. (1991) "Deletions and Duplications of Portions of the BtuB Protein  Affects its Level in the Cell Envelope of Escherichia coli.  J. Bacteriol. 173:5639-5647

  17. G. Stoffels, J. Nissen-Meyer, A. Gudmundsdottir, K. Sletten, H. Holo and I.F. Nes (1992) "Purification and Characterization of a new Bacteriocin from Carnobacterium.  Appl. and Env. Microbiol. 58:1417-1422

  18. G. Stoffels., I.F. Nes, and Á. Guðmundsdóttir (1992) "Isolation and Properties of a Bacteriocin-Producing Carnobacterium piscicola Isolated from Fish". J. of Appl. Bacteriol. 73:309-316

  19. Ágústa Guðmundsdóttir (1992) "Gene technology and food production, future aspects" Mataræði (Food habits), 6: 5-6.

  20. Á. Guðmundsdóttir, Óskarsson, S., Guðmundsdóttir, E., Eakin, A., Bjarnason, J.B., and Craik, C.S. (1992) "Isolation and Characterization of cDNA´s Encoding Atlantic Cod Trypsinogen and Chymotrypsinogen",  Abstract  p. 40-41, Protein Enigieering Conference, Korpilampi, 12-16 August, 1992

  21. Stoffels, G., Sahl, H., and Guðmundsdóttir, Á. (1993) "Carnocin UI49, a potential biopreservative produced by Carnobacterium piscicola  - Large scale purification and its activity against various Gram-positive bacteria including Listeria  sp." Int. J. Food Microbiol. 20, 199-210

  22. Guðmundsdóttir, Á., Guðmundsdóttir, E., Óskarsson, S., Bjarnason, J.B., Eakin, A.K., and Craik, C.S. (1993) "Isolation and characterization of cDNAs from Atlantic cod encoding two different forms of trypsinogen" Eur. J. Biochem. 217, 1091-1097

  23. Bjarnason, J.B., Ásgeirsson, B., Kristjánsson, M.M., Guðmundsdóttir, Á., Fox, J.W., Chlebovski, J.F. and Craik, C.S. (1993) "Characteristics, protein engineering and applications of psychrophilic marine proteinases from Atlantic cod" In  Stability and Stabilization of Enzymes Proceedings of an International Symposium held in Maastricht, The Netherlands 22-25 November 1992 (ritstj. W.J.J. van der Tweel, A. Harder and R.M. Buitelaar) útg. Elsevier Science Publishers B.V. pp. 205-214

  24. Guðmundsdóttir, Á., Óskarsson, S., Eakin, A.E., Craik, C.S., and Bjarnason, J.B. (1994) "Atlantic cod cDNA encoding psychrophilic chymotrypsinogen, Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 1219:211-214.

  25. Stoffels, G., Guðmundsdóttir, Á. and Abee, T. (1994) "Membrane-associated proteins encoded on the nisin gene cluster may function as a receptor for the lantibiotic carnocin UI49", Microbiology, 140:1443-1450.

  26. Guðmundsdóttir, Á. Protein Engineering Activities in Iceland pp. 90-92 in Biotechnology, Protein Engineering R&D Programmes in Europe (P. de Taxis du Poet Ed.), European Commission, 1995, ISSN 1018,  5593.

  27. Guðmundsdóttir, E., Spilliaert, R.,Qing, Y., Craik, C.S., Bjarnason, J.B. and Guðmundsdóttir, Á  (1996) „Isolationand Characterization of Two cDNAs from Atlantic Cod Encoding Two Distinct Psychrophilic Elastases, Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 113:795-801.

  28. J.B. Bjarnason, M.M. Kristjánsson, S. Ólafsdóttir, B. Benediktsson, E. Guðmundsdóttir and Á. Guðmundsdóttir (1997) „Characteristics and Application of Cryotin, a mixture of Psychrophilic Marine Proteases“ in Proteolysis in Cell Function, (V.K. Hopsu-Havu et al., Eds) pp. 104-111, IOS Press

  29. Ágústa Guðmundsdóttir, Structural Biology Activities in Iceland, pp. 57-63 ,In Biotechnology, Coordination of Structural Biology in Europe, National, EC and Industry Joint Efforts.The Coordination Group of the EC Biotechnology Committee, The Structural Biology National Programme Managers og Structural Biology Contact Group, P. Taxis du Poet (Ed.), European Commission, 1997, ISSN 1018-5593.

  30. Spilliaert, R. and Gudmundsdóttir, Á. (1999) “Atlantic cod trypsin Y – a member of a novel trypsin group”. Mar. Biotechnol. 1, 598-607

  31. Spilliaert, R. and Gudmundsdóttir, Á. (2000) “Molecular Cloning of the Atlantic Cod Chymotrypsinogen B”. Microbial and Comparative Genomics, 1, 1-10.

  32. Kristjánsdóttir, S. and Gudmundsdóttir, Á. (2000) “Propeptide dependent activation of the Antarctic krill euphauserase precursor produced in yeast”.  Eur. J. Biochem. 267, 2632-2639.

  33. Benjamin, D., Kristjánsdóttir, S. and Gudmundsdóttir, Á. (2001). Increasing the thermal stability of euphauserase - a cold-active and multifunctional serine protease from Antarctic krill. Eur. J. Biochem. 268, 1-7.