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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Laufey Amundadottir Laboratory

Research Focus

Dr. Amundadottir's Lab investigates genetic risk for pancreatic cancer.

Gene Mapping in Pancreatic Cancer

The laboratory performs gene mapping to uncover the genetic underpinnings of pancreatic cancer risk utilizing data from large-scale consortia with well-annotated samples, including PanScan, a GWAS of pancreatic cancer conducted within the framework of the NCI Cohort Consortium, Pancreatic Cancer Case Control Consortium (PanC4), the PANcreatic Disease ReseArch (PANDoRA) consortium, the European Study on Pancreatic Cancer Genetics and Epidemiology (PanGen-EU), and Chinese and Japanese pancreatic cancer GWAS efforts.

Functional Characterization of Pancreatic Cancer Risk Loci

The laboratory conducts fine-mapping of risk loci identified in PanScan and collaborative gene mapping efforts, as well as wet-lab studies to uncover functional variants at each locus and understand the mechanism by which they influence risk of pancreatic cancer. This work involves genomic and epigenomic approaches, with a focus on genome-wide expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) analyses to investigate the genetics of gene expression in normal and tumor derived pancreatic tissue samples and correlate to pancreatic cancer risk alleles as well as Transcriptome Wide Association Studies (TWAS) for gene mapping.

These transcriptome and epigenome datasets are generated in our laboratory and supplemented with publicly available datasets. Furthermore, the laboratory focuses on targeted functional analyses in specific pancreatic cancer susceptibility loci. This work includes analysis of gene expression in the vicinity of risk variants, investigation of transcriptional regulation and gene/protein function with the aim of connecting pancreatic cancer risk variants to target genes and molecular phenotypes to explain the underlying biology of the risk at each locus.

Amundadottir Lab Members

The team is made up of fellows and staff from diverse backgrounds and experience encompassing experimental and computational specialties. Lab members closely collaborate with each other as well as members of LTG and outside collaborators. Fellows of all stages have opportunities to be trained and mentored within the lab and through the collegial environment at LTG while striving to achieve their research goals.

Life in the Lab

Labs are all about collaboration. Working together, team members keep science moving forward, utilizing new tools and approaches, and helping each other learn. They also find occasional moments for fun. 

Amundadottir Lab members gather at a poster session

Amundadottir Lab members gather to support each other at a poster session.

Amundadottir Lab members at a social event

Members find time for relaxation away from the lab.



Scientific Publications (all)

Selected Recent Publications:

Jermusyk J, Zhong J, Connelly KE, Gordon N, […] Amundadottir LT. A 584 bp deletion in CTRB2 inhibits chymotrypsin B2 activity and secretion and confers risk of pancreatic cancer. Am J Hum Genet 2021.

Zhong J, Jermusyk A, Wu L, […] Amundadottir LT. A transcriptome-wide association study identifies novel candidate susceptibility genes for pancreatic cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst 2020.

Klein AP, Wolpin BM, Risch HA, Stolzenberg-Solomon RZ […] Amundadottir LT. Genome-wide meta-analysis identifies five new susceptibility loci for pancreatic cancer. Nature Communications 2018.

Zhang M, Lykke-Andersen S, […] Amundadottir L. Characterising cis-regulatory variation in the transcriptome of histologically normal and tumour-derived pancreatic tissues. Gut 2018.

Cobo I, Martinelli P, […] Amundadottir LT, Wagner EF, Real FX. Transcriptional regulation by NR5A2 links differentiation and inflammation in the pancreas. Nature 2018.

Fang J, Jia J, […] Brown KM, Amundadottir LT. Functional characterization of a multi-cancer risk locus on chr5p15.33 reveals regulation of TERT by ZNF148. Nature Communications 2017.