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Dr Sigrun Lange
UCL School of Pharmacy
Brunswick Square
Dr Sigrun Lange profile picture
  • Honorary Senior Research Associate
  • Maternal & Fetal Medicine
  • UCL EGA Institute for Womens Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

Current Appointment: Research associate at the UCL School of Pharmacy on The Human Brain Project (EU flagship project).

07/2010-10/2013: Research associate at the UCL Institute for Women’s Health, Maternal and Fetal Medicine. Achievements: Pursued my own independent research line on protein deimination in neonatal hypoxic ischemic insult (Rice-Vannucci mouse model) alongside my prime research project on the role of cytokines in the same model.  Confirmed my hypothesis of a crucial role for protein deimination in neonatal hypoxic ischemic insult and demonstrated that by pharmacological inhibition of peptidylarginine deiminases, neuronal damage, cell death and microglial activation are significantly reduced in neonatal HIE.

05/2006–06/2010: Research associate at the UCL Institute of Child Health, Developmental Biology Unit and Neuronal Development Unit. Achievements: Identified novel post-translational modifications involved in spinal cord regenerative ability from genomic and proteomic screenings. Developed my independent line of research on the role of peptidylarginine deiminases, the mediator of post-translational protein deimination, in spinal cord injury (chick model), demonstrating a significant improvement of neuronal survival upon pharmacological inhibition of peptidylarginine deiminases. Research on PADs in neuronal stem cells.

07/2003-12/2005: Academic visitor at the University Hospital Basel, Switzerland. Research on teleost and human complement system ontogeny.

06/2002- 10/2005: PhD student/Research assistant at the Institute for Experimental Pathology, University of Iceland. Achievements: Designed my independent research project on teleost fish complement system ontogeny and passed it by thesis committee. Performed the first ontogeny study on the complement system in an early vertebrate species, supporting my hypothesis on diverse roles of the complement system in organogenesis and the immune defense. Won the Prof. Axelsson´s Young Investigators Award, Medical Faculty, University of Iceland, 2005 for my PhD research project and associated publications. Obtained international funding (EMBO short term fellowship) to collaborate with the MRC Immunochemistry Unit, University of Oxford (Prof KBM. Reid, FRS) as academic visitor on protein purification of complement system components, and from the IUBMB to collaborate as academic visitor on the complement system regulator CRIT at the University Hospital Basel (Profs J.Schifferi & J.Inal).

06/2001 – 06/2002: Research assistant at the Institute for Experimental Pathology, University of Iceland on EU project FISHAID QLRT-1999-31076. The project focused on comparative immune system ontogeny studies of 5 teleost species.

09/1999-05/2001: M.Sc. student/research assistant at the faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland. Obtained international funding from the FEBS to collaborate with the University of Tromsø, Norway, as academic visitor on cDNA library construction and immunoscreening.

07/1998 – 08/1999: Research assistant at the Institute for Experimental Pathology, University of Iceland during BSc studies. Immunological studies on IgM and CRP.

Research Summary

My research interests are neuronal damage and degeneration, posttranslational modifications,the complement system, microvesicles and stem cells. My main research topic lies in the field of protein deimination (citrullination), a post-translational protein modification caused by calcium activated peptidylarginine deiminases (PADs), causing structural changes and misfolding in target proteins. Protein deimination is associated with neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases (MS, AD, Parkinson's, RA). I have demonstrated a novel functional role of PADs in acute neuronal insult, using the following two models: spinal cord injury and neonatal hypoxic ischemic brain injury. I have proven that upon pharmacological PAD inhibition after injury, there is a significant reduction in neuronal loss, apoptosis and microglial activation. Deimination of histones is also significantly reduced, indicating an epigenetic role for PADs in neuronal damage. My findings provide a platform for novel therapeutic approaches and drug-development for intervention in conditions of neuronal damage and may be  translatable for other events of neuronal trauma and damage.

Teaching Summary

Teaching experience
Supervision of BSc students at UCL IfWH 2010- 2013. 
Co-supervisor of a PhD student (completion 2014). 
Supervision of BSc students at UCL ICH 2006-2010.
Guest lecturer and Hourly Paid Lecturer at the London Metropolitan University 2006- 2011 (Molecular Biology and Biochemistry for undergraduates; Immunology for post-graduates). 
Part-time teaching in Molecular Biology for post graduate students at the Department of Medicine, University of Iceland, 2002. 

01-OCT-2013 Research Associate Pharmacology UCL School of Pharmacy, United Kingdom
01-JUL-2010 – 30-SEP-2013 Research Associate Maternal and Fetal Medicine UCL Institute for Women's Health, United Kingdom
20-MAY-2006 – 01-JUN-2010 Research Associate Developmental Biology UCL Institute of Child's Health, United Kingdom
01-NOV-2005 – 20-MAY-2006 Hourly Paid Lecturer School of Human Sciences London Metropolitan University, United Kingdom
01-JUN-2002 – 01-OCT-2005 Research Assistant/PhD Student Institute for Experimental Pathology, Faculty of Medicine University of Iceland, Iceland
01-JUN-2001 – 01-JUN-2002 Research Assistant Institute for Experimental Pathology, Faculty of Medicine University of Iceland, Iceland
01-SEP-1999 – 01-JUN-2001 Research Assistant/MSc Student Institute for Experimental Pathology, Faculty of Medicine University of Iceland, Iceland
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