Dr Vignir Helgason

  • Senior Lecturer (Translational Research Centre)

Biography

Dr Vignir Helgason is a Senior Lecturer in Cancer Research at the Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow. Dr Helgason graduated with a B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Iceland in 2000 and worked at deCODE genetics (Reykjavik, Iceland) for three years before embarking on an academic career.

He trained for a PhD degree in Prof. Kevin Ryan’s “Tumour Cell Death Laboratory” at the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute and graduated with a PhD from University of Glasgow in October 2007. Dr Helgason held two post-doctoral positions in Prof. Tessa Holyoake’s lab at the Paul O’Gorman Leukaemia Research Centre, which has been described as “a flagship model of integrated basic, translational and clinical research.”

In 2013, Dr Helgason was awarded a Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund Research Fellowship that supports “truly outstanding biomedical scientists prior to establishing an independent research group in an international centre of excellence”. This facilitated a successful application to the University of Glasgow’s flagship Leadership Fellowship scheme, which allowed Dr Helgason to setup his own research group at the world-class Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre (WWCRC). Additionally, Dr Helgason was awarded the John Goldman Fellowship for Future Science, a prestigious award aimed at those with “passion for science, a desire to develop new ideas and translate scientific advances into clinical practice”.

Through additional studentship/grant applications, collaborations, conferences, meetings and high-impact publications Dr Helgason achieved a promotion to a tenured Senior Lecturer in Cancer Research position in June 2018.


Research interests

Leukaemia Stem Cells - Autophagy - Cancer Metabolism - Leukaemia Niche.

Dr Helgason’s team focuses on “Bench to Bedside” translational research and is directly in line with Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre, CRUK Beatson Institute and CRUK Glasgow Cancer Centre vision and strategy. So far, the team has primarily focused on Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML), a tumour type in which Glasgow has particular clinical expertise and excising translational projects. The team has emerging interest in related leukaemias and myeloproliferative neoplasms, with the overall aim of targeting appropriate therapy to the stem cell compartment to remove the population in which drug resistance occurs. All on-going projects relate to targeting: “Leukaemia Stem Cells” - “Autophagy” - “Cancer Metabolism” - “Leukaemia Niche”.


Grants

Grants and Awards listed are those received whilst working with the University of Glasgow.

  • Targeting mitochondrial fuel oxidation for the treatment of chronic and acute myeloid leukaemias
    Bloodwise
    2018 - 2021
     
  • Drug-repurposing screen for new therapeutic options in chronic and acute myeloid leukaemias
    Chief Scientist Office
    2018 - 2018
     
  • Complementing LCMS data with transcriptomics to target metabolic vulnerabilities in acute myeloid leukaemia
    NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Endowment Funds
    2017 - 2019
     
  • Identifying and Targeting Metabolic Dependencies in Tyrosine Kinase-Driven Myeloid Leukaemias
    The Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund
    2016 - 2019
     
  • Identifying Mitochondrial Metabolic Dependencies in CML using a Genome-Scale CRISPR-Knockout Screening Approach
    Lady Tata Memorial Trust
    2016 - 2018
     
  • Single cell RNA sequencing on primative human leukaemic stem cell population to identify novel biomarkers involved in drug resistance and future immunotherapy
    Wellcome Trust
    2016 - 2018
     
  • Identification of cancer-specific repurposing drug(s) that can overcome acquired drug-resistance in chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML)
    NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
    2016 - 2017
     
  • Autophagy-dependent regulation of energy metabolism in leukaemic stem cells
    Leuka
    2016 - 2018
     
  • ISSF Catalyst: Identification of mechanism(s) of acquired drug resistance in CML using a genome-scale CRISPR-knockout screening approach
    Wellcome Trust
    2015 - 2016
     
  • Autophagy Inhibition Combined with Targeted Therapy for Elimination of CML Stem Cells.
    The Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund
    2013 - 2018
     

Supervision

    Other Invited Oral Presentations
    2019:    LifeArc, SBC Open Innovation Campus, Stevenage, London, UK.   
    2018:    MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, Oxford, UK.
    2018:    Georg Speyer Haus, Frankfurt, Germany.
    2018:    CR-UK Beatson Institute Retreat at Crieff Hydro, Scotland.
    2017:    Imperial College/Hammersmith Hospital, London.
    2014:    ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

    Selected International Oral Presentation by Staff
    2019:   Keystone Symposia. Autophagy: From Model Systems to Therapeutic Opportunities, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.
    Abstract from my PhD student selected for short oral presentation.
    2017:    European Hematology Association (EHA). 22nd Congress of EHA, Madrid, Spain.
    Oral presentation by my Post-doc.
    2016:    58th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting, San Diego, USA.
    Oral presentation by my PhD student.
    2016:     European Institute of Oncology (IEO). Hematological Malignancies: From Mechanism to Therapy, Milan, Italy.
    Oral presentation by my PhD student.

    Organisation of Scientifics Meetings
    2019    Chair and main organiser for the 2019 Annual Autophagy-UK Network Meeting
    (>100 participants). 21st-22nd May 2019 Glasgow, UK.
    2019    Scientific Committee Member for the 2019 Beatson International Cancer Conference.
    30th June - 3rd July 2019 Glasgow, UK.
    2018    Session Chair, Stem Cells and the Microenvironment Scientific Session, 20th Annual John Goldman Conference on CML (>400 participants). Miami, USA
    2015 -  Member of the Autophagy-UK Network Meeting Steering Committee. UK.
    2011 -  Workshop Convener on three occasions at the Annual John Goldman Conference on CML (~100 participants each time). Europe/USA.
    Reviewing Activities
    2013 -  Journal Reviewer for >20 journals including:
    Blood, Leukemia, Autophagy, Cell Death and Differentiation, Cell Death and Disease, Leukemia Research, Stem Cells, Cancer Research.
    2013 -  Grant Reviewer for Research Councils/Charities including:
    Medical Research Council (MRC), Wellcome Trust, European Haematology Association (EHA), Worldwide Cancer Research, Bloodwise, Leuka, Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund (KKLF).
    2014 -  Fondazione Cariplo Grant Review Panel member (Biomedical research conducted by your researchers). Italy.
    2018 -  Local Scientific Advisory Committee (LSAC) member, Tenovus Scotland, UK.
    2019    Expert reviewer of abstracts submitted under the topic “CML - Biology & Translational Research” for the 24th Congress of European Haematology Association (EHA).

    Institutional Responsibilities
    2018 -  Chair of GMO Safety Committee. Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow.
    (Member of the GMC Safety Committee since 2014).
    2013 -  MBChB Advisor of Studies (~20 students/year). University of Glasgow.
    2013 -  PhD examination as an internal and external examiner. Assessments for MSc/PhD students and Clinical Research Fellows. University of Glasgow.
    2018    Co-ordinator. MSc in Cancer Sciences: Hallmarks of Cancer. University of Glasgow.

Teaching


Additional information

Invited International Presentations

  • 2013: Genoa, Italy - 2nd International Conference "Leukemia 2013" (Invited speaker Special lecture)
  • 2013: London, England, UK - Analysis of Autophagy Regulation: Discussion of recent research and new technologies
  • 2012: Glasgow, Scotland, UK - Manage Clinical Network (MCN) meeting
  • 2012: Glasgow, Scotland, UK - BSH 52nd Annual Scientific Meeting
  • 2012: Glasgow, Scotland, UK - 1st Scottish Autophagy Workshop
  • 2012: Baltimore, Maryland, USA - ESH iCML 14th International Conference: Chronic Myeloid Leukemia – Biology and Therapy (Workshop Convener)
  • 2012: Vancouver, BC, Canada - Autophagy workshop, Autophagy: an Emerging Therapeutic Target in Human Disease
  • 2012: Harrogate, England, UK - British Association for Cancer Research Special Meeting; Chasing Cancer Stem-like Cells
  • 2011: Estoril, Portugal - ESH iCML 13th International Conference: Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Biology and Therapy (Speaker and Workshop convenor)
  • 2010: Washington, DC, USA - ESH iCML 12th International Conference: Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Biological Basis of Therapy
  • 2008: Boston, Massachusetts, USA - ESH 11th International Conference: Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Biological Basis of Therapy

Publications

List by: Type | Date

Jump to: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
Number of items: 26.

2018

Baquero, P., Dawson, A. and Helgason, G. V. (2018) Autophagy and mitochondrial metabolism: insights into the role and therapeutic potential in chronic myeloid leukaemia. FEBS Journal, (doi:10.1111/febs.14659) (PMID:30222247) (Early Online Publication)

Baquero, P. et al. (2018) Targeting quiescent leukemic stem cells using second generation autophagy inhibitors. Leukemia, (doi:10.1038/s41375-018-0252-4) (PMID:30185934) (Early Online Publication)

Mitchell, R. et al. (2018) Targeting BCR-ABL independent TKI resistance in chronic myeloid leukaemia by mTOR and autophagy inhibition. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 110(5), pp. 467-478. (doi:10.1093/jnci/djx236) (PMID:29165716)

Pellicano, F. et al. (2018) Hsa-mir183/EGR1-mediated regulation of E2F1 is required for CML stem/progenitor cell survival. Blood, 131(14), pp. 1532-1544. (doi:10.1182/blood-2017-05-783845) (PMID:29437554) (PMCID:PMC6027092)

de Beauchamp, L., Baquero, P., Kuntz, E. M., Gottlieb, E. and Helgason, G. V. (2018) Auto-commentary on: “Targeting mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation eradicates therapy-resistant chronic myeloid leukemia stem cells”. Molecular and Cellular Oncology, 5(1), e1403532. (doi:10.1080/23723556.2017.1403532) (PMID:28920959)

2017

Kuntz, E. M., Baquero, P., Michie, A. M. , Dunn, K., Tardito, S. , Holyoake, T. L., Helgason, G. V. and Gottlieb, E. (2017) Targeting mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation eradicates therapy-resistant chronic myeloid leukemia stem cells. Nature Medicine, 23(10), pp. 1234-1240. (doi:10.1038/nm.4399) (PMID:28920959) (PMCID:PMC5657469)

Horne, G. , Jackson, L. , Helgason, V. and Holyoake, T. L. (2017) Stem cell guardians – old and new perspectives in LSC biology. Current Drug Targets, 18(4), pp. 405-413. (doi:10.2174/1389450117666160712092944) (PMID:27411711)

2016

Schemionek, M. et al. (2016) MTSS1 is a critical epigenetically regulated tumor suppressor in CML. Leukemia, 30(4), pp. 823-830. (doi:10.1038/leu.2015.329) (PMID:26621336)

Karvela, M. et al. (2016) ATG7 regulates energy metabolism, differentiation and survival of Philadelphia chromosome-positive cells. Autophagy, 12(6), pp. 936-948. (doi:10.1080/15548627.2016.1162359) (PMID:27168493) (PMCID:PMC4922442)

2015

Holyoake, T. L. and Helgason, G. V. (2015) Do we need more drugs for chronic myeloid leukemia? Immunological Reviews, 263(1), pp. 106-123. (doi:10.1111/imr.12234) (PMID:25510274)

2014

Klionsky, D. J. et al. (2014) Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy. Autophagy, 8(4), pp. 445-544. (doi:10.4161/auto.19496) (PMID:22966490) (PMCID:PMC3404883)

Pellicano, F. et al. (2014) The antiproliferative activity of kinase inhibitors in chronic myeloid leukemia cells is mediated by FOXO transcription factors. Stem Cells, 32(9), pp. 2324-2337. (doi:10.1002/stem.1748) (PMID:24806995) (PMCID:PMC4282530)

2013

Nencioni, A., Cea, M., Montecucco, F., Longo, V.D., Patrone, F., Carella, A.M., Holyoake, T.L. and Helgason, G.V. (2013) Autophagy in blood cancers: biological role and therapeutic implications. Haematologica, 98(9), pp. 1335-1343. (doi:10.3324/haematol.2012.079061)

Helgason, G.V. , Mukhopadhyay, A., Karvela, M., Salomoni, P., Calabretta, B. and Holyoake, T.L. (2013) Autophagy in chronic myeloid leukaemia: stem cell survival and implication in therapy. Current Cancer Drug Targets, 13(7), pp. 724-34.

Helgason, G.V. , Holyoake, T.L. and Ryan, K.M. (2013) Role of autophagy in cancer prevention, development and therapy. Essays in Biochemistry, 55(1), pp. 133-151. (doi:10.1042/BSE0550133)

2012

Karvela, M., Mukhopadhyay, A., Allan, E., Helgason, G.V. and Holyoake, T. (2012) Specific inhibition of autophagy enhances TKI-induced death in CML cells. British Journal of Haematology, 157(S1), p. 58. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2141.2012.09071.x)

MacKay, C.E., Allen, E.K., Mukhopadhyay, A., Karvela, M., Holyoake, T., Jorgensen, H. and Helgason, V. (2012) Effect of BCR-ABL inhibition on induction of autophagy in chronic myeloid leukaemia cells. British Journal of Haematology, 157(S1), p. 58. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2141.2012.09071.x)

Karvela, M., Helgason, G. V. and Holyoake, T. L. (2012) Mechanisms and novel approaches in overriding tyrosine kinase inhibitor resistance in chronic myeloid leukemia. Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy, 12(3), pp. 381-392. (doi:10.1586/ERA.12.10)

Hamilton, A. et al. (2012) Chronic myeloid leukemia stem cells are not dependent on Bcr-Abl kinase activity for their survival. Blood, 119(6), pp. 1501-1510. (doi:10.1182/blood-2010-12-326843)

2011

Helgason, G. V. , Karvela, M. and Holyoake, T. L. (2011) Kill one bird with two stones: potential efficacy of BCR-ABL and autophagy inhibition in CML. Blood, 118(8), pp. 2035-2043. (doi:10.1182/blood-2011-01-330621)

Mukhopadhyay, A., Helgason, G. V. , Karvela, M. and Holyoake, T. L. (2011) Hydroxychloroquine for chronic myeloid leukemia: complete cure on the horizon? Expert Review of Hematology, 4(4), pp. 369-371. (doi:10.1586/ehm.11.34)

Pellicano, F., Simara, P., Sinclair, A., Helgason, G.V. , Copland, M. , Grant, S. and Holyoake, T.L. (2011) The MEK inhibitor PD184352 enhances BMS-214662-induced apoptosis in CD34+ CML stem/progenitor cells. Leukemia, 25(7), pp. 1159-67. (doi:10.1038/leu.2011.67)

2010

Helgason, V. , Young, G. and Holyoake, T. (2010) Targeting chronic myeloid leukemia stem cells. Current Hematologic Malignancy Reports, 5(2), pp. 81-87. (doi:10.1007/s11899-010-0043-0)

Helgason, G.V. , O'Prey, J. and Ryan, K.M. (2010) Oncogene-induced sensitization to chemotherapy-induced death requires induction as well as deregulation of E2F1. Cancer Research, 70(10), pp. 4074-4080. (doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-2876)

2009

Bellodi, C. et al. (2009) Targeting autophagy potentiates tyrosine kinase inhibitor–induced cell death in Philadelphia chromosome–positive cells, including primary CML stem cells. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 119(5), pp. 1109-1123. (doi:10.1172/JCI35660)

Myssina, S. et al. (2009) Combined BCR-ABL inhibition with lentiviral-delivered shRNA and dasatinib augments induction of apoptosis in Philadelphia-positive cells. Experimental Hematology, 37(2), pp. 206-214. (doi:10.1016/j.exphem.2008.10.013)

This list was generated on Wed Jun 19 21:30:10 2019 BST.
Jump to: Articles
Number of items: 26.

Articles

Baquero, P., Dawson, A. and Helgason, G. V. (2018) Autophagy and mitochondrial metabolism: insights into the role and therapeutic potential in chronic myeloid leukaemia. FEBS Journal, (doi:10.1111/febs.14659) (PMID:30222247) (Early Online Publication)

Baquero, P. et al. (2018) Targeting quiescent leukemic stem cells using second generation autophagy inhibitors. Leukemia, (doi:10.1038/s41375-018-0252-4) (PMID:30185934) (Early Online Publication)

Mitchell, R. et al. (2018) Targeting BCR-ABL independent TKI resistance in chronic myeloid leukaemia by mTOR and autophagy inhibition. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 110(5), pp. 467-478. (doi:10.1093/jnci/djx236) (PMID:29165716)

Pellicano, F. et al. (2018) Hsa-mir183/EGR1-mediated regulation of E2F1 is required for CML stem/progenitor cell survival. Blood, 131(14), pp. 1532-1544. (doi:10.1182/blood-2017-05-783845) (PMID:29437554) (PMCID:PMC6027092)

de Beauchamp, L., Baquero, P., Kuntz, E. M., Gottlieb, E. and Helgason, G. V. (2018) Auto-commentary on: “Targeting mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation eradicates therapy-resistant chronic myeloid leukemia stem cells”. Molecular and Cellular Oncology, 5(1), e1403532. (doi:10.1080/23723556.2017.1403532) (PMID:28920959)

Kuntz, E. M., Baquero, P., Michie, A. M. , Dunn, K., Tardito, S. , Holyoake, T. L., Helgason, G. V. and Gottlieb, E. (2017) Targeting mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation eradicates therapy-resistant chronic myeloid leukemia stem cells. Nature Medicine, 23(10), pp. 1234-1240. (doi:10.1038/nm.4399) (PMID:28920959) (PMCID:PMC5657469)

Horne, G. , Jackson, L. , Helgason, V. and Holyoake, T. L. (2017) Stem cell guardians – old and new perspectives in LSC biology. Current Drug Targets, 18(4), pp. 405-413. (doi:10.2174/1389450117666160712092944) (PMID:27411711)

Schemionek, M. et al. (2016) MTSS1 is a critical epigenetically regulated tumor suppressor in CML. Leukemia, 30(4), pp. 823-830. (doi:10.1038/leu.2015.329) (PMID:26621336)

Karvela, M. et al. (2016) ATG7 regulates energy metabolism, differentiation and survival of Philadelphia chromosome-positive cells. Autophagy, 12(6), pp. 936-948. (doi:10.1080/15548627.2016.1162359) (PMID:27168493) (PMCID:PMC4922442)

Holyoake, T. L. and Helgason, G. V. (2015) Do we need more drugs for chronic myeloid leukemia? Immunological Reviews, 263(1), pp. 106-123. (doi:10.1111/imr.12234) (PMID:25510274)

Klionsky, D. J. et al. (2014) Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy. Autophagy, 8(4), pp. 445-544. (doi:10.4161/auto.19496) (PMID:22966490) (PMCID:PMC3404883)

Pellicano, F. et al. (2014) The antiproliferative activity of kinase inhibitors in chronic myeloid leukemia cells is mediated by FOXO transcription factors. Stem Cells, 32(9), pp. 2324-2337. (doi:10.1002/stem.1748) (PMID:24806995) (PMCID:PMC4282530)

Nencioni, A., Cea, M., Montecucco, F., Longo, V.D., Patrone, F., Carella, A.M., Holyoake, T.L. and Helgason, G.V. (2013) Autophagy in blood cancers: biological role and therapeutic implications. Haematologica, 98(9), pp. 1335-1343. (doi:10.3324/haematol.2012.079061)

Helgason, G.V. , Mukhopadhyay, A., Karvela, M., Salomoni, P., Calabretta, B. and Holyoake, T.L. (2013) Autophagy in chronic myeloid leukaemia: stem cell survival and implication in therapy. Current Cancer Drug Targets, 13(7), pp. 724-34.

Helgason, G.V. , Holyoake, T.L. and Ryan, K.M. (2013) Role of autophagy in cancer prevention, development and therapy. Essays in Biochemistry, 55(1), pp. 133-151. (doi:10.1042/BSE0550133)

Karvela, M., Mukhopadhyay, A., Allan, E., Helgason, G.V. and Holyoake, T. (2012) Specific inhibition of autophagy enhances TKI-induced death in CML cells. British Journal of Haematology, 157(S1), p. 58. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2141.2012.09071.x)

MacKay, C.E., Allen, E.K., Mukhopadhyay, A., Karvela, M., Holyoake, T., Jorgensen, H. and Helgason, V. (2012) Effect of BCR-ABL inhibition on induction of autophagy in chronic myeloid leukaemia cells. British Journal of Haematology, 157(S1), p. 58. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2141.2012.09071.x)

Karvela, M., Helgason, G. V. and Holyoake, T. L. (2012) Mechanisms and novel approaches in overriding tyrosine kinase inhibitor resistance in chronic myeloid leukemia. Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy, 12(3), pp. 381-392. (doi:10.1586/ERA.12.10)

Hamilton, A. et al. (2012) Chronic myeloid leukemia stem cells are not dependent on Bcr-Abl kinase activity for their survival. Blood, 119(6), pp. 1501-1510. (doi:10.1182/blood-2010-12-326843)

Helgason, G. V. , Karvela, M. and Holyoake, T. L. (2011) Kill one bird with two stones: potential efficacy of BCR-ABL and autophagy inhibition in CML. Blood, 118(8), pp. 2035-2043. (doi:10.1182/blood-2011-01-330621)

Mukhopadhyay, A., Helgason, G. V. , Karvela, M. and Holyoake, T. L. (2011) Hydroxychloroquine for chronic myeloid leukemia: complete cure on the horizon? Expert Review of Hematology, 4(4), pp. 369-371. (doi:10.1586/ehm.11.34)

Pellicano, F., Simara, P., Sinclair, A., Helgason, G.V. , Copland, M. , Grant, S. and Holyoake, T.L. (2011) The MEK inhibitor PD184352 enhances BMS-214662-induced apoptosis in CD34+ CML stem/progenitor cells. Leukemia, 25(7), pp. 1159-67. (doi:10.1038/leu.2011.67)

Helgason, V. , Young, G. and Holyoake, T. (2010) Targeting chronic myeloid leukemia stem cells. Current Hematologic Malignancy Reports, 5(2), pp. 81-87. (doi:10.1007/s11899-010-0043-0)

Helgason, G.V. , O'Prey, J. and Ryan, K.M. (2010) Oncogene-induced sensitization to chemotherapy-induced death requires induction as well as deregulation of E2F1. Cancer Research, 70(10), pp. 4074-4080. (doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-2876)

Bellodi, C. et al. (2009) Targeting autophagy potentiates tyrosine kinase inhibitor–induced cell death in Philadelphia chromosome–positive cells, including primary CML stem cells. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 119(5), pp. 1109-1123. (doi:10.1172/JCI35660)

Myssina, S. et al. (2009) Combined BCR-ABL inhibition with lentiviral-delivered shRNA and dasatinib augments induction of apoptosis in Philadelphia-positive cells. Experimental Hematology, 37(2), pp. 206-214. (doi:10.1016/j.exphem.2008.10.013)

This list was generated on Wed Jun 19 21:30:10 2019 BST.