Dr Agnes Stefansdottir
Teaching Track Lecturer in Reproductive Biology
Agnes completed a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Biomedical Sciences (Developmental Biology) at the University of Aberdeen in 2010. Agnes then received her PhD from the University of Edinburgh in 2014. Her PhD project focused on establishing a novel embryonic mouse ovary culture system, to examine the effects of pharmaceutical and environmental compounds on the developing ovary in vitro. Following the completion of her PhD, Agnes worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with Professor Norah Spears, at the Centre for Integrative Physiology.
During her PhD and postdoctoral work Agnes has managed undergraduate and postgraduate student projects, and has been actively involved in teaching at the University of Edinburgh. In 2017 Agnes took up a post as a Lecturer in Anatomy, contributing to the undergraduate and postgraduate teaching of Anatomy. In 2018, Agnes became a Teaching Track Lecturer in Reproductive Biology, where she is the course organiser for a new Level 10 honours elective module, Sex Determination. Agnes is also the deputy course organiser for a Level 9 Year 3 course, Reproductive Biology 3. In addition, Agnes contributes to a wide range of reproductive biology teaching across undergraduate and postgraduate courses at the University.
Agnes is actively involved in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching within Reproductive Biology, Biomedical Sciences and Anatomy for Biomedical and Medical science students, as well as students on the MBChB programme.
Agnes teaches on several undergraduate courses including Biomedical Sciences 2 and 3, Reproductive Biology 3, Reproductive Systems and Sex Determination. She also teaches Embryology and Developmental Biology as part of the MSc Human Anatomy programme.
Agnes is a Personal Tutor for undergraduate students in the Deanery of Biomedical Sciences.
Agnes’ research is focused on investigating the direct effects of potential ovotoxicants, including chemical compounds in cigarette smoke and chemotherapy agents, on the developing ovary using culture techniques. Her research aims to understand the timing and mechanisms of cell death following exposure to certain ovotoxicants, as well as examining the potential for a range of tyrosine kinase inhibitors to protect the ovary against chemotherapy-induced damage.
Spears, N., Lopes, F., Stefansdottir, A., Rossi, V., De Felici, M., Anderson, R.A., Klinger, F.G. 2019. Ovarian damage from chemotherapy and current approaches to its protection. Hum Reprod Update. Doi: 10.1093/humupd/dmz027
Stefansdottir, A., Johnston, Z.C., Powles-Glover, N., Anderson, R.A., Adams, I.R., Spears, N. 2016. Etoposide damages female germ cells in the developing ovary. BMC Cancer. Doi: 10.1186/s12885-016-2505-9
Lea, R.G., Amezaga, M.R., Loup, B., Mandon-Pepin, B., Stefansdottir, A., Filis, P., Kyle, C., Zhang, Z., Allen, C., Purdie, L., Jouneau, L., Cotinot, C., Rhind, S.M., Sinclair, K.D., Fowler, P.A. 2016. The fetal ovary exhibits temporal sensitivity to a ‘real-life’ mixture of environmental chemicals. Scientific Reports. Doi: 10.1038/srep22279
Stefansdottir, A., Fowler, P.A., Powles-Glover, N., Anderson, R.A., Spears, N. 2014. Use of ovary culture techniques in reproductive toxicology. Reproductive Toxicology. 49C: 117-135. Doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2014.08.001
2018. Fertility 2018. ACC, Liverpool, UK.
‘In-vitro exposure to Benzo[a]pyrene results in follicle loss in the developing mouse ovary’
2017. BMC Seminar, Læknagarður. University of Iceland.
‘How do chemotherapy drugs affect the mouse ovary in vitro?’
2017. The Annual Meeting of the ESA and the SRB. Perth, Australia.
'Etoposide results in follicle loss in the fetal mouse ovary, but does not block the ability of oocytes to progress through prophase I of meiosis.'
2017. Fertility 2017. EICC, Edinburgh, UK.
‘Can tyrosine kinase signalling protect the ovary from cisplatin-induced damage?’
2016. Society for Reproduction & Fertility (SRF). University of Winchester, UK.
‘Etoposide results in follicle loss in the fetal mouse ovary, but does not block the ability of oocytes to progress through prophase I of meiosis.’
2016. Edinburgh Fertility Preservation launch day. University of Edinburgh, UK.
‘Protecting the ovary from chemotherapy-induced damage.’
2016. National Ovarian Workshop: 11. Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, UK.
‘Method development during the establishment of a mouse embryonic ovary culture system.’
2014. Queen’s Medical Research Institute, Edinburgh, UK.
‘In vitro testing of the effects of pharmaceutical drugs on the developing ovary’
2014. World Congress of Reproductive Biology. EICC, Edinburgh, UK.
‘The development of a novel mouse embryonic ovary culture’
2013. Society for the Study of Reproduction (SSR). 46th Annual Meeting. Montreal, Canada.
‘A novel topoisomerase-II inhibitor increases follicle activation in the neonatal mouse ovary in vitro’
2011. Reproductive Function and Dysfunction. XVth International Conference on the Development and Function of Reproductive Organs, Edinburgh UK.
‘The effect on female fertility of conditionally deleting Foxg1 in the ovary’