©Kristinn Ingvarsson

Sveinbjörn Gizurarson, professor

Dr. Sveinbjorn Gizurarson graduated with MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Copenhagen (Denmark) in 1986 and completed his PhD from the same university in 1990. After being PostDoc at National Institute of Health of Japan (Tokyo, Japan) he moved to Reykjavik, Iceland and started working at the University of Iceland.

My role as a teacher is to inspire and empower each student, and help them to develop critical thinking skills and to take independent decisions. This may be done by presenting theories and equipping them with tools that allow them to think critically before solving the tasks or taking appropriate actions.

Research requires patience. Since 1986 I have been involved in various areas of intranasal drug and vaccine delivery as well as olfactory delivery of drugs, bypassing the blood-brain-barrier. I have been focusing on nasal physiology, immunology and toxicology and how these affects the delivery of small molecular drugs, peptides, proteins and vaccines.

In 2019, the first outcome of my research was launched in the USA, Nayzilam, an intranasal product to terminate seizures. I have also been focusing on maternal health and fetal medicine, such as preeclampsia and postpartum haemorrhage. It has been an exciting journey to discovery of the pharmacology of placental protein 13 and how it preconditions the maternal physiology and prevents her from developing pre-eclampsia.

More recently, I have been focusing on neglected tropical diseases, focusing on pediatric dosage forms to treat children under the age of 5 years. That work is carried out in collaboration with Department of Pharmacy, College of Medicine, University of Malawi, where I serve as a visiting research professor. I enjoy working with Malawians on establishing Rephaiah, a not-for-profit pharmaceutical manufacturing entity, just outside Lilongwe, that will manufacture life-saving and life-enhancing drugs for children under the age of 5 years.

At the University of Iceland I am highly involved in laboratory safety as well as providing consultancy for industry, institutions and authorities including legal opinions on patent issues and therapeutic treatments.

I am married to Kristín Linda Ragnarsdóttir and I am blessed with 3 children (Davíð Örn, Benjamin Ragnar and Guðlaug María), a daughter in law (Fjóla Dögg Halldórsdóttir), a son in law (Birkir Eyþór Ásgeirsson), and I am expecting the fourth grandchild in early 2021 (Salómon Blær, Elísa Björt, Annika Bára and ??).