Dedicated to innovation

Co-founder - CSO

Karl Karlsson, PhD

Karl is a neuroscientist with an extensive background in biological psychology; both essential disciplines for developing the approach 3Z Pharmaceuticals is built on.

Karl is a professor at the Reykjavik University Neurolab and the author of an extensive set of peer-reviewed papers on subjects related to neurobiological deficiencies, including sleep disorders.

"Prior to my academic career I was a fisherman. And now I'm working with fish again. Some would call this a behavioural pattern of sorts." 

Co-founder - Chief R&D officer

Haraldur Þorsteinsson

As Chief R&D officer, Haraldur aligns our day-to-day research operations with our long-term objectives.

Haraldur has a masters degree in neuropsychology and extensive research knowledge in the field of neurobehavioural science.

"I find zebrafish interesting because of the way they open up new ways of identifying gene function related to neurological disease in humans. And that they offer a fast way to screen drugs for those diseases."

Biochemist - Research scientist

Valerie H. Maier, PhD

Valerie is our CRISPR/Cas9 specialist and uses those tools to generate genetically modified lines of zebrafish, some of which mimic certain human diseases that we help companies develop drugs for.

For this, Valerie's background in molecular biology and genetics is important. 

"I've worked for years with cell cultures or non-model species so it is very rewarding to work with zebrafish. Their genome has been sequenced and with previously established research techniques we can study zebrafish through their development and genetics, and then add the 3Z behavioural model on top of that to study the interplay of all three aspects."

Changing how CNS drugs are developed

Christian Christensen
Project manager - Laboratory technician

Christian Christensen

Christian holds an MS degree in medical life sciences from the University of Iceland. He is also a trained laboratory technician and responsible for running our zebrafish facilities.

Christian possesses substantial knowledge in the field of molecular and stem cell biology, important during the process of generating genetically modified zebrafish as well as for studying them.

"I find zebrafish interesting because we can, in a very short period of time, study seemingly long developmental processes related to humans." 




Biomedical engineer - Project manager

Hildur Sóley Sveinsdóttir

Hildur is a biomedical engineer whose education comes in handy when analytical problem-solving skills are needed.

She has a broad range of duties including research, experiments and analysis.

"It's so interesting that you can base your drug development research on something like the zebrafish. They're so unlike us at first glance but when you look closer they're surprisingly similar in certain ways that matter for research."



Ólafur Þór Arason

Ólafur is a master machinist and designs, builds and maintains most of our highly specialized hardware. 

His experience in creating innovative solutions is important because our approach requires very robust and exact technical equipment.

"I just can't get past the fact that zebrafish have hair cells in their ears. Designing and building equipment to study those creatures is definitely interesting."

Corporate advisor

Perla Björk Egilsdóttir

Perla was head of business development at 3Z from 2017 and then served as CEO from early 2018 through Q1 2020. She remains a stakeholder through her vested interest in the firm and serves in the capacity of advisor as needed.

"I find it really fascinating that zebrafish share so many of our human traits. Like the sleep/wake cycle. I wonder if they need caffeine in the morning. We could probably study that, come to think of it."




3Z ehf.
Menntavegur 1
101 Reykjavik
tel.: +354-599-6434
email: info (at)

Partially funded by: