C.G. Gahmberg
Phone: +358 505399439


Carl G. Gahmberg
Professor Emeritus

University of Helsinki
Department of Biosciences and Biotechnology
Division of Biochemistry
P.O.Box 56
00014 University of Helsinki, Finland

Street address:
University of Helsinki
Department of Biosciences
Division of Biochemistry
Viikinkaari 9 C
00790 Helsinki, Finland



Born in Helsinki, Finland, December 1, 1942
M.D., University of Helsinki, 1968
Doctor of Medical Sciences, University of Helsinki, 1971
Docent in Cell Biology, 1974, University of Helsinki
Professor of Biochemistry, Åbo Akademi University 1979-1981
Professor and Chairman, Department of Biochemistry, University of Helsinki, 1981-2010
Research Professor of the Academy of Finland, 1986-1991
Postdoctoral fellow, University of Washington, 1972-1974 (S. Hakomo­ri)
Visiting professor, La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation, 1988-1989 (E. Ruoslahti)
Organized and co-organized a number of international conferences
More than 150 international lectures at congresses and foreign universities
The Finnish representative in FEBS (Federation of European Biochemical Societies) 1986-1996, and in IUBMB (International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) 1987-1996
Nordic Committee on Biochemistry 1984-1996
Permanent secretary at the Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters 1992-
Finnish delegate in the International Council of Scientific Unions 1993-98
Vice-chairman of the Delegation of the Finnish Academies of Science 1992-98
Chairman of the organizing committee of the Science Days in Finland 2001
Chairman of the grant committee of the Finnish Medical Association (Finska Läkaresällskapet) 1996-99
Chairman of the Finnish Medical Association 2000-2001
Cited about 13.000 times, which is one of the highest numbers for Finnish scientists in the natural sciences. The current h-index is 64.

Membership in scientific academies

European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) 1980-. Member of its Council
Finnish Academy of Sciences 1982-
Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters, 1983-
World Cultural Council 1984-. Founding member. Total 124 including 25 Nobel laureates
Academia Europaea 1989-
World Innovation Foundation. Honorary member 2003
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences,  2007-
The Royal Society of Arts and Sciences in Göteborg, 2008-
Nominated by Karolinska insitutet to evaluate the Macchiarini-case (2016)

Major scientific achievements

Showed first that viral membrane proteins have a hydrophobic anchor (1972)
Developed the first method for specific radioactive labeling of cell surface carbohydrates (1973)
One of those that first found the adhesive glycoprotein fibronectin (1973)
Developed a method for specific labeling of cell surface sialic acids (1977)
Made the first detailed studies on the biosynthesis and gly­cosylation of a mammalian membra­ne protein (glycophorin A) (1979 - 1985)
Showed that the K562 cell line is erythroid and that it can be induced to red cell differentiation. This was the first human cell line described showing erythroid characteris­tics
First identified, simultaneously with Moore, the Rho(D) protein (1982-83)
Identified and characterized several important leukocyte surface glycoproteins (1976‑) Such are CD43, CD45 and the leukocyte integrins
Identified leukocyte proteins as adhesion molecules (1985)
Identified the adhesion molecule ICAM-1, simultaneously with Springer’s group (1987)
Identified functionally important cell surface glycoproteins in natural killer cells (1988-)
Detailed studies on integrin phosphorylation (1991-)
Found the first activating peptide for leukocyte integrins (1993-95)
Characterized two new intercellular adhesion molecules, ICAM-4 and ICAM-5 (1995-)
Explained why cell surface proteins are glycoproteins (1996)
Established that an ICAM-molecule shows homophilic interaction in brain (2000)
Found an association between leukocyte integrins and metalloproteases. Described a low m.w. inhibitor of   this phenomenon  (2003-04)
Showed that α-chain phosphorylation in β2-integrins is important(2005,2006, 2013)
Showed that stimulation of glutamate receptors activates metalloproteases resulting in cleavage of ICAM-5 (2007)
Suppression by ICAM-5 of T cell activation (2007,2008)
Discovery of the first endogenous inhibitor of leukocyte adhesion (cowork with T. Chavakis et al. 2008)
Showed that β2-integrin phosporylation affects binding of cytosceletalproteins (2008)
Identified Tiam1 as an important molecule in β2-integrin signalling (2011)
Determined the 3-dimensional strucuture of domains 1-4 of ICAM-5 (2014) (co-work with J.M. Casasnovas)
Showed that β2-integrins signal to β1-integrins by phosphorylation(2014)

Prizes and honours

The Komppa award for the best thesis in chemistry in Finland (1971)
The Scandinavian Anders Jahre Prize in Medicine, University of Oslo (1981)
The 150-year Anniversary Prize of the Finnish Medical Association (1985)
Knight of the Finnish White Rose (1988)
Professor of the Year in Finland (1995) (all fields included)
The Äyräpää Prize of the Finnish Medical Association Duodecim (1997). Considered the most prestigious prize in medicine in Finland
The silver medal of the Finnish Society of Science and Letters (2002)
The silver medal of the University of Helsinki (2002)
Commander of the Order of the Finnish Lion (2002)
Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académique, France (2009)
The Runeberg Prize of the Finnish Medical Association (2010)
Honorary member of the Finnish Medical Association (2010)
Commander of the order of the Finnish White Rose (2012)
One Finlands 100 most prominent scientists throughout time (2014)

Ph.D. dissertations supervised in the group

1. Mikko Jokinen, 1982. With distinction (laudatur). Primus of the Faculty of Science
2. Kimmo Karhi, 1983
3. Marja Ekblom, 1985. Together with Leif C. Andersson
4. Heli Suomalainen, 1986. Together with Jim Schröder and Leif  C. Andersson
5. Anja Lampio, 1988
6. Pekka Nortamo, 1993
7. Kristiina Somersalo, 1995. With Tuomo Timonen
8. Rosalba Salcedo, 1996. With Manuel Patarroyo
9. Rui Li, 1996. With distinction (laudatur)
10. Matti Autero, 1996
11. Leena Valmu, 1999
12. Li Tian, 2001. With distinction (laudatur)
13. Susanna Fagerholm, 2002
14. Tiina Hilden, 2005. With distinction (laudatur)
15. Michael Stefanidakis, 2006. With Erkki Koivunen
16. Susanna Nurmi, 2008
17. Henrietta Nyman-Huttunen, 2011
18. Lin Ning, 2013
19. Liisa Uotila, 2014