Structural biology of infection and immunity

Ilona Rissanen research group

Our research focuses on uncovering the atomic-level structures of macromolecules that drive biological processes, especially those related to virus-host interactions and immunity. We harness these structural insights to design novel proteins and identify functionally crucial interactions. For this purpose, we employ a range of biochemical sample preparation and protein engineering methods, complemented by X-ray crystallography and cryogenic electron microscopy. Our research interests encompass:

  • Molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of rhabdoviruses, including rabies.
  • Development and structural characterization of antiviral proteins.
  • Molecular architecture of understudied emerging viruses.
  • Structures and functions of proteins involved in immune and inflammatory responses

Ilona Rissanen, PhD

Academy Research Fellow

Institute of Biotechnology, HiLIFE 

Biocenter 3, office 2901

P.O.Box 65 (Viikinkaari 1) 

00014 University of Helsinki 


Phone: +358 29 41 59586

Ilona is a Principal Investigator/Academy Research Fellow at BI.