Epithelial morphogenesis

Marja Mikkola research group

We strive to understand the molecular and cellular regulation of epithelial appendage (hair, mammary gland, tooth) development and how they are perturbed in diseases such as congenital disorders or tumorigenesis. To reach these goals, we use a combination of genetic mouse models, single cell and bulk transcriptomics, organ and cell culture methods, and sophisticated time-lapse imaging techniques. 

We hope that in the future the knowledge gained can be harnessed to better understand disease pathogenesis, and to develop new therapies and regenerative medicine applications. 

We ask the following questions: 

  • How are cell fates determined in the embryonic surface epithelium? 
  • What cellular mechanisms govern early morphogenesis of epithelial appendages? Are they conserved across organs? How are they perturbed in ectodermal dysplasias? 
  • What molecular pathways govern mammary branching morphogenesis? How is the branch pattern generated? 
  • What cellular mechanisms drive mammary epithelial invasion and branching? How do they change in tumorigenesis?

Marja Mikkola, PhD, Docent

Research Director

Institute of Biotechnology, HiLIFE

Biocenter 2, room 5009

P.O. Box 56 (Viikinkaari 5D)

00014 University of Helsinki


Office: +358 2941 59344

Email: marja.mikkola@helsinki.fi

Marja is a Principal Investigator/Research Director at BI.