National Doctoral Education Pilot Based on Immune System

Here you can find the list of potential supervisors in National Doctoral Education Pilot Based on Immune System who have registered to the doctoral pilot and given permission to publish their name. If you're interested in applying for a position in the thematic field of the pilot, you should contact a possible supervisor as soon as possible.

The list is not final and will be updated frequently.

This research area focuses on immunology including all types of inflammatory diseases, which are future megatrend in healthcare. They all are driven by aberrant immune responses, and immunological interventions are at the heart of their prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Healthcare urgently needs specialists who understand these immunological areas. 

We are looking for doctoral researchers for 3-year doctoral positions to work in the fields of immunology, immunology-based drug development and/or diagnostics. The research can be basic, translational and/or clinical. 

Suitable candidates have a background in biomedicine, medicine, life sciences or other relevant discipline.

Tero Ahola - RNA virus replication and antivirals

  • We study RNA virus replication and virus-host interactions, including interactions of the viral proteins with the innate immune system. RNA viruses cause emerging epidemics, and thus we develop broad-spectrum antivirals targeting host cell components.

Vincenzo Cerullo - Precision cancer vaccines

  • IVTLab is focused on the development of personalized (or cancer specific) cancer vaccines utilizing viruses and bacteria as delivery platforms for specific cancer antigens.

Ping Chen - Computational biology of human diseases

  • My group focuses on RNA biology and its role in human diseases. We use multi-modal data from human subjects to pioneer data-driven approaches aimed at improving disease diagnostics and decoding the  molecular mechanisms underlying disease development. 

Carl Gahmberg - Integrins and cancer

  • Our group studies the regulation of leukocyte integrins. We have published more than 100 articles on the subject, many in top journals.

Susanna Fagerholm - Integrins in immunity 

  • We study the roles of integrins in immune cell trafficking, activation and anti-tumor immunity, using mouse models, cell biology, and multiomics methods. Our recent discoveries show that integrins regulate dendritic cell programming and anti-tumor responses.

Tobias Freitag - Antigen-Specific Immunotherapy of Autoimmune Diseases

  • Our research group is interested in antigen-specific immune tolerance induction and its development as a curative therapy for HLA-associated autoimmune diseases (AID). Our main hypothesis is that the dysregulated immune system in AID can be reprogrammed.

Karita Haapasalo - Inflammation and Infections

  • We study chronic inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis and Alzheimers disease and the role of infections in triggering inflammation in these diseases.

Akseli Hemminki - Cancer Immunotherapy

  • We use gene therapy and oncolytic viruses to improve the treatment of cancers lacking currently available effective modalities, alone and in combination with other treatments, like T-cell therapies.

Pirta Hotulainen - How peripheral inflammation affects the brain?

  • We elucidate how peripheral, transient inflammation affect the brain. We analyze the response of neurons, microglia and astrocytes and how they interact using confocal immunofluorescence imaging. At behavioral level we follow mouse anxiety, learning and memory

Eliisa Kekäläinen - The human thymus

  • We study how the human thymus functions under different conditions (viral infections, HSCT, after thymectomy), how changes in thymopoiesis affect patients' outcomes, and look for new biomarkers of thymopoiesis for the whole human life span.

Ayman Khattab - The complement system in microbial and cancer pathogenesis

  • My research focuses on understanding the intricate ways in which pathogens and cancer cells manipulate and make use of the complement system to initiate infections and promote tumorigenesis.

Jari Koistinaho - Human brain diseases, stem cell technologies, inflammation

  • Taking advantage of disease-specific induced pluripotent stem cells, we have generated various cultured, organoid and xenograft of brain diseases to investigate the role and impact of microglia as well vascular inflammatory mediators in brain diseases.

Sini Laakso - Neuroimmunological diseases: pathogenesis, biomarkers, treatment responses

  • We study multiple sclerosis (MS), myasthenia gravis and autoimmune encephalitis using multiomic approaches such as scRNAseq and CITEseq, and cyclic immunofluorescence. We recently showed an expanded B cell population inside lymph nodes of MS patients.

Thomas McWilliams - Autophagy and mitochondrial signaling in tissue development, disease and repair

  • We unravel autophagy mechanisms in health and disease and harness these for therapeutic development. We use groundbreaking optical biosensors combined with cutting-edge microscopy, advanced molecular/cellular and multi-OMICS methods in animal & patient systems.

Mikael Niku - Microbial modulation of fetal development

  • We study how the maternal microbiota modulates the fetal development of the intestinal immune system and the central nervous system.

Markku Partinen - Sleep and Neurology

  • Narcolepsy, Sleepiness, Fatigue, Insomnia, Sleep Apnea, Parasomnias, and Sleepiness related to Traffic Accidents. Epidemiological and Sleep Lab studies.

Claudio Rivera Baeza - Trauma induced microglia dependent neuronal survival

  • We utilize in vivo imaging, electrophysiology, behavior, and advanced cell biology to investigate microglia's impact on post-traumatic interneuron survival and cognitive outcome.

Päivi Saavalainen - Multi-omics of chronic gastrointestinal inflammations

  • We study inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) with modern genomic, transcriptomic, single cell and microbiomic analyses in large patient sample cohorts. We search novel biomarkers to predict patients' good vs poor TNF-alpha inhibitor drug responses.

Niina Sandholm - Genetic, epigenetic and proteomic risk factors for diabetes complications

  • Type 1 diabetes one of the most common autoimmune diseases. Half of the individuals with diabetes develop diabetic complications affecting kidney, eyes, and the cardiovascular system. FinnDiane aims to identify their genetic and environmental risk factors.

Mirkka Sarparanta - Radiopharmaceutical chemistry

  • We develop targeted radiolabeled molecular imaging agents for positron emission tomography for cancer and neuroscience applications, as well as new theranostic nanosystems for cancer therapy.

Pia R-M Siljander - Immunomodulatory roles of platelet-derived extracellular vesicles

  • Immunomodulatory roles of (P)EVs in health and disease with underlying inflammation. Role of EV heterogeneity in platelet and cancer biology, EVs as biomarkers, and their inherent therapeutic properties.

Olli Silvennoinen - Molecular mechanisms of normal and pathogenic JAK signaling

  • We study molecular mechanisms of JAK kinase activation in immunological diseases and cancer using techniques from molecular/structural biology to clinical studies and shown mechanism of  pathogenic JAK2 activation and established novel therapeutic concept.

Tomas Strandin - The pathogenesis of hantavirus and coronavirus infections

  • We investigate the pathological mechanisms of Hantavirus- and Coronavirus-associated diseases. We concentrate on the role of the immune response, specifically neutrophils and IgA, in mediating disease progression.

Kari Vaahtomeri - Guidance of cell migration and cell-cell interactions in lymphatic system 

  • We use cell culture, explant, and in vivo models to study guidance of cell migration in the context of lymphatics, adaptive immunity, and tumorigenesis. Recently, we identified mechanisms that ensure optimal tissue coverage by dermal lymphatic capillaries.

Markku Varjosalo - Immunological diseases

  • Our research focuses on identifying molecular mechanisms of mutations causing primary immunodeficiency diseases (PIDDs), utilizing novel omics methods. We aim to uncover disease mechanisms and cellular disruptions for targeted therapies.

Merja Voutilainen - Developing regenerative treatments for incurable neurological diseases

  • We study the molecular mechanisms and therapeutic potential of novel drug candidates for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease (PD), and multiple sclerosis (MS).