Kai Kaila: Arginine Vasopressin and Ion Transporters in the Modulation of Brain Excitability During Birth and Birth Asphyxia Seizures, 2014–2019
A transient period of asphyxia in the newborn is an obligatory part of normal parturition. A more prolonged disturbance in cerebral blood supply is a major cause of neonatal seizures. Professor Kai Kaila group's recent landmark work on a rat model of birth asphyxia showed that asphyxia is followed by brain alkalosis, which triggers seizures.
Read more on the Laboratory of Neurobiology research group website!
Vladislav Verkhusha: Near-infrared fluorescent probes based on bacterial phytochromes for in vivo imaging, 2014–2019
Professor Vladislav Verkhusha is the leading expert in the development of fluorescent proteins; he develops red fluorescent proteins and proteins whose fluorescence can be switched on or off in a controlled manner. These have many applications.
Read more on the Optobiology research group website!
Eero Castrén: Induction of juvenile-like plasticity in the adult brain, 2013–2018
Neuronal networks are tuned to optimally represent external and internal milieu through neuronal plasticity during critical periods of juvenile life. After the closure of the critical periods, plasticity is considered to be much more limited. In a series of landmark studies, professor Eero Castrén's group has shown that critical period-like plasticity can be reactivated in the adult mammalian brain by pharmacological treatment with the antidepressant fluoxetine. These ground-breaking studies establish a new principle, induced juvenile-like plasticity (iPlasticity) and define a new class of drugs, iPlastic drugs.
Karri Muinonen: Scattering and absorption of electromagnetic waves in particulate media, 2013–2018
The canonical problem of electromagnetic scattering in complex particulate media is solved numerically using multiple-scattering theory based on the Maxwell equations, with an exact treatment of the leading ladder and cyclical interaction diagrams. The numerical methods are validated using a nanotechnology-based scattering experiment that, simultaneously with the measurement of the full scattering matrix at arbitrary illumination and observation geometries, allows for a detailed physical characterization of the scattering object using Atomic Force Microscopy. Professor Karri Muinonen group's numerical and experimental methods will have immediate applications in Earth observation, including remote sensing of the atmosphere, land, and sea.
Anu Wartiowaara: Metabolic consequences of mitochondrial dysfunction, 2011–2016
Professor Anu Wartiovaara's project aims to clarify mitochondrial contribution to obesity and thinness, using carefully characterized mitochondrial disease and obese patient materials, and genetically modified disease models. Manifestations of mitochondrial respiratory chain (RC) defects range from infantile multisystem disorders to adult-onset myopathies or neurodegeneration, and even ageing-related wasting.
Read more on professor Wartiovaara's research group website!
Bo Stråth: Between Restoration and Revolution, National Constitutions and Global Law: an Alternative View on the European Century 1815–1914, 2009–2014
The point of departure of this project is that a good part of the present deficit of legitimacy of European institutions emerges from a deeply ahistoric view of Europe s past. Professor Bo Stråth's realistic outline of Europe's past focuses on the century 1815–1914, which was the pre-war historical ground on which the peace of 1945 and our present conception of Europe were built. It testifies at least as much to conflict and fragility as to progress. The century is traversed by a series of tensions in the political, cultural, social, economic and legal fields and struggles between the protagonists of different conceptions of European modernity.
Päivi Peltomäki: Epigenome and Cancer Susceptibility, 2009–2014
Early detection is crucial for the outcome of most cancers. Prevention of cancer development is even more desirable. To facilitate these ultimate goals professor Päivi Peltomäki's group aims to construct a comprehensive view of the stepwise process through which common human cancers, such as colorectal cancer, arise. In particular, they aim to identify novel mechanisms of cancer susceptibility by focusing on the epigenome, whose alterations may underlie several phenomena related to chronic adult-onset disease that are not explained by genetics alone.
Ilkka Hanski: Ecological, molecular, and evolutionary spatial dynamics, 2009–2013
The study of wild populations will benefit of increasing integration of ecological, molecular, genetic, and evolutionary approaches. The Glanville fritillary butterfly has a classic metapopulation in a network of 4,000 habitat patches in the Åland Islands, Finland, within an area of 50 by 70 km, across which population surveys have been conducted since 1993. Taking advantage of the opportunity to sample a few larvae from full-sib groups of gregarious larvae in hundreds of local populations, professor Ilkka Hanski's project involved large-scale phenotyping and genotyping of individuals across the large metapopulation. The aim was to advance our general understanding of the genetic basis of variation in individual performance and life-time reproductive success (fitness), and the role of ongoing natural selection in population dynamics of species living in fragmented landscapes.