Lab Activities

We have some fun too.
Happy Birthday, Pekka

It was His birthday, and we decided to surprise Him with a poster session. Poster designs of how we think of Him. And His name is Pekka Lappalainen. Thanks for letting us have fun with you. Happy Birthday, Boss. Many happy returns! - Pekka

The Lappalainen Festival 2024

April 19th, a date to remember! We celebrated the success of publishing two first author papers of, Reena Kumari who got poached and couldn't show up, Andrea and Kostya (also semi-poached), Sarah's fellowship funding!! We also celebrated Shrikant's first-born too, we have been very excited to witness Shrikant embarking his journey into being a husband, and now, parenthood.

CoE meeting at the Mustio Manor

Our third annual CoE meeting this year! We had some fun coming together to discuss and inspire collaborations among the research groups of Johanna Ivaska, Ilpo Vattulainen, Pipsa Saharinen, Sara Wickström and ourselves. It's always a delight with these people! 

Goodbye Reena

It was time for us to say goodbye to the heart of our group. Thanks for being such a thoughtful friend to us, a knowledgeable and helpful senior of our group, and of course, a passionate scientist to the world. We look forward to see your next achievement in the Sixt Lab. Without coolhead in Austria, we hope you find a better second home. With that, we gifted you three coolhead shirts, for discovering three actin filament layers within the focal adhesions.

2023 Lab Retreat Nuuksio

Exactly 365 days after our previous retreat at Tvärminne, we went to Nuuksio to have some fun actinvities together! #badumtss

Scientific experiments are always well performed by us, but do we always ask the right questions and providing accurate interpretations of our results? Yes, we do, but Pekka gave us a talk to remind us the importance of critical thinking in our works. We then suited up to simulate actin disassembly in the waters G-buffers. 

Congratulations, Reena

Reena has been the heart of our group for some time now, and we are all very delighted to have witnessed her defence and celebrated her success at the karonkka party on August 25th. Heartfelt speeches almost went longer than her defence, but we managed to knock ourselves out hehe before watching our special performance for our honorable graduate. Good job, Reena.

Whaddup Reena defended.
We hope retirement suits you, Johan!

Johan Peränen was the senior scientist and an excellent team member of our group. He is always so passionate about research that inspires all of us in the lab. Nevertheless, we thank Johan for his hard work and contribution to academia science, such as Rab8 is a small GTPase protein that plays a crucial role in intracellular vesicle trafficking and membrane transport processes within cells. It belongs to the Rab family of proteins, which are essential regulators of vesicular trafficking, ensuring that cargo is delivered to the correct destination within the cell. Specifically, Rab8 is involved in the regulation of vesicle trafficking to the plasma membrane, making it essential for processes such as cell polarization, cell division, and ciliary membrane formation. It helps in directing vesicles containing various cellular components, such as proteins and lipids, to their intended locations. Additionally, Rab8 has been implicated in various cellular processes, including cell migration, neurite outgrowth, and cytokinesis, making it a versatile protein with diverse functions. Research on Rab8 and its related pathways is ongoing, contributing to a better understanding of intracellular transport mechanisms and their significance in cellular physiology and disease.

1. Rab8 and Intracellular Vesicle Trafficking:

Intracellular vesicle trafficking is a fundamental process in eukaryotic cells, allowing the transport of various materials between different cellular compartments. It involves the formation, movement, and fusion of membrane-bound vesicles that shuttle cargo, such as proteins and lipids, to specific locations within the cell. Rab8 is a key player in this process as it functions as a molecular switch, cycling between an active GTP-bound form and an inactive GDP-bound form.

2. Rab Family of Proteins:

Rab proteins are part of the Ras superfamily of small GTPases and are primarily associated with membrane trafficking events. The human genome encodes more than 60 Rab proteins, each with unique subcellular localization and functions. Rab proteins act as regulators, controlling the tethering, docking, and fusion of vesicles with target membranes.

3. Rab8's Role in Plasma Membrane Traffic:

Rab8 is specifically involved in regulating vesicle trafficking to the plasma membrane, the outer boundary of the cell. It helps ensure that specific cargoes are delivered to the right locations on the cell surface, a process vital for cell polarization, cell division, and the establishment of cell surface domains.

4. Cell Polarization:

Cell polarization is the process by which cells develop a distinct orientation, enabling them to perform specialized functions efficiently. Rab8 contributes to this process by directing vesicles containing specific proteins and lipids to the region of the cell where polarization is required.

5. Cell Division:

During cell division, Rab8 participates in the formation of the midbody, a temporary structure that forms between dividing cells. It assists in the proper delivery and fusion of vesicles at the midbody, facilitating cytokinesis, the final stage of cell division.

6. Ciliary Membrane Formation:

Cilia are hair-like structures found on the cell surface, playing essential roles in various cellular processes, including sensory perception and cellular motility. Rab8 is crucial for the trafficking of ciliary membrane components, ensuring the proper formation and maintenance of these specialized structures.

Overall, Rab8's intricate regulatory functions in intracellular vesicle trafficking contribute to maintaining cellular organization, communication, and proper functioning. Dysregulation of Rab8 and its associated pathways has been linked to various diseases, such as ciliopathies and neurological disorders, making it an important focus of ongoing research in cell biology and molecular medicine.

Two weeks of iPALM imaging at Janelia!
Cell & Tissue Dynamics (CTD) retreat at Hyytiälä 2023

Together with the rest of the diverse research groups within the CTD Program, we held our first annual retreat at the Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station between 4-5th May 2023. Aside from the scientific presentations and discussions during the retreat, we took the opportunity to surprise our boss' 75th birthday with a cake and birthday hat. He loved the hat so much that he wore it the entire night!

Happy Birthday Pekka, you've aged!

Goodbye Tommi

Tommi Kotila has been with us for a good period of time now, and throughout his time here, he consistently demonstrated academic excellence in his works. On 4th February 2023, we held a mini-farewell party for him. Congratulations, and we know that you will be successful in your future endeavours, Tommi!

P.S. rumour has it that he might be at a better place.. just not in academia.

We finally had our lab logo competition last month, in October 2022, and we are proud to finally have one now! Thanks, everyone, for taking time out to make unique designs, and their combined efforts in making this activity fun and memorable. Shout-out to Reena for coming up with this, and doing the final touch-ups for our logo.

Happy Halloween 2022!!

We dressed up as our alter-ego.

2022 Lab Retreat Tvärminne

Between 26-27th October 2022, we went to the Tvärminne Zoological Station for a lab retreat. Thanks everyone, for the amazing times together and the scientific discussions at our 2D1N lab retreat.

Congratulations, Tommi

On 2nd September 2022, we celebrated(and got drunk) Tommi's success at his doctoral thesis defence party (Karonkka), with Professor Robert Robinson. Congratulations, Tommi.

Mushroom picking at Sipoonkorpi National Park, Sep 2020
ProLipids Meeting. Tallin Feb 2019
2016 Linnanmäki