We are a group of enthusiastic people who are eager to reveal the secrets of nature. We want to know the mechanistic details of how our cells work, move, and change their shape.
Pekka carried out his PhD-thesis work at EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany, where he studied the structure and function of the electron entry site of cytochrome c oxidase. This was followed by a post-doctoral work with David Drubin at UC Berkeley, USA focusing on actin dynamics in budding yeast. Since 1998, Pekka has been a group leader at Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki. His main research interests are to uncover the mechanisms by which actin and plasma membrane dynamics are regulated in cells. In his free time, Pekka enjoys various sports, music (playing guitar), wandering in nature, and spending time with his family.
I received my PhD at the University of Helsinki, where I investigated the replication machinery of alphaviruses. I did my post doc at EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany, studying the role of Rab8 GTPase in membrane trafficking. Thereafter, I have focused on unraveling the protein network regulated by Rab8 and other small GTPases, and on the relationship between membrane trafficking and actin dynamics. Recently, I have studied the molecular network linked to processes controlling cholesterol homeostasis. Currently I try to find new actin-dependent processes that regulate cell morphogenesis and polarity. I spend my free time in the archipelago of Helsinki, where birdwatching and photography are my favorite activities.
I did my PhD on biochemical properties of various tropomyosin isoforms in the laboratory of prof. Dmitrii Levitsky in the A.N. Bach institute of Biochemistry Russian Academy of Science (Moscow, Russia). Before joining Lappalainen lab in the end of 2008, I studied mitochondrial motility in astrocytes using fluorescence microscopy technic in the laboratory of Leonard Khirug in the Neuroscience Center (University of Helsinki). Now I am interested in combining biochemical and cell biological approaches to study various contractile actin structures and effects of different protein-protein interactions on the formation of plasma membrane protrusions in the cells. I like different sporting activities and reading.
I am interested in understanding the molecular machines (proteins) responsible for actin turnover in the cell on atomic level resolution. To obtain the structural information, I am mastering my skills and knowledge in XRAY crystallography, biochemical analysis of proteins and protein complexes, and I am looking into Cryo-EM single particle analysis. On my free time, I enjoy my lovely family, philosophical discussions and crazy business ideas.
I received my doctorate in Life Sciences (Cancer Biology) from National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER)- Bhubaneswar, Odisha affiliated to Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI), Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), India in Dec 2018. During my doctoral work, I studied the role of posttranslational modifications in the functional regulation and sub-cellular distribution of E3-ubiquitin ligase SIAH proteins in Helicobacter pylori-mediated gastric cancer. At present, I am a post-doctoral researcher in Pekka’s lab at University of Helsinki. Currently I am interested in identifying and functionally characterizing the roles of various proteins involved in the regulation of actin stress fibres in motile cells which control cell morphogenesis in various pathophysiological conditions. In free time, I like playing various sports, travelling to new places and nature photography.
I am originally from Molise, Italy and I got my master degree in Cell and Molecular Biology at University of Molise investigating the antioxidant properties of olive leaves decoction. I moved to Finland to pursue my PhD at University of Jyväskylä. Throughout my PhD project I focused on the interaction of Spleen Tyrosine Kinase (Syk) with integrins and immunoreceptors. I am now working on the actin polymeration machinery trying to reconstitute the system in vitro. I have been always fascinated by the protein-protein interaction at molecular level and by the nature of enzymes and their complex regulation. Besides the work, I spend time with my family and my lovely dog. I enjoy cooking, doing yoga and being in the nature.
I received my M.Sc in cell- and molecular biology from the University of Oulu in 2012. After graduation, I worked briefly on antibodies that recognize atherosclerosis plaques at the University of Oulu, Faculty of Medicine. I joined the actin forces late in 2013, currently interested in novel imaging techniques and the assembly and maintenance of contractile structures in different tissue types. Outside the lab, you’ll most likely find me from bouldering gym our testing friction forces on the real rock.
I received my Master of Science from VIT University, India (2014). I pursued further research training as Junior Research Fellow at National Center for Biological Science in Institute of Stem cell & Regenerative medicine (inStem) for eight months in Bangalore, India. I have joined the Pekka Lappalainen lab in 2015 to pursue a PhD in Integrative Life Science program. My research interests include Stress fiber components study in non-muscle as well as modeling of cardiac myofibrilogenesis using stem cell derived cardiomyocytes. I like doing painting and aim to unveil the hidden concepts of science in her masterpiece.
I started as a graduate student in Pekka’s lab in 2016. My main interest is on how proteins interact and perform biological functions at molecular level. Outside work I am a keen follower of both sports and esports, I go to gym, spend a lot of time in social media and enjoy quality coffee.
I hail from Kashmir and did my bachelors in Chennai, India. I moved to Finland to pursue my M.Sc. in Biomedical Imaging from Åbo Akademi University. I joined Lappalainen lab to conduct my Masters's thesis and will continue to study the actin-related structures in epithelial cells as a PhD student. You will find me enjoying long walks, swimming in open lakes, and playing sports for fun during summer. Whereas, in winters I enjoy the snowfall and hibernate indoors.
I received my M.Sc. from Translational Medicine, University of Helsinki (2019). Previously I have been working in the field of lipid trafficking in University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine. I joined Pekka’s lab in the summer of 2020 to continue PhD studies and my interests lie in actin regulation at epithelial junctions. In addition, I like to yoga and hike with my furry friend.