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.

e-mail: pekka.lappalainen@helsinki.fi

 

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.

e-mail: elena.kremneva@helsinki.fi

 

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.

e-mail: konstantin.kogan@helsinki.fi

 

I received my PhD in Biophysics in Japan. I was studying the molecular mechanisms of Bin/amphiphysin/Rvs (BAR) domain proteins and actin cytoskeleton in endocytosis. I am currently a postdoctoral fellow at University of Helsinki, elucidating the function of inverse (I)-BAR domain proteins. I am interested in how membrane curvature regulates actin dynamics in vivo and in vitro. To address this question, I am using cell biological and biochemical methods, such as liposome cosedimentation/coflotation assays, spectrometric analyses, and giant unilammelar vesicle (GUV) assays.

e-mail: yosuke.senju@helsinki.fi

 

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.

email: shrikant.kokate@helsinki.fi

 

 

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.

e-mail: jaakko.lehtimaki@helsinki.fi

 

I started to work with actin cytoskeleton during my Master's project at Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland. Currently, I try to reveal how various proteins control proper function of contractile actomyosin bundles. To answer my questions, I use wide array of cell and molecular biology methods, imaging and occasionally some biochemistry. Outside of the lab I brew beer, track planes, admire foxes and travel.

e-mail: katarzyna.ciuba@helsinki.fi

 

I am a graduate student currently working in a project related to actin monomer binding proteins important in actin disassembly. My interest extends also to protein-membrane interactions. I received my Master of science degree from the Division of Biochemistry, University of Helsinki, year 2013 with specialization to molecular cell biology. My current projects include broad-spectrum of different techniques, such as actin biochemistry, protein-protein and protein-membrane interaction assays, and cell culture and imaging techniques.

e-mail: markku.hakala@helsinki.fi

 

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.

e-mail: reena.kumari@helsinki.fi

 

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.

e-mail: tommi.kotila@helsinki.fi

 

Mirva has studied biotechnology and food engineering in the Turku Institute of Technology and works in the Lappalainen lab as a laboratory technician.

e-mail: mirva.tirkkonen@helsinki.fi