Päivi received her PhD in pharmacy in 2004 and Adjunct professorship in pharmaceutical biology in 2005. She held the Academy of Finland Research Fellow position in 2014-2019, and is currently the professor of pharmaceutical biology at the Division of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, Faculty of Pharmacy. Päivi is the head of the Bioactivity Screening Group at the Faculty of Pharmacy as well as the head of High Throughput Biomedicine Unit at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM).  She is expert in bioassay development and screening technologies especially in antimicrobial drug discovery.

Research profile

ORCID: 0000-0003-4697-8066

Cristina received her PhD in Food Science - Major in Microbiology from the University of São Paulo (Brazil), in 2007. After graduation, she worked as a molecular microbiologist at the Plant & Food Research Institute (New Zealand). In 2017, she joined the Bioactivity Screening Group and her research project focuses on new antimicrobials for Gram-positive bacteria.

Research profile

ORCID: 0000-0003-4655-8563

Polina received her MSc (Biology) from Saint-Petersburg State University (Russia). In 2015 she completed her PhD in Biopharmacy from the University of Helsinki, where her research focused on the mechanisms of non-viral gene delivery. She joined the Bioactivity Screening Group in 2016 and focuses currently on developing cell-based assays for validation of AI-2 quorum sensing inhibitors as anti-virulence agents against Gram-negative bacteria. Polina is also instructing new users of the Bioactivity Screening core facility.

Research profile

ORCID: 0000-0002-6705-6338

Karmen received MSc (Pharm) in 2011 from University of Tartu, Estonia. In 2012, she began her doctoral studies at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki and received her PhD (Pharm) in 2016. Currently, Karmen is holding a position of postdoctoral researcher in Pharmaceutical Biology in the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki. Her teaching responsibilities include courses in natural product drug discovery and microbiology. Karmen's research work focuses on natural product isolation, analytics and bioactivity screening. 

Research profile

ORCID: 0000-0002-3239-7108

Viviana received her Master´s Degree in Medical Biotechnology from University of Rome “Sapienza” (Italy) in 2015. After an experience as an assistant researcher at the Paris “Descartes” University, she joined the Bioactivity Screening Group to start her PhD in Drug Research. Her research is focused on the development of quorum sensing inhibitors against Gram-negative bacteria.

Research profile

ORCID: 0000-0003-1734-4291

Katja-Emilia graduated from the University of Helsinki in 2013 (M.Sc. in pharmaceutical biology). Katja-Emilia did her master's thesis in the bioactivity screening group working with screening for marine-derived inhibitors of Chikungunya virus replication. After the master's, Katja-Emilia joined the group as a doctoral student, continuing the antiviral screening work with Chikungunya and Hepatitis C virus models. Katja-Emilia is currently working in the pharmacuetical industry alongside with finalizing her PhD thesis.

Tuomas graduated from the University of Helsinki in 2013 (M.Sc. in pharmaceutical biology). Currently Tuomas is working on enteropathogenic E. coli, designing screening methods targeting a protein-protein interaction, central to the adhesion of EPEC to host cells upon infection. Previously, in his Master's thesis, he created a screening method for a neurotrophic factor (trkB).

Research profile

Heidi received her Master’s Degree in 2017 from the University of Helsinki after doing her Master’s thesis in the Bioactivity Screening Group. In her Master’s thesis, she worked on optimizing bioactivity assays used in research of AI-2 quorum sensing. Currently she is working as a Laboratory Coordinator in the Bioactivity Screening Group.

Morris Calzoni, ERASMUS student from the University of Parma

Jessica Dellavedova, ERASMUS student from the University of Milan

Pau Esteve, ERASMUS student from the University of Lleida

Denise Nurmi, thesis student from Arcada



Dr. Dorota Nawrot, currently at the University of Oxford

Dr. Päivi Järvinen, currently in the Chemical Microsystems Lab at the University of Helsinki

Dr. Andreas Helfenstein, currently at Finnair

Dr. Sofia Montalvão, currently at Borealis AG

Dr. Susanna Nybond, currently at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology/SciLifeLab

Dr. Leena Hanski (née Pohjala), currently at UH

Heidi Mäkkylä, Gramnegatiivisten bakteerien viestintä ja AI-2-välitteisen signaloinnin häirintä (Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, 2017)

Jutta Karppinen, 3D liver cell models and automation as tools for drug development (Faculty of Pharmacy, 2017)

Jenna Kuusjärvi, Escherichia coli: Resistenssitilanne ja bioreportterimenetelmän hyödyntäminen antimikrobisen aktiivisuuden seulonnassa (Faculty of Pharmacy, 2016)

Laura Kenttä, Luminoivien bakteerikantojen käyttö antimikrobiseulonnassa (Faculty of Pharmacy, 2015)

Sara Bož, Comparison of bioluminescent Escherichia coli K-12/pTetLux1 and WZM120/pCGLS-11 strains in the evaluation of antibacterial activity (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2015)

Kira Holvikari, Characterising MRP2 inhibitors, stimulators and substrates from a library of natural compounds and pharmaceutical excipients (Faculty of Pharmacy, 2015)

Noora Jokinen, Assay optimization and screening for hepatitis C virus replication inhibitors from marine-derived substances (Faculty of Pharmacy, 2013)

Tuomas Pylkkö, Keskushermostossa sijaitsevan lääkekohteen tehoseulomiseen liittyviä erityispiirteitä (Faculty of Pharmacy, 2013)

Soile Kuosmanen, Assay optimization and validation for screening marine extracts against Mycobacterium smegmatis (Faculty of Pharmacy, 2013)

Katja-Emilia Lillsunde, Screening for marine-derived inhibitors of Chikungunya virus replication (Faculty of Pharmacy, 2012)

Elina Pekonen, Oksidatiivinen stressi Fusarium avenaceum –mykotoksiinien toksisuuden mekanismina? (University of Turku/TERBIO Master Degree Program, 2012)

Juho Tuhkalainen, Luonnonaineiden kemiallinen muokkaus lääkeaineiksi ja abietiinihappojohdannaisten biologisen aktiivisuuden tutkiminen (Faculty of Pharmacy, 2012)