Brain development and disease at the cellular level

"You can't start a fire without a spark" - Bruce Springsteen
Human neurons

Dopaminergic neurons are the most vulnerable cells in Parkinson's disease. Starting with human stem cells, we generate dopaminergic neurons in a dish. These cells are a handy proxy to study how human dopaminergic neurons develop, function, and respond to external stimuli. Our research focuses on generating human dopaminergic neurons that mimic pathophysiological features of ageing and human dopaminergic neurons.

Microglial heterogeneity

Microglia are the resident immune cells of the brain. They are constantly active performing versatile tasks during development and in steady state. Upon any brain disease, microglia react sometimes for good and sometimes for bad. To make these cells even more exiting, microglia are heterogenous, especially during development. Understanding the contribution of this microglial heterogeneity can open new avenues of how we understand brain pathophysiology.


Featured publications

Microglial subtypes: diversity within the microglial community. Vassilis Stratoulias, Jose Luis Venero, Marie-Ève Tremblay & Bertrand Joseph. EMBO Journal (2019) 38: e101997 (review).

Arg1+microglia are critical for shaping cognition in female mice. Vassilis Stratoulias, Rocío Ruiz, Shigeaki Kanatani, Ahmed M Osman, Jose A Armengol, Antonio Rodríguez-Moreno, Adriana-Natalia Murgoci, Irene García-Domínguez, Lily Keane, Guillermo Vázquez-Cabrera, Isabel Alonso-Bellido, Nathalie Vernoux, Dario Tejera, Kathleen Grabert, Mathilde Cheray, Patricia González-Rodríguez, Eva M Pérez-Villegas, Irene Martinez-Gallego, David Brodin, Javier Avila-Cariño, Mikko Airavaara, Per Uhlén, Michael T Heneka, Marie-Ève Tremblay, Klas Blomgren, Jose L Venero, Bertrand Joseph. bioRxiv.

Stratoulias' recent publications in the University of Helsinki Research Portal

I am fascinated by how different cells grow, differentiate and function in harmony to create a living organism. Been trained as a developmental biologist, I want to track the journey a cell follows in time and space and comprehend what its contribution during development and adulthood is. Understanding a cell's role in normal state is the first step to understand its vulnerabilities during diseases.

Master and Erasmus students

Achmet Ali Tsaous, Trainee / Master student 

Umamaheswari Umasankar, Master student

Suhashini Doraisamy, Master student

Previous members

Huai Hui Wang (Trainee)

Anu Haapala (M.Sc. thesis)

Arianna Arbona (Erasmus student)

Siiri Hyvärinen (Trainee)

Fanny Bunn (Trainee)

Nea Ojala (Trainee)

Amanda Sandelin (Trainee) -> M.Sc. thesis -> Ph.D. researcher

Lauri Hella (M.Sc. thesis)

Lilja Lahtinen (M.Sc. thesis)

Helen Chen Ren (Erasmus student)

Elsi Tuominen (M.Sc. thesis)

Simas Janutenas (Erasmus student) -> Ph.D. researcher

Efstathia Trypila (Erasmus student)

Leevi Lehtonen (Trainee)

Guillermo Cabrera (Erasmus student)


Interested in microglia? Check our Brain and Mind sponsored microglia course: