Eliisa Kekäläinen, MD, PhD, PI

Eliisa graduated as medical doctor from University of Helsinki in 2006. In 2011 she defended her PhD on Autoimmune regulator in the maintenance of immunological tolerance. She continued her research as a post-doc at Center for Infectious Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm Sweden. There she worked in prof. Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren’s group on tissue-resident natural killer cells. After returning to Finland in 2014, she started her specialization into clinical microbiology at HUSLAB, University Hospital Helsinki. Currently she shares her working hours between managing the research group and HUSLAB. She is also the scientific officer of Research Programs Unit at Faculty of Medicine.

Eliisa’s ideology to research is that it should be fun. Fun means bold experiments in a relaxed working environment. We do hard work when needed, but also maintain a reasonable work-life balance. We work as a team, and every team member is important. Every day we learn something new!

Iivari Kleino, PhD

I'm a postdoc in Eliisa's lab. My main project aims for better diagnostics of thymic function after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. I'm currently developing and running single cell mRNA and protein profiling analysis from PBMC samples. Alongside this, I'm doing molecular, cellular and biochemical assays as necessary.

Professional web pages: LinkedIn, Orcid

Adam Alexandersson, MD

I am currently doing my PhD on viral infections and immune reconstitution after pediatric allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. With the purpose of better being able to predict viral reactivations and infections, we are looking for answers to why and how immune suppression causes viral infections in the post-transplant setting.

As a pediatrician specializing in hematology, my special interests are acute leukemia, virology and immunology. My spare time I spend with my family, and every once in a while, on the golf course.

Pauliina Lusila, MD

I´m a PhD Student in the Pediatric Research Center and Translational Immunology Research Program and specializing in pediatrics in the New Children’s hospital. My research focuses on the diagnostics of primary immunodeficiencies and immune reconstitution after allogenic stem cell transplantation in pediatric patients.

Joona Sarkkinen, PhD student

My main focus is on germinal center reaction: how follicular T cells affect on antibody production and in what kind of autoimmune diseases they are part of.

Associated personnel

Iivo Hetemäki, MD, PhD student

I'm currently juggling many balls with projects ranging from immunodeficiency to autoimmunity and back to basic T and B cell biology. My core competency lies in flow cytometry.

Nelli Heikkilä, MD, PhD student

My principal interest is in the heterogeneity of human T cells, whether it concerns the T cell receptors or T cell phenotypes in healthy body or immunological disorders. I work with various immunological tissues using flow cytometry. I am also interested in T cell receptor repertoire analysis methodology.


Simo Miettinen, MSc

Simo did his master thesis in Kekäläinen lab during 2017 - 2018. The main project was to study IKZF2/HELIOS gene induction in human MAIT cells in response to E.coli bacteria and C.albicans yeast.