Group members

Group leaders, researchers, doctoral students, master/bachelor students and visiting students/researchers.
Karita Haapasalo

PhD, Title of Docent (microbial immunology)
Principal investigator

Karita received her Master's degree in biology/microbiology from the University of Helsinki Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences and her doctorate from the Faculty of Medicine. She continued her research as post doctoral fellow at University Medical Center Utrecht, Netherlands. Currently she is working as a senior fellow in Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, US. Her current special research interests are on microbial innate immune evasion and the role of complement system in inflammatory diseases. 

Karita Haapasalo's Research Portal profile

Eija Nissilä

PhD, University Researcher

Eija received her Master's degree and her doctorate from the University of Oulu. Her current special research interests are on the role of complement system in atherosclerosis. 

Pavel Uvarov

PhD, University Researcher

Pavel completed his PhD in physiology at the University of Helsinki in 2010. His thesis was dedicated to mechanisms of the transcriptional regulation of the neuronal K-Cl cotransporter KCC2, which is critical for GABAergic inhibition in the central nervous system. Pavel uses a broad spectrum of molecular biology and biochemical methods, imaging techniques as well as various cell culture and in vivo mouse approaches. His current interest is in the role of the complement system in the development of Alzheimer’s disease

Shahan Syed

MSc, PhD student

Supervised by Karita Haapasalo and Seppo Meri. Shahan completed his masters in biochemistry from the University of Oulu in 2016. He is currently working on his PhD thesis in Inflammation and Infections team. He is especially interested to study Streptococcal virulence. The pathogen that fascinates him most is Streptococcus pneumoniae. He aims to contribute to a better understanding of the virulence and immune evasion by Streptococci.

Larisa Chernyaeva

PhD student

Supervised by Karita Haapasalo. Larisa completed her specialist degree in 2015 at Saint Petersburg Chemical-Pharmaceutical Academy. Her Master's thesis was focused on immunological conflict in maternal-fetal interface. After that she studied integrin cross-regulation for three years. Her strenghts are structral biology and scientific communication.

Master's students

Current MSc/MD students

Uni Rankka, MSc student, University of Helsinki

Mareena Hyypiä, MSc student, University of Helsinki

Lilith Heiland, MSc student, University of Helsinki

Emilia Vataja, MD student, University of Helsinki

Former members
We want to thank all the former members for excellent contribution to our research group!
  • Satoshi Fudo, PhD, University of Helsinki, Finland, Postdoctoral Researcher 2020-2022
  • Daan Cox, MSc/MD ERASMUS student, University of Amsterdam, Master's thesis 12. 2022
  • Essi Roininen, MSc student, University of Helsinki, Master's thesis 11.2022
  • MD student: Sofia Bignami, Humanitas University, Milan, Italy, internship 2022
  • MD studens: Marta Pagano and Luigia Ferrante, Humanitas University, Milan, Italy, internship 2021
  • MSc student/ERASMUS: Marcel Cardona i Collado, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain, internship 2020
  • MSc student/ERASMUS: Isabel Stötzel, University or Bonn, Germany, internship 2020
  • MSc student: Katharina Volk, University of Bayreuth, Germany, internship 2019
  • MD student: Giorgio Ratti, Humanitas University, Milan, Italy, internship 2019
  • Bachelor's students: Jutta Hukka and Johanna Mäkelä, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki, Finland, Bachelor's thesis 2020
  • Bachelor's student: Pipsa Hakala, University of Helsinki, Bachelor's thesis 2019
  • Bachelor's student: Mikael Gromyko, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki, Finland, Bachelor's thesis 2018
  • Bachelor's student: Angela Roig, University of Barcelona, Spain, Bachelor's thesis 2016