The happy and bright group consists of people from varied educational backgrounds, ranging from biologists and pharmacists to medical doctors and beyond.

All emails are with Scandinavian alphabets changed into their non-umlaut variants, unless otherwise stated. If in doubt on who to contact, please address the group leader, professor Esa Korpi.

Esa Korpi

MD, PhD, professor of pharmacology emeritus, group leader

Esa has published over 270 original articles and reviews in the fields of neuropsychopharmacology, biomedical alcohol research, neurobiology of addiction and brain diseases.

Anni-Maija Linden

PhD (Pharm), Title of docent, University lecturer 

An expert on mouse behavioral pharmacology, Anni-Maija is a valuable asset to everyone in the group needing help in behavioural experiment design and transgenic mouse colony maintenance.

She is also a principal investigator herself, currently mainly interested in metabotrobic glutamate receptors, and neuroinflammation in reward.

Lauri Elsilä

MSc in Pharmacy, Doctoral researcher

Lauri started in the lab by working on his master's thesis on chemogenetic modulation of behaviour using somatostatin-Cre mice in 2016. Now, in his PhD project he studies the effects of serotonergic hallucinogens, or psychedelics, on addiction-related behavioural phenotypes.

Annika Schäfer

MSc (Translational medicine), Doctoral researcher

With a background in translational medicine and skilled in several neuroscientific techniques, Annika joined the lab in early 2020 to work with the midbrain neuron characterisation project. Currently, her own PhD project, co-supervised by Dr. Teemu Aitta-aho, focuses on GABAA receptor modulation and drug responses.

Heidi Hytönen

Bachelor of Laboratory Services, Research technician


Heidi is proficient in several critical laboratory techniques needed in Korpi lab, taking care of, among other things, perfusing brains, cutting brain sections, performing immunohistochemical and in situ hybridization experiments, counting the cell numbers, assisting in phenotyping of model systems and genotyping the mouse lines.

Lab alumni and recent graduates

Doctoral students

Elina Nagaeva
Elina defended her thesis on mouse midbrain somatostatin neurons in 2023 and continued as a postdoctoral researcher in Jaan-Olle Andressoo's lab.
Milo Grotell (né Siivonen)
Currently a clinically active medical doctor, Milo defended his thesis on neurotoxicity and extrasynaptic GABA receptors in 2022.
Milica Maksimovic 
Defended her thesis on mouse models for psychotic disorders in 2015, currently a Senior Medical Writer at Idorsia Pharmaceuticals.
Bjørnar den Hollander 
Defended his thesis on novel amphetamine-type stimulants in 2015 and is currently a Medical Director at ApotheCom.
Kati Hellsten (née Saarelainen)
Defended her thesis on benzodiazepine-sensitive GABAA receptors in 2015, nowadays she works as a specialist at European Chemical Agency.
Elena de Miguel (née Vashchinkina)
Defended her thesis on tonic GABAergic inhibition in 2013, currently the Associate Director of Histology and Imaging at uniQure
Teemu Aitta-aho 
Defended his thesis on AMPA-type glutamate receptors in 2012, currently a university lecturer and a group leader at the University of Helsinki.
Anne Panhelainen 
Defended her thesis on the interplay of the mesolimbic dopamine system and benzodiazepines in 2012, currently a Clinical Process Manager at Sooma Medical.
Elli Leppä 
Defended her thesis on parvalbumin-expressing GABA neurons in 2011, currently a Development Pharmacist at Pharmaca.
Tommi Möykkynen 
Defended his thesis on ethanol and AMPA-type glutamate receptors in 2009, currently a senior researhcer at the University of Helsinki.
Saku Sinkkonen 
Defended his thesis on the extrasynaptic GABAA receptors in 2005, currently an otology specialist at Helsinki University Hospital.
Mikko Uusi-Oukari
A senior scientist and lab manager at the University of Turku, Mikko defended his thesis on GABA receptors and ethanol intoxication in 1992.

Postdocs and visiting researchers

Mikhail Dron, visiting researcher, EDUFI research fellow 2020
Currently a junior researcher at I.M. Sechenov Institute of Evolutionary Physiology and Biochemistry.

Master's and medical students, research interns

Jani Lehto, master's student (translational medicine) 2021-2023 Thesis
Liisa Ilkka, master's student (neuroscience) 2022-2023 Thesis
Kari Kääntä, medical student 2021-2023 Thesis
Ksenia Egorova, bachelor's student (molecular biosciences), intern 2022
Lauren van den Broecke, master's student (biomedical sciences), Erasmus intern 2022
Emma Enberg, master's student (neuroscience) 2020-2021 Thesis
Essi Törrönen, master's student (neuroscience) 2020 Thesis
Juliana Harkki, master's student (translational medicine) 2019-2020 Thesis
Nuppu Korhonen, medical student 2019-2022 Thesis
Alvar Martti, medical student 2019 Thesis
Elina Hynninen, medical student 2018-2020 Thesis
Ulla Rahijärvi, master's student (Drug Discovery and Development, Uni. Turku)  2017-2018  Thesis
Aleksi Olkkola, medical student, research rotation 2017 
Mikko Forss, medical student, research intern 2016-2017