Maria studied molecular biology at the University of Jyväskylä, and obtained her MSc in 1999. She did her PhD thesis with Pekka Lappalainen at the Institute of Biotechnology (BI), graduating in 2002.  After this Maria worked as a post-doc funded by the EMBO Long Term Fellowship in the lab of Richard Treisman at London Research Institute of Cancer Research UK 2003-2007. There she developed interest in nuclear functions of actin especially in regulating gene expression. Maria returned to BI in 2007 as a group leader, and is currently also the scientific leader of the Light Microscopy Unit (LMU) at BI. Out of work, Maria tries to keep up with her three children and enjoys trailrunning as well as orienteering.

Maria graduated from the Department of Genetics, Moscow State University. During her PhD she was studying population genetics and focusing on the comparative analysis of the methods for SNP detection. Later she worked as a post-doc in the lab of Professor Jussi Taipale, Genome-Scale Biology Research Program in University of Helsinki, studding cell cycle regulation in normal and tumor cells.  Currently her main interest is to investigate the molecular mechanism how actin regulates transcription.

Taras studied biochemistry at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, where he obtained his PhD. After this (2014-2019) he worked as a postdoc in Vladislav Verkhusha lab at Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki.

Taras joined the lab in 2019 to study chromatin dynamics. He is especially interested in advanced imaging techniques

Profile of Taras at the University of Helsinki research portal

Salla  studied biotechnology in University of Helsinki. She did her master’s thesis in Vartiainen lab studying nuclear actin interactions with biochemical methods. Currently Salla is doing her PhD and investigating the role of actin in transcription. She is a student in Doctoral Programme in Biomedicine. Outside of the lab Salla also works as a group fitness instructor.

Bina is a PhD student enrolled in ILS doctoral school at the University of Helsinki. She has obtained a Master’s degree in General microbiology and Genetics from UH. She did her MSc thesis training at Dennis Bamford’s lab under supervision of Senior Scientist Hanna Oksanen where she characterised new viruses infecting different haloarchaeal isolates. Bina initially joined our lab as a summer trainee in 2016 and is now continuing as a graduate student. Throughout her PhD studies, Bina aims to understand the role of nuclear actin and actin regulated transcription factor in heat shock responses using various molecular and cell biology techniques.

Ekaterina  graduated from Lomonosov Moscow State University, Department of Biology. She studied conservational ecology of reintroduced ungulates and obtained her 1st PhD degree in 2004. Since 2013 Ekaterina is a doctoral student of ILS, she is studying ways of intranuclear regulation of SRF/MRTF-A/actin transcriptional complex. Hobbies: travelling, reading, watching wild animals.

Paula studied biotechnology and food engineering at the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. In the lab, she takes care of general things and participates in the scientific projects by providing help in various laboratory techniques for cell and molecular biology.