Vladislav Verkhusha received his MS in biophysics from the Moscow University of Physics and Technology and PhD in chemical kinetics and catalysis from the Moscow State University, Russia. He obtained his postdoctoral training in the Osaka Bioscience Institute, Japan, and later worked as a research scientist in research centers of the governmental Japan Science and Technology Corporation. In 2002 he was appointed as an assistant professor at the University of Colorado, and later he became an associate professor (2006) and a professor (2011) at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, USA. Since 2012 he also holds a professor position and heads a laboratory in the University of Helsinki, Finland.  His research interests include engineering of fluorescent proteins, biosensors and optogenetic tools, design of molecular evolution approaches, and development of super-resolution and deep-tissue imaging technologies.

Konstantin Chernov obtained his MSc in biochemistry from the Institute of Protein Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia, under the supervision of Professor Lev Ovchinnikov by studying mRNA–protein interactions. In 2005 he moved to France, where he received a PhD in molecular biology under the supervision of Professor Patrick Curmi in 2008 from the Universite d’Evry Val d’Essonne. From 2009, he has done postdoctoral research in several laboratories at the University of Helsinki, Finland. In 2012 he joined the laboratory of Professor Vladislav Verkhusha. His current research interests include enzyme engineering and development of fluorescent and optogenetic probes.

Anna Leopold obtained her MSc in microbial physiology from the Moscow State University, Russia, in 2009, under the supervision of Professor Vladimir Baklaushev. In 2012, she completed her PhD thesis in biochemistry at the Pirogov Research Medical University, Russia, under the supervision of Professor Vladimir Chekhonin. The main topic of her MS and PhD studies was engineering of recombinant vascular endothelial growth factors and their recombinant receptors. In 2014 she joined the laboratory of Professor Vladislav Verkhusha at the University of Helsinki, Finland, as a postdoc. Her current research interests consist of engineering of optogenetic tools including optically regulated kinases.

Olena Oliinyk received her M.Sc. in biochemistry from the National Taras Shevchenko University, Ukraine, in 2006. She completed a Ph.D. at the Palladin Institute of Biochemistry of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine under the co-supervision of Professors Serhiy Komisarenko and Dr. Sc. Denis Kolibo. The main topic of her studies was engineering of recombinant antibodies libraries and developing of scFv-antibodies to diphtheria toxin. In 2016 she joined the laboratory of Professor Vladislav Verkhusha at the University of Helsinki, Finland, as a postdoc. Her current research is focused on engineering and applications of near-infrared fluorescent probes.

Maksim Karasev obtained his MSc from the St. Petersburg State Technological Institute (technical university) in 2011. After graduation, he worked in R&D departments of the Institute of Highly Pure Biopreparations and the Research Institute of Influenza in St.Petersburg (Russia), where he participated in the development of new potential therapeutics on the base of monoclonal antibodies and antibody fragments.

He joined the laboratory of Professor Vladislav Verkhusha in 2017. His current research is focused on the development of new near-infrared light-controlled optogenetic tools, which exploit bacteriophytochrome BphP1 interaction with its engineered protein partner QPAS1.

Taras A. Redchuck

Postdoctoral Fellow
Current affiliation: Maria Vartiainen lab, Institute of Biotechnology, HiLIFE, University of Helsinki, Finland

Evgeniya S. Omelina

Postdoctoral Fellow
Current affiliation: Laboratory of Cell Division, Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology
of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IMCB SB RAS), Russia

Salla I. Virtanen

Postdoctoral Fellow
Current affiliation: Computational Bioscience Laboratory, Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyvaskyla, Finland