Our international Plant Growth Dynamics research group consists of scientists from Belgium, China, Finland, India, Japan and Spain. The unifying theme among us is that we would like to understand in a mechanistic detail how plants grow thicker.
Ari Pekka Mähönen, Group Leader

During my Ph.D. studies I investigated the role of phytohormone cytokinin in development of primary vascular tissue in Arabidopsis root. I carried out the work in Ykä Helariutta lab (Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki, Finland) and I obtained the degree in 2006.

After the Ph.D. I conducted Post-doctoral studies in Ben Scheres lab (Utrecht University, the Netherlands). I examined growth dynamics of Arabidopsis root meristem and we discovered a mechanism how instructive gradient of stem cell factor PLETHORA is formed and maintained.

After the Post-doctoral period I returned to Helsinki to establish my research program to study the development of vascular cambium in Arabidopsis root. I have been a tenure track group leader at the Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki since 2011. June 2019 I was selected as HiLIFE tenure track Associate Professor.

Tiina Blomster, University Researcher
Hiroyuki Iida, Postdoctoral Researcher
Xin Wang, Postdoctoral Researcher

I received my bachelor of Agriculture from Northwest Agriculture & Forestry University, China. Then moved to Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences to continue master study and got master of botany. In October of 2014, I joined Mähönen group. I am interested in how plants balance secondary growth and lateral root formation and as a result, to contribute plant architecture formation. I am using lineage tracing, confocal microscopy, hormone manipulations and mutant analysis to answer this question. I defended my PhD thesis in 2022, and I continue as a Post-doc in the Mähönen lab.

Brecht Wybouw, Postdoctoral Researcher

Brecht obtained his PhD in 2019 under the supervision of Prof Bert De Rybel, where he studied how plants control their cell division orientation during root vascular proliferation. Staying in vascular development research, Brecht started as a post-doc in the lab of Ari Pekka, studying the role of auxin during secondary growth.

Lingling Ye, Postdoctoral Researcher

I obtained my PhD at the Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of Sciences under the guidance of Dr. Hongzhi Kong and Hongyan Shan, investigating molecular mechanisms of expression divergence between duplicate genes. And then I moved to the University of Helsinki for a postdoc research in Mahonen group in 2017. I am interested in transcriptional regulation of cambium development and secondary growth.

Xixi Zhang, Postdoctoral Researcher
Jennifer López Ortiz, Doctoral Researcher
Munan Lyu, Doctoral Researcher

I received my bachelor from China Agricultural University. In September of 2016, I joined the Mähönen group. I am interested in the roles of auxin and cytokinin in vascular cambium activity. In 2019 I started as a PhD student in the Mähönen lab.

Riikka Mäkilä, Doctoral Researcher

I have done my Bachelor's and Master's studies in the University of Helsinki and joined the Mähönen lab in 2014, first as a Master's student and then later as a PhD student. My project focuses on the roles of auxin and gibberellic acid in regulating the vascular cambium stem cell dynamics.

Leo Vainio, Doctoral Researcher
Mikko Herpola, Lab Technician
Lab Alumni

Melis Kucukoglu-Topcu (Post-doc, now Academy fellow, University of Helsinki, Finland)

Ondrej Smetana (Post-doc, now at DIANA Biotechnologies, Vestec, Czech Republic)

Jing Zhang (Post-doc, now Associate Professor at Nankai University, China)

Suvi Broholm (Post-doc, now in Academy of Finland)

Viivi Lindholm (Student, Metropolia, University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki)

Teemu Lindqvist (Student, Metropolia, University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki)

Julia Tolsa (Student, Metropolia, University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki)

Lisa Mulder (Erasmus student from the van Hall-Larenstein University, the Netherlands)

Riccardo Siligato (Graduate student, Ph.D 2015)

Anne-Maarit Bågman (Research technician, now in the Brady lab

Marina Leal Gavarrón (Erasmus student from the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain)

Laura Paavilainen (Master's student, University of Helsinki)

Jasmina Lamminpohja (Research technician student, Stadin ammattiopisto, Helsinki)

Vesa Nousiainen (Master's student, University of Helsinki)

Vilma Vallenius (Student, Stadin ammattiopisto, Helsinki)

Marcelo Pace (Graduate student, Brasil)