Dissertation from PREP lab!

Our PhD student, M.Sc. Tommi Kilpeläinen, will defend his PhD thesis titled "Development and biological characterization of novel ligands for protein-protein interaction-based effects of prolyl oligopeptidase" on June 4th. Prof. Ullamari Pesonen from University of Turku will serve as an opponent.

Tommi has been working hard for 4 years for his PhD thesis, and now it is done. In his thesis study, Tommi clarified that "classical" PREP inhibitors are not optimal to combat e.g. protein aggregation in Parkinson's disease models. He found that strong proteolytic inhibition, that most PREP inhibitors have, is not required but the compound needs to bind correctly.

Based on this finding, Tommi started to develop novel PREP inhibitors, and on the other hand, he set up several cellular screening methods for the compounds. Finally, one of the novel compounds was tested succesfully in a Parkinson's disease mouse model. Tommi's studies  novel avenues for PREP ligand development, and have given a second life for PREP related drug development.

Link for the event