People
Our group members.
Virpi Talman

Group leader

I am a pharmacologist with a passion to find new drug treatments to cure heart diseases. I completed my MSc and PhD degrees at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki and have postdoctoral experience from Prof Heikki Ruskoaho’s group at the University of Helsinki as well as Prof Sian Harding’s lab at Imperial College London.

Currently, I work as an Academy Research Fellow and principal investigator leading the regenerative cardiac pharmacology group. I am particularly interested in utilising human pluripotent stem cell-based models and high content analysis to identify new drug targets and to characterise new potential drug treatments for the treatment of heart failure.

I also continue collaborating closely with Professors Raimo Tuominen and Jari Yli-Kauhaluoma on the topic of my PhD project: characterization of new protein kinase C (PKC)-targeted compounds.

Virpi Talman's contact and research profile in the University of Helsinki People Finder

Qasim Majid

Post doc

Having graduated with a Bachelors in Biochemistry from Newcastle University, I conducted my MSc and PhD at Imperial College London before joining the Talman group in 2020 to commence my first post-doctoral researcher position. My PhD, supervised by Prof Sian Harding, focused on the use of novel biomaterials in conjunction with human pluripotent stem cell derived (hPSC) cardiac cells for the exogenous regeneration of the heart following a heart attack.

In my current role, I will be investigating the interactions between hPSC-derived cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells to ascertain regulators of cardiomyocyte proliferation that can be exploited for the therapeutic regeneration of the injured heart.

Qasim Majid's contact and research profile in the University of Helsinki People Finder 

Tuuli Karhu

University lecturer

I completed my PhD degree at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki in 2021. Currently, I am working as a University lecturer. My research focus has been pharmacological and toxicological characterisation of novel compounds in various cardiac and stem cell models. I am particularly interested in utilising human pluripotent stem cell-based models in drug discovery.

Tuuli Karhu's contact and research profile in the University of Helsinki People Finder

Umesh Chaudhari

Post doc

I am a cell biologist with interest in the application of human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) in drug discovery, regenerative medicine, in vitro model development and cardiomyocyte maturation. I obtained PhD in Cell biology from University of Cologne, Germany. After PhD, I joined Leiden University Medical Centre (Netherlands) as a Postdoctoral Researcher. My research background is in hiPSC research, differentiation of hiPSC towards somatic cells (such as cardiomyocytes, epicardial cells etc.), toxicology, cancer drug discovery and bioinformatics. 

In 2021, I joined the Talman Lab as a postdoctoral researcher to work in the field of heart regeneration. My research focus is to utilize human iPSC-cardiomyocytes to identify potential metabolic gene targets to stimulate endogenous heart regeneration.  

Umesh Chaudhari's contact and research profile in the University of Helsinki People Finder

Lotta Pohjolainen

Doctoral researcher

I completed my Master’s degree in Pharmacology in the University of Helsinki in 2017, and then continued working for my PhD. My research focuses on identification and characterization of novel drug targets for left ventricular hypertrophy and cardiac regeneration.

Lotta Pohjolainen's contact and research profile in the University of Helsinki People Finder

Tanja Bruun

Doctoral researcher

I graduated in 2018 with a Master’s degree in pharmaceutical chemistry from the University of Helsinki. The focus of my PhD research is at drug discovery with the aim to find small molecule compounds to promote cardiac regeneration. I design, synthesize, purify, characterize, and evaluate various new drug-like compounds for their biological activity. I am particularly interested in uncovering the molecular structures behind pharmacological activity.

Tanja Bruun's contact and research profile in the University of Helsinki People Finder

Saana Pohjavaara

Doctoral researcher

I graduated in 2021 with a M.Sc. (Pharm) in pharmacology from the University of Helsinki. Being fascinated by the possibilities in vitro research can provide, I continued my work in the Talman group after submitting my Master’s thesis. Currently, I am working on my PhD project, which focuses on the use of hiPSC-CMs to further elucidate and characterise cardiomyopathies. Simultaneously, I am investigating the role of the transcription factor GATA4 in cardiac regeneration.

Margarida Varela

Doctoral researcher

I’m a molecular biology graduate with an MSc in Genes, Drugs and Stem Cells from Imperial College London. I joined the Talman group in October 2021 as a PhD student. My research focus is on the identification of disease mechanisms and potential treatments for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome by utilizing patient-derived pluripotent stem cells. This is a collaborative project with paediatric cardiologist Dr Emmi Helle.

Margarida Varelas's contact and research profile in the University of Helsinki People Finder

Alumni

MSc. Julia Easton