People

The current members of the Laboratory of Structural Biology are listed here. The group was established in September 2017 and we are in the process of recruiting several new members.  The estimated group size in 2019 will be 6 post doctoral researchers and 2-3 students. 

Associate Professor of Structural Biology, Group Leader

Juha Huiskonen completed his Ph.D. project on cryo-EM of membrane containing bacteriophages in the group of Sarah Butcher at the Institute of Biotechnology in 2006. The next three years he was a visiting post doctoral fellow at the Max Planck Insititute of Biochemistry in Munich, in the group of Kay Gruenewald, at the Department of Molecular Structural Biology, headed by Wolfgang Baumeister. In 2010, Juha started a research group focussing on virus-host cell interactions at the University of Oxford, Division of Structural Biology, headed by Dave Stuart and Yvonne Jones. This research project was initially funded by the Academy of Finland, Medical Research Council (UK), and later by an ERC Consolidator Grant.  Juha was recruited to HiLIFE as a tenure track Associate Professor in 2017 where his group continues to study structures and interactions of macromolecular complexes.

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Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Researcher

Ilona Rissanen earned her PhD in 2014 from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Her PhD project in the group of Jaana Bamford was focused on the crystallographic investigation of an extremophile bacteriophage, and incited her lasting interest in the study of viral structures. From 2014 to 2017, Ilona was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford working with Thomas Bowden, whose group investigates the structure and function of viral glycoproteins that are the key determinants of pathogenicity for emerging viruses. In 2017, Ilona was awarded Postdoctoral Researcher funding by the Academy of Finland to study the molecular mechanism that govern virus–host interactions of pathogenic hantaviruses. Her current research takes place both at the University of Oxford and University of Helsinki.

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Postdoctoral Researcher

Selvaraj Muniyandi obtained his Master's degree in Biological Sciences (2007) and a Ph.D in Macromolecular crystallography (2013) both from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.  He joined Werner Kuehlbrandt’s laboratory at the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics as a postdoc and worked on electron microscopy of protein two-dimensional crystals and helical filaments until 2016.  After a brief stay in the Astbury Centre, Leeds, working on X-ray crystallography of viral proteins,  Selvaraj joined the lab in 2018.  Selvaraj combines multiple modes of cryo-electron microscopy and crystallography towards understanding mechanistic details of cellular processes.

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Postdoctoral Researcher

Vahid Abrishami completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s studies in Iran and then moved to Madrid to do his Ph.D. in the laboratory of José María Carazo at the Spanish National Center for Biotechnology where he focused on the development of new image processing and machine learning algorithms for cryo-EM single particle analysis. After his Ph.D. Vahid moved to the Spanish National Center for Cardiovascular Research where he applied deep learning methods to analyze fluorescence microscopy images. Vahid joined the lab in 2018.  His goal is to improve cryo-EM single particle analysis methods by developing image processing and machine learning techniques to to resolve structures of macromolecular assemblies to atomic resolution.

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