Group members of the Tumor Progression and Metastasis Lab

Prof., Principal Investigator (Tumor Progression & Metastasis, Helsinki, Finland)

Director of the Laboratory Animal Centre (Helsinki, Finland)

After completing her Ph.D. in 1996 at the University of Helsinki, studying the membrane association and intracellular localization of virus methyltransferase, Prof. Pirjo Laakkonen joined Prof. Erkki Ruoslahti’s lab at the Burnham Institute of California as a postdoctoral fellow. During four years, she focused her research on developing and perfecting the phage display technology and successfully discovered novel targeting peptides specific to the tumour tissue and tumour lymphatics network. Back to Finland she founded her own research group of Translational Cancer Biology in the Research Program Unit of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland. She currently leads key research projects on the identification of new molecular targets involved in the tumorigenesis and invasive spread of peripheral and central nervous system primary and secondary metastatic lesions.

Translational Cancer Medicine Research Program
Biomedicum Helsinki
Haartmaninkatu 8, office A530b
00290 University Helsinki

Tel. Office  +358 2 941 58100 /cell phone +358 50 448 9100
pirjo.laakkonen@helsinki.fi

Pirjo Laakkonen in research portal

Ph.D., Academy Post-doctoral fellow

Post-doc (2015) and Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow (2019) in the Laakkonen Lab. Vadim has developped several research models to dissect brain tumor biology. They include published in vitro models of the blood-brain tumor barrier, in vivo Patient Avatars of glioblastoma and brain metastasis, brain tumor resection in rodents and intravital imaging of the neurovascular unit. Currently, Vadim investigates the brain tumor heterogeneity in Patient-derived tumors using high-throughput technologies such as single-cell RNA sequencing, activated pathways in glioblastoma progression and drug sensitivity screening.

Translational Cancer Medicine Research Program
Biomedicum Helsinki, office A531b
Haartmaninkatu 8
00290 University of Helsinki

Office phone +358504486441
vadim.lejoncour@helsinki.fi
@theneonDIM_on

Vadim Le Joncour in research portal
Vadim Le Joncour in Orcid
Vadim Le Joncour in LindedIn

M.sc., Ph.D. student

Ms. Filppu received herMaster’s degree in the field of cell and molecular biology from the University of Jyväskylä. She is currently a graduate student in Doctoral Programme in Biomedicine (DPBM) at the University of Helsinki. Her research interests are focused on molecular biology of cancer and translational research. With a particular interested in malignant gliomas, glioma stem cells, and tumor immunology. Pauliina's research project aims to provide novel insight into the complex yet poorly understood molecular mechanisms of how glioma stem cells contribute to malignant tumor growth and their interaction with the immune system which could be translated into benefit of patients.

Translational Cancer Medicine Research Program
Biomedicum Helsinki
P.O. Box 63, Haartmaninkatu 8
00014 University Helsinki

pauliina.filppu@helsinki.fi

Pauliina Filppu in research portal

M.sc., Ph.D. student

Mr. Ayo is a seasoned researcher with a B.Sc. in Biochemistry (University of Ado Ekiti, Nigeria) and M.Sc. in Cancer Research (National University of Ireland Galway, Republic of Ireland). His previous research work focused on the interplay between endoplasmic reticulum stress and autophagy. Since 2015, He joined Laakkonen Lab at the University of Helsinki, Finland in the field of brain tumor and metastasis under the ETN MAGICBULLET programme. His current research project focuses on the development of tumor-targeting peptides against glioblastomas and brain metastases of breast cancer and melanoma using phage display technology.

Translational Cancer Medicine Research Program

Biomedicum Helsinki
P.O. Box 63, Haartmaninkatu 8
00290 University Helsinki

Tel. +358400758076
abiodun.ayo@helsinki.fi

Abiodun Ayo in research portal

M.sc., Ph.D. student

With a Bachelor’s degree in Genetic Engineering from SRM University, India and a Master’s degree in RNA Biology from Université de Lorraine, France; Mr. Jayendrakishore joined the laboratory of Prof. Pirjo Laakkonen as a graduate student under the ETN MagicBullet programme.

With Glioblastoma as an area of interest, his current work focuses on identifying/validating new therapeutic targets and drug conjugates to investigate their activity in vitro and in vivo. Jayendrakishore's project involves emerging techniques like CRISPR/Cas 9 system as well as traditional molecular cell biology

Translational Cancer Medicine Research Program
Biomedicum Helsinki
P.O. Box 63, Haartmaninkatu 8
00014 University Helsinki

jk.tanjoreramanathan@helsinki.fi

Jayendrakishore Tanjore Ramanathan in research portal

Master Student

Felicia acquired a bachelor’s degree in Life Sciences at the University of Postdam, Germany, with her thesis focusing on metabolic engineering in E. coli. During her M.Sc. studies in Translational Medicine at the University of Helsinki, she joined the lab for her master´s thesis, which focuses on exosome-based gene therapy as a potential way of eradicating glioblastoma cells.  

Translational Cancer Medicine Research Program
Biomedicum Helsinki
P.O. Box 63, Haartmaninkatu 8
00290 University Helsinki

felicia.butun@helsinki.fi

Master Student

Sara completed her bachelor’s degree in Cell and Molecular Biology at Åbo Akademi University, with her thesis focusing on the role of cadherins during the development and in cancer. She continued with her M.Sc. studies in Cell Biology and joined the Laakkonen Lab for her master’s thesis researching cell adhesion and migration in glioblastoma.

Translational Cancer Medicine Research Program
Biomedicum Helsinki
P.O. Box 63, Haartmaninkatu 8
00290 University Helsinki

sara.bengs@helsinki.fi