Våra forskningsgrupper bedriver internationell toppforskning om egenskaper hos virus och immunförsvarets mekanismer, regleringen av ämnesomsättningen, homeostas samt nervsystemets utveckling och funktion. Dessa forskningsteman är viktiga för människans hälsa, bl.a. med tanke på smittosamma sjukdomar, störningar i ämnesomsättningen, cancer, hjärnsjukdomar och den mentala hälsan.
Molekylära och integrativa biovetenskaper - forskningsgrupperna

Forskningsgrupper som helt eller delvis är verksamma inom forskningsprogrammet i alfabetisk ordning.

Den internationella forskningen bedrivs på engelska, så forskningsgruppernas webbplatser är vanligtvis på engelska.



Group leaders: Mar­tin Ro­mantschuk ja Nina Atanasova

Aerovirology and bioaerosols: Formation, dispersion and characterization

Auditory Physiology

Group leader: Ulla Pirvola

Our current research examines the molecular mechanisms that maintain the survival and function of hair cells and neurons of the cochlea.


Basal ganglia circuits

Group leader: Svetlana Molchanova

We're studying the development of neuronal networks in the basal ganglia of the rodent brain and their involvement in the movement and attention disorders.


Cell Shape and Motility

Group leader: Minna Poukkula

Poukkula Lab aims to understand how actin filament turnover is regulated in epithelial cells undergoing morphogenetic movements

Cellular Genetics of Disease

Group leader: Helena Kilpinen (HiLIFE)

The Kilpinen research group works on human genomics and studies the cellular basis of brain-related disorders in stem cell models.

Cellular Individuality

Group leader: Juha Saarikangas (HiLIFE)

The Saarikangas lab is interested in the regulation of proteostasis and protein phase transitions during cellular adaptation, differentiation and aging.

Congenital myopathies

Group leaders: Katarina Pelin and Carina Wallgren-Pettersson (Folkhälsan Research Center)

We study the genes and mutations and pathogenetic mechanisms causing congenital myopathies, with the main focus on nemaline myopathy.


Developmental neurogenetics

Group leader: Juha Partanen

The Partanen group studies the diversity and early differentiation of the neurons in the brainstem, a center for regulation of mood, motivation and movement.


Endocytic Cytoskeleton Biology

Group leader: Leonardo Almeida-Souza (Institute of Biotechnology, HiLIFE)

The Almeida-Souza lab aims to understand the molecular logic behind the dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton at endocytic sites and how disturbances in this process affect physiology and disease progression. To tackle this question, we use a multidisciplinary approach combining state-of-the-art techniques in cell biology, biochemistry and structural biology.

Extracellular Vesicles

Group leader: Pia Siljander

The EV group studies extracellular vesicles (EVs), submicron membrane vesicles released by most cells (mammalians to prokaryotes), that are present in all body fluids, but also e.g., in oceans.


Functional Lipidomics Group

Group leader: Reijo Käkelä

The group has biomedical and ecophysiological projects. The roles of lipids and fatty acids are studied in human vital functions and pathophysiology as well as in environmental adaptation and feeding ecology of animals. As the most important methods, we use mass spectrometry and chromatography.


Glycoscience Group

Group leader: Jukka Finne

The Glycoscience group headed by professor Jukka Finne is engaged with the biology of carbohydrates, the most abundant biological molecules of nature, involved in the biology of all living organisms. Glycans have received little attention due to lack of efficient tools to probe their complex structures and properties.


Integral membrane protein systems: structure and function

Group leader: Adrian Goldman

We study different integral- and membrane-associated proteins. Our goal is to understand their structure and mechanism of action. Our primary techniques include X-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, transport and other functional assays. We also dabble (via collaborators) with FRET, PELDOR and electrometric measurements.

Integrins in Immunity

Group leader: Susanna Fagerholm

The Fagerholm group studies leukocyte integrins, adhesion receptors that mediate leukocyte trafficking, in health and disease.

Interneuron Development - Mechanisms of phenotypic convergence

Group leader: Kaia Achim

Achim lab research is focused on the transcriptional regulators of interneuron development in the vertebrate brain.


Laboratory of Neurobiology

Group leader: Kai Kaila

Research at the Laboratory of Neurobiology focuses on the role of ion-regulatory proteins in the control of neuronal excitability at the molecular, single-cell, network and in vivo levels.

Laboratory of Visual Neurophysiology and Psychophysics

Group leader: Kristian Donner

The vision group investigates key factors that influence the performance of animal and human visual systems. The research ranges from basic mechanisms of photoreception and retinal processing studied at the cellular and molecular levels to perception in intact animals and humans as well as low vision in humans.

Leukocyte Adhesion and Signalling

The Gahmberg group studies leukocyte adhesion and signalling, binding of cytoskeletal proteins to integrins and their regulation by specific phosphorylations of the alfa and beta-chains.The neuronal ICAM-5 ligand is cleaved by NMDA treatment and the released fragment affects leukocyte functions.


Metabolism and Signaling

Group leader: Jaakko Mattila

Mattila lab is focused on cellular signaling and metabolism in the context of stem cells.

The mitochondrial morphogenesis group

Group leader: Hongxia Zhao

Our work focus on mitochondrial membrane architectural organization and factors critical for mitochondrial morphogenesis and dynamics, as well as their functional link to mitochondrial diseases

Mitochondrial Signalling and Translation Stress Responses

Group leader: Uwe Richter

We are dedicated to improve the life of patients with mitochondrial disease by understanding the mechanisms underlying these maladies that have no treatment option.

Molecular and Translational Virology

Group leader: Minna Poranen

Our research aims at molecular level understanding of viral replication and self-assembly. Using viral parts, we produce molecules for human therapy and crop protection.

Molecular Mechanisms of Bacteria in Infectious Diseases and Health

Group leader: Benita Westerlund-Vikström

The research group studies at the molecular level the secretion, biogenesis and function of bacterial surface proteins and protein appendages involved in infectious processes.

Molecular Principles of Viruses

Group leader: Hanna Oksanen

We are studying archaeal viruses and bacteriophages and interested in virus-host interactions, genomics, virus taxonomy, and virus evolution.

Macromolecular Structure and Function

Group leader: Sarah Butcher

Our work aims to understand the structure, assembly and function of biological macromolecule complexes. We embed unstained, unfixed specimens in vitreous ice to preserve their structures.


Neurobiology of Vision

Group leader: Petri Ala-Laurila

Our Goal is to utilize the neural circuits of the retina to reveal fundamental principles of neural computations at quantal resolution.

Nutrient Sensing

Group leader: Ville Hietakangas

We study how animal body responds to changes in nutrition. Our goal is to understand how specific macronutrients in the diet, such as sugars and amino acids, affect energy metabolism, growth and stem cell function. Uncovering the regulation of these physiological processes will bring new insight into human diseases associated with nutrition and metabolism.


Receptor Biochemistry

Group leader: Kari Keinänen

Research in my laboratory focuses on AMPA receptors, tetrameric ion channels that mediate glutamate signaling in the brain and other tissues.

RNAcious Laboratory

Group leader: Peter Sarin

Nurturing your passion for tRNA biology in the University of Helsinki


Stem Cells and Aging

Group leader: Pekka Katajisto (Institute of Biotechnology, HiLIFE)

The laboratory of Pekka Katajisto studies stem cell intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms that regulate tissue renewal capacity and how decline of regeneration results in aging.

Structural Biology of Macromolecules and Interactions

Group leader: Juha Huiskonen (Institute of Biotechnology, HiLIFE)

Research in the Laboratory of Structural Biology headed by Juha Huiskonen is aimed at understanding the structure and function of biological macromolecules and their complexes, such as molecular machines and viruses. We strive to decipher basic principles in their assembly and evolution. Detailed mechanistic understanding of structures involved in disease is informing rational design of therapies.

Synaptic Plasticity and Development

Group leader: Sari Lauri (HiLIFE)

The group focuses on studying the molecular mechanisms guiding activity-dependent development of glutamatergic circuitry in the limbic system and in particular, the roles of ionotropic glutamate receptors in this process.