Frontiers of Science: Academician of Science Merja Penttilä

    November 9th at 12:00
    On-site event
    Presidentti auditorium
    Autumn 2023 program

    Academician Merja Penttilä, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd
    Biosynthetic materials
    Host: Eva-Mari Aro (

    Coffee and sandwich at 11:45, first come first served!


    Six students and early-career postdocs are welcome to have a lunch in restaurant Mauno and discuss with Prof. Penttilä after the seminar. This is a great possibility to learn hosting skills in friendly environment and create connections for future. Every student is welcome to join, in spite of which research group they belong to. BioCity Turku will offer the lunch.

    If you got interested, please send an email to


    Merja Penttilä has been Research Professor for Biotechnology at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland since 1999. Since the beginning of 2016 she has also served as a part-time Professor of Synthetic Biology at Aalto University. Penttilä’s major research interest is the development of new production processes that replace fossil raw materials. Her specific focus is on so-called cell factories, microorganisms that are engineered to produce biobased products for energy, health, materials and other applications. She has worked extensively with a number of national and international companies to develop industry-changing applications. Throughout her career she has worked to foster dialogue and cooperation between academic research and industry. She is the founder of the Synbio Powerhouse ecosystem, which offers a collaborative platform for research organisations, businesses and investors in the synthetic biology field. Merja Penttilä received the title of Academician of Science in 2023.


    Selected publications

    Natalia Kakko, Anssi Rantasalo, Tino Koponen, Virve Vidgren, Matti Kannisto, Natalia Maiorova, Heli Nygren, Dominik Mojzita, Merja Penttilä, Paula Jouhten 2023. Inducible Synthetic Growth Regulation Using the ClpXP Proteasome Enhances cis,cis-Muconic Acid and Glycolic Acid Yields in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. ACS Synthetic Biology

    Robert Pylkkänen, Pezhman Mohammadi, Ville Liljeström, Wojciech Płaziński, Grégory Beaune, Jaakko Timonen, Merja Penttilä  2022. β-1,3-Glucan synthesis, novel supramolecular self-assembly, characterization and application, Nanoscale

    Marja Nappa, Michael Lienemann, Camilla Tossi, Peter Blomberg, Jussi Jäntti, Ilkka Juhani Tittonen, Merja Penttilä 2020.  Solar-Powered Carbon Fixation for Food and Feed Production Using Microorganisms—A Comparative Techno-Economic Analysis, ACS Omega


    General information

    • You can download and save all the autumn 2023 FoS-seminars to your calendar from here:
    • Registration is not needed, participation list is circulated in the audience
    • If you are a student and later wish to get a certificate of attendance from the Frontier of Science seminars, print out the seminar diary and after the seminar ask the BioCity coordinator to sign it
    • Please note that any audio or video recording of the seminars is strictly forbidden.