Immunology Seminar Series, Sirpa Jalkanen

    March 5th online at 14 – 15 (Finland time)

    Sirpa Jalkanen, Professor, Academician, University of Turku: The thrill of searching and joy of finding


    Registration link:
    Register latest: March 4th at 12:00.

    Host: Riitta Lahesmaa ( )

    Immunology seminar series is jointly organised by the Finnish Society for Immunology, InFLAMES Flagship and Turku Bioscience. For further information contact Anne Lahdenperä  ( or Riitta Lahesmaa ( ), University of Turku.


    Academician Sirpa Jalkanen, MD, PhD is Professor at the Medical Faculty, University of Turku. After her postdoctoral period at Stanford University, she has worked in different researcher positions at the University of Turku, Finnish National Institute of Health and Welfare as well as the Academy of Finland.

    The main interest of Sirpa Jalkanen’s research group has been in the mechanisms involved in harmful inflammations and cancer. Her group has identified several molecules, some of which are currently targeted in clinical trials. She has published more than 390 peer-reviewed papers and has more than 10 patents. She is an EMBO member and a member of Academia Europae and has received several awards and honours such as Eli Lilly award, Maud Kuistila Prize, Anders Jahre Prize, Äyräpää Prize, Klossner Medal, Datta Medal (from FEBS), the 2nd European Women Innovator Prize and the Finnish Pharma Industry Prize.

    She has served at several positions of trust, for example, as a chair of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters. She is currently a chair or vice chair of the board in three big Finnish Foundations financing research. She also served as a member of the board of Orion, the biggest pharmaceutical company in Finland for 10 years and has been a co-founder of two biotech companies – both publicly listed (New York, London and Helsinki stock markets).

    Representative publications:

    Tadayon S, Dunkel J, Takeda A, Halle O, Karikoski M, Gerke H, Rantakari P, Virtakoivu R, Pabst O, Salmi M, Hollmén M*, Jalkanen S*. Clever-1 contributes to lymphocyte entry into the spleen via the red pulp. Science Immunol 4:eaat0297, 2019. This paper reports identification of the first homing associated molecule guiding lymphocyte entrance into the spleen – searched for more than 20 years. Moreover, it demonstrates that lymphocytes also enter the spleen via the red pulp venules and not only via the marginal zone.

    Takeda A, Hollmén M, Dermadi D, Pan J, Brulois KF, Kaukonen R, Lönnberg T, Boström P, Koskivuo I, Irjala H, Miyasaka M, Salmi M, Butcher EC, Jalkanen S. Single-cell survey of human lymphatics unveils unexpected heterogeneity and mechanisms of homing for neutrophils. Immunity 51:561-572, 2019. This paper uncovers marked heterogeneity among our lymph node lymphatics, demonstrates their anatomical localization and identifies mechanisms regulating neutrophil homing into the lymph nodes and their subsequent trapping there.

    Jalkanen J, Pettilä V, Huttunen T, Hollmen M, Jalkanen S. Glucocorticoids Inhibit Type I IFN Beta Signaling and the Upregulation of CD73 in Human Lung. Intensive Care Med 46:1937-1940, 2020. Mechanistic elucidation, why corticosteroids should never be given together with IFN beta in inflammation.

    Jalkanen J, Khan S, Elima K, Huttunen T, Wang N, Hollmén M, Elo LL, Jalkanen S. Polymorphism in interferon alpha/beta receptor contributes to glucocorticoid response and outcome of ARDS and COVID-19. Critical Care 27:112, 2023. Discovery of an unknown polymorphism having a marked effect on disease outcome of ARDS and COVID-19.