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    Dissertation Defence: Aleksi Isomursu

    12 Apr, 2024

    FM Aleksi Isomursu  defended his doctoral dissertation titled “Biomechanics of cancer cell motility” at the University of Turku on Friday, April 12, 2024

    The opponent was Professor Adam J. Engler (University of California, United States), and the custos Professor Johanna Ivaska (University of Turku).

    Summary of the Dissertation

    Metastatic cancer is a devastating disease and an unmet clinical need. The local invasion and colonization of distant organs by cancer cells are both dependent on cell migration, a conserved cellular process that allows eukaryotic cells to traverse complex tissue microenvironments. This is achieved by dynamic regulation of the intracellular cytoskeleton and varying degrees of adhesion between cells and the extracellular milieu. Integrins are dimeric transmembrane receptors and the main cell adhesion molecules responsible for mediating interactions between cells and the extracellular matrix (ECM). They transmit cytoskeletal forces to the ECM, facilitating cell migration and ECM remodeling, and simultaneously inform the cell of the molecular composition and biomechanical properties of the local microenvironment. Malignant tumors are characterized by aberrant ECM architecture and other physical traits that differ markedly from healthy tissues. Tissue biomechanics can influence most cellular processes, including migration, but many of the underlying mechanisms are still inadequately understood.

    This thesis provides new insights into the direct and indirect mechanisms that contribute to the biomechanical regulation of cancer cell motility. New tools for preparing cell culture substrates with stiffness gradients or dynamic micropatterns were established and used to investigate mechanically directed cell migration, cell polarization in response to local ECM geometry, and mechanosensitivity of ECM-remodeling adhesions. We found that the growth of fibrillar adhesions (FB), integrin adhesion complexes (IAC) responsible for fibronectin fibrillogenesis, is directly responsive to substrate stiffness. Further, we observed for the first time that human glioblastoma cells can migrate preferentially toward more compliant environments. This behavior, and the conventional positive durotaxis in other adherent cells, was explained by the molecular clutch model of cell adhesion. Finally, we found that cell front-rear polarization on anisotropic micropatterns is dependent on the biochemical composition of the substrate, impacting migration when the cells are released on fibronectin. Taken together, the results presented here improve our understanding of the different biomechanical cues that regulate and guide the movement of human cells. They also provide technological advancements for studying various aspects of cancer mechanobiology.

    Download dissertation

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    Dissertation Defence: Mukund Sharma

    18 Mar, 2024

    MSc Mukund Sharma defended his dissertation titled “Convergence of RAS and PP2A activities on chromatin repressor complexes” on Friday, March 22, 2024.

    Download the dissertation

    Abstract of the doctoral dissertation:

    Human cells contain specialized receptors on their surface that communicate with the extracellular factors and pass on the appropriate messages to the interior of the cells. These messages include the timing for cell division and growth.

    RAS proteins receive these messages and further pass them on to other proteins finally reaching the nucleus. Specialized proteins in the nucleus (epigenetic proteins) can then unlock the DNA resulting in the tranion of appropriate genes. This results in cell growth and division. Once the job is done another protein (PP2A) signals to lock the DNA stopping further growth. This process of sending messages to the cell interior and its proper implementation is tightly controlled and maintains normal growth and division.

    A major cause of cancer is hyperactivation of the growth signal carrier protein (RAS) and inactivation of the signal terminator protein (PP2A). This keeps the DNA in an unlocked state resulting in continuous cell division. It is however not known how RAS and PP2A communicate with the epigenetic proteins that lock or unlock the DNA.

    In my Ph.D. thesis, I have tried to understand how RAS and PP2A communicate with the epigenetic proteins. Using specialized tools, I have documented the interaction between RAS, PP2A, and epigenetic proteins. In this study, I found out that both RAS and PP2A can modify some of these proteins resulting in either locking or unlocking of the DNA. This tug-of-war between RAS and PP2A has a major implication for cancer therapy. I identified that by promoting the PP2A-mediated epigenetic communication while inhibiting RAS-mediated, we can restore cellular balance. My study describes a novel cellular communication between a tumor promoter and a tumor suppressor and how it can be utilized in preventing cancer.

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    33rd BioCity Symposium is arranged 29–30 August 2024. Registration is now open!

    15 Mar, 2024


    This year, BioCity Symposium is arranged on-site in Mauno Koivisto Centre, BioCity on 29–30 August 2024, with the title Unleashing the power of metabolism. Registration is open until Friday, 16 August 2024.


    Annual BioCity Symposium is a series of meetings organized since 1991 by BioCity Turku organization and it has become the most important annual get-together in the fields of biosciences and molecular medicine in Turku. The symposium gathers together hundreds of participants each year and offers talks from cutting-edge international researchers.

    This year BioCity Symposium will cover metabolism at many levels, from cellular to organismal. Particular focus will be on the interplay of metabolism with other physiological systems such as immune system, gut microbiome, and how such interplay may lead to disease.

    – This year’s program includes eleven talks from international scientists spiced up with short talks from Finnish researchers, and the list of speakers is outstanding. The keynote speaker is Craig B. Thompson, past CEO of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, who will tell us about cancer metabolism, says professor Klaus Elenius, the Scientific Director of BioCity Turku.



    Send your poster abstract at latest Friday, 7 June at 23:59

    Researchers are encouraged to participate to the poster exhibition and submit a poster abstract when registering to the event by Friday, 7 June 2024 at 23:59 (CET +1). There is place for 120 first abstracts.

    Based on the submitted abstracts six researchers are invited to give a short talk in the Symposium. Registration to the event closes Friday, 16 August 2024 at 23:59 (CET +1) and the Symposium is free of charge.

    BioCity Symposium is organized by BioCity Turku, an organization coordinating research on life sciences and molecular medicine in the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University. The visual image of the Symposium is based on the artwork called Gut Feeling by Richard Barnes.



    Registration, and more details about abstracts and posters

    Program and list of speakers:

    Get to know BioCity Turku

    For more information:
    Maija Lespinasse, BioCity Turku coordinator, 040 5658 654,


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    BioCity Turku asks for proposals for Elias Tillandz publication prize winner during February 2024

    1 Feb, 2024

    In the context of the 33rd BioCity Symposium (29-30 August 2024) the twentieth Elias Tillandz prize will be awarded for the best scientific paper published in 2023 in Turku.


    BioCity Turku asks for proposals for the prize to be submitted by email to by February 29th 2024 at 23:59 at the latest. The proposal should include a short (max. 200 words) introduction letter and the publication, both together as one pdf file.

    The proposed paper should have been published during year 2023 based on either electronic publication date or cover date of the printed magazine. The topic of the publication should be in the area of life science or molecular medicine or any other closely related field. Turku scientists (working in the University of Turku, Åbo Akademi University or other research institutes in Turku) should have a dominant role in the publication both as junior and senior authors and most of the research work should have been conducted in Turku.


    For more information

    Maija Lespinasse, BioCity Turku coordinator, 040 5658 654,


    Rules of the Elias Tillandz prize

    Elias Tillandz prize archive

    Who was Elias Tillandz?

    Get to know BioCity Turku

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    Frontiers of Science seminars will start on Thursday 1 February 2024

    12 Jan, 2024

    Frontiers of Science seminar program is ready for spring 2024. All seminars are on-site only at 12:00 in BioCity, Presidentti auditorium. Coffee and sandwich are served before each seminar.


    Frontiers of Science is a 25-year-old seminar series arranged by BioCity Turku, where world-leading scientists are giving a talk and presenting their latest results from their field of research. The seminars are intended for both researchers and students and students can get ECTs from participation.

    – This spring season the program is particularly interesting since BioCity Turku researchers have invited researchers widely from different fields to talk about their work, says BioCity Turku Scientific Director, Professor Klaus Elenius.

    – We all will have a great possibility to learn more about ie. bioimaging, biomaterials, cancer research and biocatalysis, Elenius continues.


    PhD researcher, have a face-to-face lunch with the speaker!

    BioCity Turku offers a great possibility for PhD researchers and early-career postdocs to create connections for future and to learn hosting skills in a friendly environment. After each seminar, the speaker will have lunch with maximum six PhD researchers or early-career postdocs. The atmosphere during the lunch has been very casual and positive, even leading to informal invitations to join the speaker’s research group. This is an excellent opportunity for all PhD researchers to start building their own scientific networks.

    If you got interested, please send an email to


    Frontiers of Science seminars are on Thursdays at 12:00

    All seminars are on Thursdays at 12:00 in BioCity Presidentti auditorium. There is no registration and coffee and sandwich are served at 11:45. If you are a student and wish to collect ECTs, please print the Seminar Diary and ask the coordinator to sign it after the seminar.


    Seminar program:

    Seminar diary:

    Read more about BioCity Turku

    Additional information:
    BioCity Turku Coordinator Maija Lespinasse, +358 40 5658 654,





    If you wish to receive email reminders about BioCity Turku events, please contact You can also follow us in X @BioCityTurku.

    Spring 2024 microscopy image credits to Jenny Pessa: Transformed human breast epithelial HS578T cells (flattened), labelled with commercial fluorescent antibodies. Image acquired on 3i CSU-W1 Spinning disk with 40x objective.

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    Distinguished Innovator Grant from Novo Nordisk to the research team of John Eriksson

    8 Jan, 2024

    Professor John Eriksson and his research team have received the prestigious Distinguished Innovator grant of 6 million DKK (approximately 800 000 euro) from Novo Nordisk to support their project titled, “Prevention of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases: An Innovative Bioactive Repellent Embracing Circular Economy Principles.”

    This new project is a continuation of the successful HPV Horizon project ( and the long-term basic research that have been built especially through the contributions of team members Preethy Paul and Senthil Kumar, both integral to the team for over a decade. The HPV Horizon project aimed at specific targeting of the HPV E6 and E7 oncogenes is based on a pharmacologic diterpenoid compound family from the natural plant Anisomeles malabarica, leading also to the start-up company Anison Therapeutics (

    In the Novo Nordisk project, the collective and accumulated know-how in the team has been key when developing innovative bioactive repellents from the same Anisomeles plant, efficiently targeting disease vectors such as ticks and mosquitoes. The long-term basic research in the team has been instrumental when developing a set of naturally occurring, harmless and biodegradable compounds to combat vector-borne infectious diseases, such as Lyme disease, tick-borne encephalitis, Zika fever, malaria, yellow fever, and dengue fever.

    Overall, vector-based diseases pose significant risks to global health and there is an acute need for efficient and ecologically safe repellants and inhibitors. While the employed nature-derived compounds are completely harmless and biologically decomposable, they can be safely used even in wide distribution.

    The project also incorporates circular economy principles, as the repellent compound mixture is produced using the collected bio-waste from the medicinal plant after the HPV-targeting compounds have been extracted.

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    Inês Alvito Félix from Rantakari group defended her dissertation in Medical microbiology and immunology

    3 Nov, 2023

    MSc Inês Alvito Félix defended her dissertation in Medical microbiology and immunology entitled “Ontogeny and function of adipose tissue macrophages” at the University of Turku on 3 November 2023 at 12.00 (University of Turku, Dentalia, Arje Scheinin lecture hall, Lemminkäisenkatu 2, Turku).

    Opponent: Professor Francesc Villaroya (University of Barcelona, Spain)
    Custos: Docent Pia Rantakari (University of Turku)

    Doctoral Dissertation at UTUPub:


    Summary of the Doctoral Dissertation:

    Obesity is associated with the accumulation of adipose tissue and increased risk of type II diabetes and cancer, for example. This study explores the interaction between macrophages of different origins and their function in maintaining energy balance and homeostasis of adipose tissue, aiming to identify new targets for obesity prevention and treatment.

    Macrophages are immune cells responsible for the clearance of pathogens and damaged cells, being central to the inflammatory process. Beyond their immune functions, they are crucial for the healthy development and homeostasis of most tissues. Tissue-resident macrophages are specialized and perform tissue-specific functions. Each adult tissue hosts a unique pool of macrophages from different origins, either from embryonic period (self-renewing within the tissue) or after birth from the bone marrow.

    Adipose tissue can be white, the energy is stored as fat, or brown the fat is converted into heat. I aimed to understand the role of different origin macrophages in adipose tissue development and physiology by ing three murine fat depots: mammary gland (MG), epididymal white adipose tissue (WAT) and interscapular brown adipose tissue (BAT).

    Adipose tissue macrophages modulate the functioning of both healthy and diseased adipose tissues. They regulate MG development, influx into the tissue and contribute to inflammation in WAT during obesity, and help maintain BAT‘s neuronal network. However, whether the origin of these macrophages has a significant impact on their functions within the tissue is still under study.

    My research revealed that embryonic macrophages play a crucial role in the development of mammary ducts and remain the primary macrophage population in adult MG. I present a novel unified approach for the subtyping of WAT macrophages and found that embryonic-derived macrophages maintain their numbers even in obesity, suggesting a role in WAT homeostasis. In BAT, my findings suggest that embryonic macrophages are essential for neonatal thermogenesis but are rapidly replaced by bone marrow-derived macrophages during the first weeks of life.

    In summary, embryonic-derived macrophages are vital for the healthy development of different adipose tissues, each exhibiting specific functions and dynamics depending on the fat pad they inhabit.

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    Emmi Lokka from Rantakari group defended her dissertation in Medical Microbiology and Immunology

    24 Oct, 2023

    FM Emmi Lokka defended the dissertation in Medical Microbiology and Immunology entitled “Foetal monocytes and their journey from liver to periphery: PLVAP marks the exit” at the University of Turku on 24 October 2023 at 12.00 (University of Turku, Dentalia, Arje Scheinin lecture hall, Lemminkäisenkatu 2, Turku).

    Opponent: Professor Steffen Jung (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel)
    Custos: Docent Pia Rantakari (University of Turku)

    Doctoral Dissertation at UTUPub:


    Endothelium is the barrier between the blood and tissue stroma. Cells and macromolecules are selectively allowed to traffic through the endothelium to maintain homeostasis. Besides the paracellular transport route at the cell-cell junctions, transcellular pathways also exist. Fenestrae, transendothelial channels, and caveolae are specific structures of endothelial cells. They may be covered by a filtering unit called diaphragm, which is a proteinaceous structure that consists only of plasmalemma vesicle associated protein (PLVAP). PLVAP is known to participate in molecular sieving and cellular transmigration through the endothelium. Nevertheless, the role of PLVAP in the transendothelial cell migration has not been described during the foetal era.
    The aims of this thesis were to study if PLVAP is functional in leukocyte trafficking in the foetal liver and to examine the dynamics of PLVAP expression in the liver sinusoidal endothelium. We found that PLVAP was needed for the efficient exit of foetal macrophage precursors from the liver to the bloodstream. Moreover, we discovered that the resident macrophage populations in adult mice were diminished under PLVAP deficiency. Surprisingly, we also observed nondiaphragmal PLVAP expression in the sinusoids of postnatal liver that persisted until adulthood. Finally, we aimed to study the resident macrophage ontogeny in depth in testis, which is known to accommodate a substantial macrophage population. Using the PLVAP-deficient mice and other models we revealed that testicular macrophages are mostly derived from foetal origins and that circulating monocytes in the adult mice have a negligible contribution to them. Furthermore, we showed that the resident macrophages in foetal testis are crucial for the normal spermatogenesis in mice.

    These results are encouraging for further investigation of PLVAP functionalities in the context of general transendothelial leukocyte migration, but also for studying the functions of PLVAP outside diaphragms. Equally intriguing will be to further examine the functions of macrophages needed in the foetal testis to support normal tissue function.

    KEYWORDS: Tissue development, tissue-resident macrophage, monocytes, testis, liver sinusoidal endothelium, haematopoiesis, PLVAP, transmigration

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    Unlocking the secrets of cell behaviour on soft substrates: A paradigm shift in mechanobiology

    20 Oct, 2023

    Johanna Ivaska’s research group from the University of Turku and Turku Bioscience Centre together with Misvik Biology Ltd in Finland have developed a new method for studying how cancer cells function in softer and stiffer tissue environments. This insight challenges the existing paradigm, opening up new possibilities for research in cancer biology and tissue engineering.

    “By using more diverse protein mixtures in cell culture, we begin to get closer to a more physiologically relevant setting outside the body with which we can more effectively model diseased and healthy states,” says Postdoctoral Researcher, Dr James Conway from the InFLAMES research flagship, the lead researcher of the Turku Bioscience team. >> Continue reading / >>Read this press release in Finnish


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    Ye Hong from Laura Elo's and Eleanor Coffey's groups defended her thesis in Bioinformatics

    28 Sep, 2023

    On 28 September Ye Hong from Laura Elo’s and Eleanor Coffey’s groups defended her thesis in Bioinformatics titled “Evaluation of the relevance and impact of kinase dysfunction in neurological disorders through proteomics and phosphoproteomics bioinformatics analysis”. Ye’s opponent was Prof. Jacques Colinge from University of Montpellier, France.

    Congratulations Ye!


    This dissertation explores the world of protein phosphorylation, a critical post-translational modification that plays a key role in cellular functions. The focus is on the neurological disorders of schizophrenia and Parkinsons disease, specifically investigating the phosphoproteome and protein abundance.

    Study I introduces PhosPiR, an automated analysis pipeline in R, aimed at streamlining the proteomics and phosphoproteomics data processing. This tool can perform a multi-level functional analysis of MS data and supports 18 different organisms. It offers a comprehensive approach to MS data analysis, including preprocessing, normalization, enrichment analysis, network analysis, and more.

    Study II investigates the LRRK2-G2019S mutations function in the brain, specifically its localization to the small 40S ribosomal subunit and suppression of RNA translation. The findings were validated using different models, including Parkinsons disease patient cells.

    Study III uses bio-orthogonal non-canonical amino acid tagging to identify nascent proteins affected by repressed translation. The analysis reveals significant changes in specific biological processes, which were further validated through targeted proteomics and immunoblotting.

    Study IV focuses on the role of JNK1 in schizophrenia. Using wild type and Jnk1-/- mice, LC-MS/MS analysis identifies 126 schizophrenia-associated proteins that overlap with significantly differentially phosphorylated proteins in the Jnk1-/- mice brain. The study highlights the NMDAR trafficking pathway and shows a decrease in surface expression of NMDAR subunits in Jnk1-/- neurons. Behavioral tests further link the Jnk1-/- molecular and behavioral phenotype with schizophrenia and neuropsychiatric disease.

    The insights into the LRRK2-G2019S mutations role in Parkinsons and the phosphorylation profiles connection to schizophrenia pave the way for potential new therapeutic interventions.

    Download full dissertation.

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    Immunology Seminar Series: Vivianne Malmström

    28 Sep, 2023

    Immunology Seminar

    October 10th, 2023, at 14-15 Finland time

    Virtual event


    Vivianne Malmström, Karolinska Institutet: Lymphocyte repertoires and antigen specificities in rheumatoid arthritis

    Host: Riitta Lahesmaa ( )

    Registration latest October 9th at:


    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.


    Professor Vivianne Malmström leads research group at Karolinska Institutet at the Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology. The Malmström research group focuses on studying the malfunctioning adaptive immune system in patients with rheumatic disease. The prototype disease under investigation is rheumatoid arthritis, but we also study SLE, ANCA-vasculitis and myositis.

    They strive to understand both the magnitude and ‘flavour’ of the underlying autoimmunity in the different disease settings. Their approaches span from cellular immunology and structural biochemistry to single cell transcriptomics.


    Recent papers:

    Joshua V, Loberg-Haarhaus M*, Hensvold A*, Wähämaa H, Gerstner C, Hansson M, Israelsson L, Stålesen R, Sköld M, Grunewald J, Grönwall C, Klareskog L, Rethi B, Catrina AI and Malmström V. Rheumatoid arthritis specific autoimmunity in the lung before, and at, onset of disease. 2023 Arthritis Rheumatol PMID: 37192126

    Turcinov S, af Klint E, van Schoubroeck B, Kouwenhovenn A, Sohel MM, Chemin K, Wils H, van Hove C, de Bondt A, Keustermans K, van Houdt J, Reumers J, Felix N, Rao NL, Peters P, Steveneart F, Klareskog L, McKinnon M, Baker D, Suri A, Malmström V. Diversity and clonality of T cell receptor repertoire and antigen specificities in small joints of early RA. 2023 Arthritis Rheum 75:673-684 PMID: 36409582

    Hardt U, Carlberg K, af Klint E, Sahlström P, Larsson L, van Vollenhoven A, Hernandez Machado S, Israelsson L, Amara K, Chemin K, Korotkova M, Karlsson-Hedestam G, Catrina AI, Teichmann SA, Ståhl P and Malmström V. Integrated single cell and spatial transcriptomics reveal autoreactive differentiated B cells in joints of early rheumatoid arthritis 2022 Sci Rep 12:11876 PMID: 35831338

    Argyriou A, Wadsworth MH, Lendvai A, Christensen SM, Hensvold AH, Gerstner C, Kravarik K, Winkler A, Malmström V and Chemin K. Single cell sequencing reveals expanded cytotoxic CD4+ T cells and two states of peripheral helper T cells in synovial fluid of ACPA+ RA patients. 2022 Nat Comm 13:4046 PMID: 35831277

    Sharma RK, Boddul SV, Yoosuf N, Turcinov S, Dubnovitsky A, Kozhukh G, Wermeling F, Kwok WW, Klareskog L and Malmström V. Biased TCR gene usage in citrullinated Tenascin C specific T-cells in RA: Implications for future T-cell directed therapies. 2021 Sci Rep 11:24512 PMID: 34972837

    Malmström V, Catrina AI, and Klareskog L. The immunopathogenesis of seropositive rheumatoid arthritis: from triggering to targeting. 2017 Nat Rev Immunol 17:60-75. PMID: 27916980

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    The Finnish Research Impact Foundation awarded Professor Riitta Lahesmaa €224,639 in funding

    27 Sep, 2023

    The Finnish Research Impact Foundation awarded Professor Riitta Lahesmaa €224,639 in funding for a project that explores a treatment of cancer which utilizes body’s own immune defense system. Lahesmaa is the Director of the Turku Bioscience Center and InFLAMES flagship group leader. The research is conducted in cooperation with Orion Pharma.

    Read the full article in Finnish


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    Elias Tillandz Prize 2023 Awarded to Scientific Publications in Cancer Research and Archaeology

    30 Aug, 2023

    This year, the Elias Tillandz Prize was awarded to two outstanding research articles, which involved a mechanism related to the migration of cancer cells and a new analysis of a grave dating back to the early Middle Ages. The Prize was awarded to the researchers at the BioCity symposium on Thursday, 24 August 2023.

    Johanna Ivaska’s research group was awarded for their study of the mechanisms of cell migration and the impact of tissue stiffness on cell location and movement. The research sheds light on how cancer cells spread in tissue and opens possibilities on preventing or directing the migration of cancer cells. >>Read the full article here


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    The Finnish-Japanese Immunology Symposium "Emerging concepts in immunology - From basic mechanisms to treating immune mediated diseases"!

    17 Aug, 2023

    Finnish and Japanese immunologists will get together on the 29th-30th of August, 2023 to share and discuss their recent results.  The Finnish-Japanese Immunology Symposium “Emerging concepts in immunology – From basic mechanisms to treating immune mediated diseases” is organised in Mauno Koivisto Centre, President auditorium, in Turku.

    Symposium is supported by the Research Council of Finland and IFReC, Osaka University. Bringing an 11 member delegation of leading Japanese immunologists to Turku the symposium provides an excellent opportunity to explore potential collaborations with the Japanese immunologists. On Tuesday August 29th we will have get together with light bite and wine after the first day of symposium.

    Link to full program

    Please REGISTER NOW at

    For further information please contact Anne Lahdenperä (, University of Turku.

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    Researchers Identify Gene Expression Signature That Predicts Progression of Type 1 Diabetes

    31 May, 2023

    Researchers from Turku Bioscience Centre and InFLAMES Flagship at the University of Turku in Finland, have identified a gene expression signature that can predict the progression of type 1 diabetes.

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    The EURAS project received over 8 million euros funding from the Health Cluster of the Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Programme

    23 May, 2023

    The EURAS consortium received Horizon funding to develop new treatments for rare neurodevelopmental disorders of the Ras pathway.

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    Turku Bioscience funding news May 2023

    18 May, 2023

    We are delighted to share the following funding news with everyone. Warmest congratulations to those who got funded.

    BioCity Turku Collaborative Research Funding Call Results

    All funded projects are listed here:

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    Funding News

    27 Mar, 2023

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    Academy of Finland PROFI7 funding to strengthen immunology research at University of Turku

    16 Jan, 2023

    The Academy of Finland has taken decisions on the latest round of PROFI funding, a funding scheme aimed at bolstering the research profiles of Finnish universities. University of Turku was granted 12.3 million euros in the Profi 7 call. The granted funding supports the following three profiling areas at the University of Turku during the funding term 2023–2028: Capitalising Immunity to Combat Disease (IMMUNOCAP), Evolution through Contact and Communication Networks (Human Diversity) and Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing (SUSMAT). These chosen profiling areas strengthen the strategic research and education profiles defined in the University’s strategy.

    Professor Riitta Lahesmaa is the director of IMMUNOCAP

    • Capitalising Immunity to Combat Disease (IMMUNOCAP) focuses on the immune system from basic mechanisms to innovative solutions in preventing, diagnosing, and treating immune-mediated diseases. IMMUNOCAP connects to the strategic research and education profile of “Health, diagnostics and drug development” and it is also linked to the InFLAMES flagship.

    Read the full article here

    Lue suomenkielinen uutinen

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    Turku Bioscience research reveals novel biomarkers for cancer therapy stratification

    19 Oct, 2022

    Tutkimuksessa kehitettiin uudenlainen tapa tunnistaa sädehoidolle huonosti reagoivat potilaat (Väitös: LL Johannes Routila, 21.10.2022, korva-, nenä- ja kurkkutautioppi)

    LL Johannes Routilan Turun yliopistossa tarkastettavassa väitöskirjassa todettiin kantasolutekijä OCT4:n ilmentymisen olevan yhteydessä pään ja kaulan alueen levyepiteelikarsinoomien sädehoitovasteeseen. Uusien kasvainmerkkiaineiden avulla voitaisiin valikoida pään ja kaulan alueen syöpien tehokas hoito ja välttää hoitoon liittyviä haittavaikutuksia.

    Johannes Routilan väitöstutkimuksessa kerättiin kattava potilasaineisto Turun yliopistollisessa keskussairaalassa vuosina 2005–2010 hoidetuista pään ja kaulan levyepiteelisyöpäpotilaista. Potilasnäytteistä koostuvan edustavan kudosmikrosirun avulla voitiin osoittaa, että pään ja kaulan alueen levyepiteelisyövän ennusteen määrittäminen ei onnistu luotettavasti nykyisten kudosmerkkiaineiden avulla.

    – Kudosmikrosiruaineistojen edustavuutta ei useimmiten varmisteta laisinkaan, joten tutkimuksemme lähestymistapa tarjoaa erityisen onnistuneet lähtökohdat kasvainmerkkiainetutkimukseen, Routila kertoo.

    Kantasolutekijä OCT4 yhteydessä huonoon sädeherkkyyteen

    Sädehoitoa käytetään leikkaushoidon ohessa useamman kuin joka toisen pään ja kaulan alueen syöpäpotilaan hoidossa joko sellaisenaan tai tehostettuna solunsalpaajilla. Huolimatta hoitomuotojen kehittymisestä pään ja kaulan alueen syövät ovat edelleen huonoennusteisia.

    –  Pään ja kaulan alueen syövän sädeherkkyyden ennustaminen on osoittautunut erittäin vaikeaksi tehtäväksi eikä sädehoidolle herkistävien solunsalpaajien tarvetta voida nykyisellään ennustaa, Routila muistuttaa.

    Tutkimuksessa osoitettiin solulinjakokeiden ja potilasaineiston avulla, että kantasolutekijä OCT4:n avulla voidaan tunnistaa sädehoidolle huonosti reagoiva potilasryhmä. Lisäksi tavanomaisessa käytössä olevan sisplatiini-solunsalpaajan osoitettiin kumoavan kantasolumaisuuteen liittyvä heikko sädehoitovaste.

    – OCT4-määrityksen avulla voitaisiin helpottaa valintaa tavanomaisen sädehoidon ja sisplatiinitehostetun sädehoidon välillä, Routila tiivistää.

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    Doctoral Dissertation: MSc Sami Pietilä

    7 Jan, 2022

    Data-independent acquisition mass spectrometry is a feasible method for the human gut microbiota analysis

    Doctoral dissertation: MSc Sami Pietilä, 13 January, 2021, Medical microbiology and immunology

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    Eveliina tells about her TET-traineeship program at Turku Bioscience

    11 Nov, 2021

    On 1-5 November, we had a TET-trainee (workplace practice program for junior high school students) Eveliina Lähdesmäki at Westermarck Lab. During these five days, she got a broad overall introduction of our centre’s activities. Her schedule was packed! We asked Eveliina about the time she spent with us, what she learned and what she liked about this traineeship.

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    Discovery of a Novel CIP2A Variant (NOCIVA) with clinical relevance in predicting TKI resistance in myeloid leukemias

    18 Mar, 2021

    Discovery of a NOCIVA in the Westermarck Research Group by Eleonora Mäkelä

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    Turku Bioscience research groups successful in receiving funding from The Health from Science (TERVA) Academy Programme follow-up call

    18 Sep, 2020

    The Health from Science (TERVA) Academy Programme seeks bold, new research initiatives that can solve health issues related to major public health diseases. The programme highlights the importance of scientific research in solving public health challenges.

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    Parkinson’s Patient Skin Samples Provide Clues to Disease Mechanism and a Possible Clinical Test

    16 Sep, 2020

    A recent study from Finland reports that a protein kinase called LRRK2 is hyperactive in skin samples from Parkinson’s disease patients which leads to a decrease in protein synthesis.

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    University of Turku Signed a Significant Drug Development Licensing Agreement

    20 Aug, 2020

    The University of Turku has entered into a licensing agreement with an international pharma company related to targeting of CIP2A oncoprotein. 

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    Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation Grants €1 million for Westermarck group

    5 Jun, 2020

    Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation has awarded 975 000 € for research led by professor Jukka Westermarck and focused on phosphorylation mechanism under RAS oncoprotein.

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    New insights into regulation of human T-cells

    4 Jun, 2020

    Dissertation: Kartiek Kanduri, M.Sc. 5.6.2020, medical microbiology and immunology

    Kartiek Kanduri discovered several novel factors that regulate T-cell differentiation and function, Understanding the regulation of immune response is central for designing future strategies to combat immune mediated diseases.

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    May's funding news

    28 May, 2020

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    Easy to find Turku Bioscience

    27 Apr, 2020

    Now that BioCity has a brand new look, the guiding star of Turku Bioscience came up on the black wall. Now it is easier to find us, just follow the logo!

    Here are a few pictures of the installation:

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    JNK Protein Triggers Nerve Cells to Withdraw Their Synapses when Stressed

    13 Mar, 2020

    New study from Eleanor Coffey’s lab at Turku Bioscience Centre in Finland identifies that the JNK protein triggers nerve cells to withdraw their synapses when stressed.

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    University of Turku Receives Significant Diabetes Research Funding from United States

    24 Feb, 2020

    World leading diabetes research foundation JDRF from the United States has granted the University of Turku three-year funding for its PAMP project (Pathogen Associated Molecular Patterns) with the total sum of over €520,000.

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    Top Experts in Light Microscopy to Meet in Turku in 2021

    27 Jan, 2020

    The 2021 International European Light Microscopy Initiative (ELMI) conference has been decided to be organised in Turku. The conference welcomes research centres providing light microscopy services and equipment, as well as companies in the field from Europe and elsewhere around the world to Turku.

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    Chronic Enteroviral Infection Modifies Broadly Pancreatic Cellular Functions

    10 Sep, 2019

    Enteroviral infections are common viral infections with usually rather few symptoms, and they are also believed to be linked to the onset of type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a disorder in which the pancreatic insulin-producing beta-cells are destroyed, and it is more common in Finland than anywhere else in the world. A new study by the University of Turku and Tampere University supports the link between enteroviral infections and type 1 diabetes.

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    Researchers from Turku Bioscience Centre Identified Novel Oncogenic Function for Receptor Linked with Alzheimer’s Disease

    28 May, 2019

    Common and rare SORLA single nucleotide polymorphisms have been associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease. So far, SORLA has been mainly studied in neurons, but the new study focused on the role of SORLA in cancer cells. Led by Academy Professor Johanna Ivaska, the research group observed that SORLA was highly expressed in HER2 positive cancers. Removing SORLA from cancer cells severely impaired the oncogenic fitness of HER2 positive cancers.

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    Inspiring and thoughtful discussion on cancer

    28 Apr, 2019

    Academy Professor Johanna Ivaska was invited to the popular talk-show Flinkkilä & Tastula to discuss cancer research together with the stand-up comedian Anitta Ahonen, who was diagnosed with cancer three years ago.

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    The new name of Turku Bioscience and its 30 year anniversary gets wide publicity

    25 Apr, 2019

    The anniversary of Turku Bioscience and its anniversary was highlighted in all local media yesterday and today.

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    Four new Academy of Finland postdoctoral researcher positions to Turku Bioscience

    23 Apr, 2019

    Turku Bioscience proudly presents four new post doctoral fellows

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    Laura Elo Receives the Rising Talent Award of the For Women in Science Programme

    8 Mar, 2019

    Research Director Laura Elo from Turku Centre for Biotechnology receives the international Rising Talent Award of the For Women in Science programme granted by the L’Oréal Foundation and UNESCO. The recognition is awarded to 15 most promising women researchers from all over the world. The recognition is awarded on Thursday, 14 March in Paris.

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    Researchers Discovered New Immune Response Regulators

    15 Jan, 2019

    The research groups of Academy Professor Riitta Lahesmaa and Research Director Laura Elo from Turku Centre for Biotechnology have discovered new proteins that regulate T cells in the human immune system. Some of these proteins can provide possible new targets for drug development in treating immune-mediated diseases.

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    Finnish Medical Foundation awarded €150,000 to CBT´s affiliated group leader Sami Ventelä

    22 Nov, 2018

    Finnish Medical Foundation awarded Research Group Founder Grant of €150,000 to Clinical Lecturer at the University of Turku, Specialist in Otorhinolaryngology, MD Sami Ventelä. Ventelä is also a new Affiliated Group Leader at Turku Centre for Biotechnology.

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    Syöpäsolujen hoitovastetta määrittävän jarrumekanismin tutkimukselle Syöpäsäätiön suurapuraha (In Finnish only)

    14 Nov, 2018

    Syöpäsäätiö on myöntänyt 450 000 euron suurapurahan Turun yliopiston kolmevuotiselle tutkimushankkeelle, jonka tavoitteena on selvittää syöpäsolun sisäisiä mekanismeja rintasyövässä ja pahanlaatuisessa aivosyövässä.

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    New Mathematical Model Predicts Respiratory Viral Infection Symptoms Severity

    5 Nov, 2018

    A team from the University of Turku has developed a mathematical model that predicts which patients become symptomatic after viral exposure using gene expression levels in blood prior to exposure.