Lab Members

    Group Leader

    Jukka Westermarck
    Research Director and Professor of Cancer Biology
    Turku Bioscience
    jukka.westermarck [at]

    Contact Information

    Turku Bioscience P.O. Box 123, BioCity
    (Street addr. Tykistökatu 6 B)
    FIN-20521 Turku, Finland
    +358-294502880 (Jukka Westermarck)
    +358-294503790 (Group members)

    Laboratory Manager

    Tiina Arsiola

    Laboratory Manager

    Westermarck Lab, office 4123 +358 (0)29 450 3788 tiina.arsiola [at]


    • Laboratory Manager, Turku Centre for Biotechnology, since 2012
    • University Research Fellow, Animal Bioscience, University of Eastern Finland,  2010-2011
    • Certificated Degree in Pedagogy, Jyväskylä University of Applied Science, Finland, 2010
    • Research Associate, Animal Biotechnology, University of Eastern Finland, 2000-2010
    • Post Doctoral Fellow, Prostate cance​r research, University of Kuopio, Finland, 2004-2007
    • Post Doctoral Fellow, Prostate cancer research, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA, 2001-2003
    • PhD, Animal Biotechnology, University of Kuopio, Finland, 2001

    Postdoctoral Researchers

    Anna Aakula

    Postdoctoral Researcher

    Westermarck Lab, office 4123 +358 (0)29 450 3788 anna.aakula [at]


    • PhD in Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki. Conducted in the research group of Prof. Olli Kallioniemi, at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), Helsinki.
    • MSc in Biosciences, Faculty of Science, Åbo Akademi University.


    Dephosphorylational regulation of the epigenetic machinery in progression and treatment resistance of NSCLC.

    Oxana Denisova

    Postdoctoral Reseacher

    Westermarck Lab, office 4120 +358 (0)29 450 3790 oxana.denisova [at]


    • Ph.D. in Medicine (Molecular Virology) in 2014 at Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM)University of Helsinki, Finland.
    • M.Sc. in Biology (Molecular Biology) in 2007, at Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.
    • Training at the Molecular Biology Education centre (2005 –2007), Institute of Protein Research, Pushchino, Russia.


    PP2A in glioblastoma therapy resistance: novel opportunities for targeted therapeutics​

    Phuong Doan

    Postdoctoral Researcher

    Westermarck Lab, Office 4120 +358 (0)29 450 3790 phuong.doan [at]


    • DSc (Tech) in Biomedical Sciences and Engineering (2022), Tampere University, Finland
    • MSc (Tech) in Bioengineering (2016), Tampere University of Technology, Finland


    Target mechanisms for CIP2A-mediated essentiality in homologous recombination deficiency BL-TNBC cells

    Nikhil Gupta

    Postdoctoral Researcher

    Westermarck Lab, office 4120 +358 (0)29 450 3790 nikhil.gupta [at]


    • Ph.D. in Biological Science (2020), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
    • Master in Bioscience and Bioengineering, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IITG), India


    Cancer therapy implications of species specific difference in requirement of PP2A mediated tumor suppression

    Venkatram Yellapragada

    Postdoctoral Researcher

    Westermarck Lab, Office 4120 +358 (0)29 450 3790 venkatram.yellapragada[at]


    • PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology, studied in the research group of Prof. Taneli Raivio, at the Stem Cells and Metabolism (STEMM) Research Program, Research Programs Unit (RPU), Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland.
    • MSc in Molecular Biotechnology, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland.


    RAS/PP2A targets in rRNA metabolism in RAS-driven cancers

    Doctoral Candidates

    Shruti Bhardiya

    Doctoral Student
    • BS Biotechnology, University of Mumbai, Mumbai, India
    • MS Molecular Oncology, Amity University, Delhi NCR, India
    Project Small molecule targeting of oncogenic dual-specificity phosphatase DUSP6 in breast cancer

    Umar Butt

    Doctoral Candidate

    Westermarck Lab, office 4120 +358 (0)29 450 3790 umar.butt [at]


    • B.S. Bioinformatics-COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Pakistan
    • M.S. Biomedical Imaging-Åbo Akademi University, Finland


    Characterization of Oncogenic and metastatic properties of SHARPIN

    Priya Parimelazhagan Santhi

    Doctoral student

    Westermarck Lab, Office 4120 priyadharshini.p.paimelazhagansanthi [at]


    MSc in Biomedical Science, University of Turku, Finland


    Stratification markers for diagnosis and targeted drug delivery of HNSCC metastasis

    Mukund Sharma

    Doctoral Candidate

    Westermarck Lab, office 4120 +358 (0)29 450 3790 mukund.sharma [at]


    • MSc in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany


    Epigenetic regulation by PP2A and RAS synergy and its implication in cancer

    Technical Personnel

    Taina Kalevo-Mattila

    Laboratory Technician

    Westermarck Lab, lab 5080 +358 (0)29 450 3758 taina.kalevo-mattila [at]

    Jesse Kamila

    Project Researcher, Westermarck Group

    Westermarck Lab jesse.kamila[at]

    Undergraduate Students

    Nora Kullberg

    Undergraduate student

    Westermarck Lab nora.j.kullberg [at]

    Suvi Rajaniemi

    Undergraduate Student

    Westermarck Lab suvi.a.rajaniemi [at]



    • Song-Ping Li, Ph.D student (1998 – Dec 2003)
      • Current position: Post Doc at  Department of  Pathology and Forensic Medicine, Institute of Biomedicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
    • Melissa R. JunttilaPh.D. student (Aug 2001 – Mar 2006)
      • Current position: Senior Scientist in Translational Oncology at Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, CA, USA
    • Tim Holmström, Post doc ( Jan 2004 – Apr 2006 )
      • Current position: Principal Research Scientist, in-vitro biology, Research and Development, Orion Ltd. Turku, Finland
    • Pietri Puustinen, Post doc (Sep 2004 – Dec 2007) 
    • Antoine Mialon, Ph.D. Student (Apr 2003 – Jan 2009)
      • Current position: Application Team Leader, MetGen Ltd. Kaarina, Finland 
    • Sari Vanhatupa, Post doc (Nov 2007 – Jun 2009)
      • Current position: Nordic Medical Advisor, Jannsen-Cilag Ltd., Johnson & Johnson, Finland
    • Christophe Côme, Post doc (Apr 2006 – Dec 2010)
      • Current position: Guest Researcher, Biotech Research & Innovation Centre, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
    • Sami Ventelä, Post doc (Dec 2007 – Dec 2010)
      • Current position: Otolaryngologist, Turku University Hospital and Mehiläinen-NEO Hospital, Turku, Finland
    • Anchit Khanna, Ph.D. student (Jun 2007 – Dec 2011)
      • Current position: Medical Liaison Specialist, Pfizer Oncology, Sydney, Australia
    • Minna Niemelä, Ph.D. student (Jun 2005 – Sep 2012)
    • Yuba Raj Pokharel, Post doc (Nov 2009 – Oct 2012)
      • Current position: Assistant Professor, Faculty of Life Science and Biotechnology, South Asian University, Akbar Bhawan, New Delhi, India
    • Juha Okkeri, Post doc (Feb 2007 – Aug 2014)
      • Current position: Subject Teacher, Alesksis Kivi Comprehensive School, Siuntio, Finland
    • Anni Laine, Ph.D. Student (Aug 2006 – Jun 2013), Post doc (Jul 2013 – Mar 2016)
      • Current position: Post doc, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Division of Immunology, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    • Otto Kauko, Ph.D. student (Sep 2009 – Jan 2017)
      • Current position: Head of the Proteomics Core, Turku Bioscience Centre, University of Turku, Finland 
    • Amanpreet Kaur, Ph.D. Student (Nov. 2009 – Aug 2016) Post doc (Aug 2016 – Mar 2017)
      • Current position: Postdoctoral research fellow, Cancer & Stem Cell Biology Programme, Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore.
    • Laxman Yetukuri, Post doc (Jan 2016 – Aug 2018)
      • Current position: Senior Applications Specialist, CSC – IT Center for Science Ltd., Helsinki, Finland
    • Xi Qiao, Ph.D. Student (Dec 2011-Sep 2018) Post doc (Oct 2018 – Feb 2019)
      • Current position: Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    • Karolina Pavic, Post doc (Jun 2015-Jul 2020)
      • Current position: Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Life Sciences and Medicine, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
    • Eleonora Mäkelä, Ph.D. Student (Apr 2012 – Apr. 2021)
      • Current position: Medical Scientific Specialist, The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, Tampere, Finland
    • Julia Vainonen, Post doc (Jun 2018-Jun 2021)
      • Current position: Postdoctoral Researcher, Molecular Plant Biology Unit, University of Turku, Turku, Finland