Ongoing Projects

    The interest of the lab is to understand and control molecular mechanisms that regulate cell fate. The focus is the evolutionarily conserved Notch pathway, a key regulator of stem cells in most tissues and essential for development. Deregulation of the pathway is the cause of several diseases, most notably cardiovascular diseases, and cancer, where it is linked to aggressive, therapy-resistant cancers.

    Key aims of the research group are

    • Determine how the microenvironment (chemical, physical and cellular) influence Notch signaling activity and how the integration of cues from the environment and Notch links to cancer progression, stem cell differentiation and response to therapies.
    • Determine how Notch signaling activity is fined tuned by spatial control of receptor and ligands, by crosstalk with other signaling pathways and by posttranslational modifications, and how this control translates into Notch-driven cell fate decisions in development, regeneration and disease.
    • To develop nanotechnologies and biomaterials for targeted delivery of Notch therapeutics and to develop novel imaging probes for cell and molecular tracking in vivo.
    • Develop in vivo and biomimetic in vitro models systems for analyses of the works of Notch in cancer progression and stem cell differentiation and for the evaluation of Notch-targeted therapies
    • Implement numerical approaches, synthetic technologies and chemical and genetical engineering to enhance our detailed understanding of Notch signaling regulation in development and disease.

    Current Projects

    • Integration of cell signaling and mechanical forces in vascular morphology “ForceMorph”, ERC-CoG
    • Multilayer mechanosignalling in vascular homeostasis, Academy of Finland
    • Notch counteracts replication stress to prevent cancer cell senescence, Sigrid Jusélius foundation
    • Post-translational regulation of Notch3 in cancer, Jane and Aatos Erkko foundation
    • Spatiotemporal control of cell functions “SPACE”, Academy of Finland
    • Notch4 interactions in breast cancer, Liv och Hälsa foundation & Cancer Society of Finland
    • Phenotypic screening for cancer drug discovery “PESCADoR”, Academy of Finland
    • Jagged mechanosensing in the vasculature, Academy of Finland