Group Leader

    Cecilia Sahlgren, PhD.
    Professor in Cell Biology (Åbo Akademi University)
    Professor in Biomedical Engineering (Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands)
    Email: cecilia.sahlgren [at]

    Contact Information

    Turku Bioscience P.O. Box 123, BioCity
    (Street addr. Tykistökatu 6 B)
    FIN-20521 Turku, Finland
    Tel. +358-2-3338611
    Fax. +358-2-3338000
    Group’s Website

    Description of the Research

    Our research is focused on the fundamental molecular mechanisms, that guide cell fate and cell organization in stem cell differentiation, tissue formation and in disease such as cancer. Together with collaborators we utilize such knowledge to develop material-based medical technologies to control these mechanisms in regenerative and cancer therapies. Coordination of cells through molecular cell signaling pathways is crucial for the formation of functional tissues and signaling is often deregulated in diseases such as cancer, allowing cells to acquire abnormal functions and pathological remodeling of tissue architecture. The physical, mechanical and chemical stimuli of the microenvironment also influence cell signaling and cell fate decisions during development and disease progression.

    The Cell Fate Lab tries to find answers to 3 key questions:

    • How are signaling mechanisms making cell fate decisions based on input from cell autonomous mechanisms and the environment?
    • How does these mechanisms influence stem cell differentiation and how do deregulated mechanisms link to disease?
    • How can cell signaling be modulated for therapeutical purposes in order to control cell fate in cancer and regenerative therapy?


    • European Research Council (ERC)
    • Academy of Finland
    • Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation
    • Cancer Society of Finland
    • Sigrid Juselius
    • Netherlands Cardiovascular Research Initiative
    • Seventh Framework Programme
    • Imavalve
    • Novo Nordisk Foundation
    • Tissue Cure Alliance Finland
    • Materials-Driven Regeneration (MDR)
    • Centre of Excellence in Cellular Mechanostasis (CellMech)
    • Stiftelsen för Åbo Akademi
    • Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)
    • European Commission (Horizon 2020)
    • Liv och Hälsa