Mechanobiology Protein conformation can be modulated in response to chemical and physical stimulus arising from interactions with other molecules and as result of chemical modifications. The Protein Dynamics group uses state of the art experimental and computational methods to elucidate the relations between protein conformation and function. One of the focus points of our studies involves the structural dynamics of the proteins in cellular adhesion sites. In particular, we aim for a more complete understanding of the mechanisms behind cellular mechanosensing.

The tools and techniques used in our studies involve cellular models, tailored hydrogel substrates for cell adhesion studies, protein engineering and molecular dynamics simulations. Collaborations with the University of Geneva and the Imperial College of London are essential for the project. Vaccine development Enteroviruses are responsible for symptoms ranging from mild respiratory illnesses, such as common cold, to more severe conditions, such as neonatal sepsis-like disease and acute flaccid paralysis. In the genus of Enteroviruses, vaccines are currently available only against the poliovirus. We are developing novel diagnostic tools and vaccines against enteroviruses, with a focus on virus forms associated with type 1 diabetes. Our project is conducted in close collaboration with the Karolinska Institutet.

Methodology We utilize a broad set of biophysical characterization methods, including calorimetry, biosensors and spectroscopic methods. Recombinant proteins and protein engineering are used routinely in our research and our gained expertise is geared towards the development of novel biofunctionalized materials, including nanocellulose and bioactive glass.

Our group is active within Biocenter Finland infrastructure network (About research infrastructure / Biocenter Finland).