Ona Saarnisalo

Master of Science

Ona.Saarnisalo -at- helsinki.fi
Ona Saarnisalo

My research focuses on the developmental mechanisms of tooth cusp patterning and rules governing the development of tooth size proportions along the tooth row.

I started working in Jukka Jernvall's evo-devo lab in 2016 by doing my master's thesis about ectodysplasin (EDA) that is a signalling molecule essential for the development of tooth cusps and size and ectodermal dysplasia, a genetic disease caused by EDA deficiency leading to malformations in the morphology of teeth among other ectodermal organs. My thesis focused on the temporal effects of EDA during development of tooth shape and size proportions.

After my thesis, I have continued to research different developmental mechanisms participating in the cusp and size proportion development. I'm especially interested in what can peculiar tooth phenotypes caused by genetic diseases tell us about the tooth development. The stranger the better.