As we age, our stem cells can no longer compensate for the accumulated damage and fail to maintain youthful tissue function. I am fascinated by such basic biological processes, as they can provide completely novel views on a well-known, but poorly understood, phenomenon of aging.
Pekka Katajisto Ph.D, Docent
Group leader, Academy Research Fellow


I am interested in exploring how extracellular matrix changes during aging and how it affects stem cell maintenance, specifically asymmetric cell division. Also, I am studying the role of extracellular matrix in cancer progression using in vitro and in vivo mouse models.
Johanna Englund Ph.D.
Post doctoral Cancer researcher for the Finnish Cancer Institute


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Jane or John Doe post doc

Graduate students

My interests are focused on stem cell niches. Organized interplay between the niche and stem cells maintain tissue homeostasis during the lifetime and is a vital part of longevity. Although tissue maintenance is finely tuned it’s not perfect and errors in the system are usually disastrous from the organisms point of view. Thus, knowledge from the basic biology of stem cell niches can point out valuable intervention targets in aging related diseases.
Nalle Pentinmikko M.Sc, Ph.D. student
Stem cell exhaustion is a key contributor to age related tissue demise. My interest is focused on the mechanisms stem cells use to avoid accumulation of damage and to maintain tissue renewal. Understanding how stem cells recognize and rid themselves of damaged cellular material in order to preserve their functionality can give important clues about aging and longevity.
Julia DöhlaM.Sc, Ph.D. student

Aging tissues often demonstrate reduced regenerative capacity. I am interested how the tissue regeneration is affected by the stem cell and niche interaction.

Sharif IqbalM.Sc, Ph.D. student

Undergraduate students

Grand physiological themes, like aging or nutrition, and their effects to stem cell function intrigue me. I’m a biology student majoring in genetics at the University of Helsinki.
Eino Markelin M.Sc. student
Development of aging-associated diseases can be substantially dependent on the activity of a set of genes. I am interested in studying the genes of aging-pathways in intestinal tissue models to observe their role in maintaining the functional and the structural integrity of intestinal cells.
Emir CansuM.Sc. student
My interest is to understand what factors contribute to stemness and how stem cells maintain healthy and highly functional organelles by dividing asymmetrically. I study molecular biosciences at the University of Helsinki.
Ella Salminen M.Sc. student
Studying biotechnology and having biomedicine as a major combines the design and problem solving skills of engineering with biological and medical sciences. My goal is to understand the biology and function of stem cells and in the future, to research the possibilities of creating and growing bioartificial organs from stem cells.
Emmi Tiilikainen Biomedical engineering student

Lab manager

My main interest is to research and prevent the premature aging of my colleagues by focusing on lab management and taking care of running issues in the lab. At present, the relative grayness of the test population is minor.
Maija Simula Lab manager