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Institute of Biotechnology
(Visiting address: Viikinkaari 5d)
00014 University of Helsinki
Tel +358 2941 59921
Fax +358 2941 59366
University of Helsinki Business
Identity Code: FI-03134717
The research activities of the Institute are carried out mainly in four research programs, each consisting of several multidisciplinary groups focusing on a specific area of molecular biology, cell biology or biotechnology.
- Research Program in Cell and Molecular Biology
- Research Program in Developmental Biology
- Research Program in Genome Biology
- Research Program in Structural Biology and Biophysics
In addition to the research programs there is Director´s laboratory:
The research of this program focuses on analysing basic principles of cell morphogenesis and dynamics as well as on elucidating the mechanisms by which specific processes form and function in highly specialized mammalian cells such as neurons.
The Program in Cell and Molecular Biology currently consist of seven research groups whose research interests range from intracellular cytoskeletal and membrane dynamics to the regulation of transcription and neuronal activity.
The research groups use mammalian and yeast cells as well as the C. elegans nematode as model systems in these studies. Furthermore, the program harbors a modern biological imaging center (Light Microscopy Unit) for advanced light microscopy studies on live cells.
Pekka Lappalainen, Research Director of the Program
Actin and plasma membrane dynamics
Morphological and functional subdomains of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)
Jokitalo`s lab / EM Unit
Stem cells and aging
Actin as an organizer of gene expression
The research in the program elucidates the molecular pathways that regulate organogenesis in both vertebrate and invertebrate model systems. The focus is on signalling networks that mediate the communication between cells during morphogenesis and guide the differentiation of progenitor cells.
The following topics are of special interest:
- Inductive interactions in organogenesis
- Regulation of stem cell behaviour
- Evolutionary developmental biology
Jukka Jernvall, Research Director of the Program
Evolution and development
Craniofacial tissues: from Evo-Devo to therapeutic applications
Evolution and development
Epithelial morphogenesis – from molecular pathways to cellular behavior
Structure, biology and therapeutic potential of neurotrophic factors
BMP signaling and morphogenesis in Drosophila
Development and renewal of ectodermal organs
The Research Program in Genome Biology takes advantage of the rapidly emerging whole-genome sequences and the related technologies for clarifying their function and dynamics.
The program provides a timely collaborative forum to integrate and implement the new technologies as well as bioinformatics and experimental approaches. The program also enhances integration of the genome analysis core units of the Institute together with relevant BI groups.
Mikko Frilander, Research Director of the Program
Pre-RNA splicing group
DNA Sequencing and Genomics Laboratory
Genetic control of wood development
Evolutionary sequence analysis
Ari Pekka Mähönen
Growth dynamics in vascular cambium
LUKE/BI Plant Genome Dynamics
Systems Biology Research Group and Proteomics unit
This research program focuses on modern methods for determining the three-dimensional structure and chemical mechanism of macromolecules and macromolecular complexes. Of particular interest are the mechanisms of redox systems such as cytochrome c oxidase and Complex I of the respiratory chain, the structure and function of viruses, the chemical mechanism of model enzyme systems, and the structure of membrane proteins and membrane protein complexes.
The program also includes protein chemistry as a means of characterizing and identifying the protein components behind these complexes, both as a research and service and a core facility. The NMR laboratory collaborates on a wide variety of projects. Its equipment includes a state-of-the-art 800 MHz spectrometer.
Sarah Butcher, Research Director of the Program
Nanoparticle description and tracking in virology and drug delivery
Understanding virus evolution through structure
Structure and function of the protein translocation machinery
Biomolecular NMR spectroscopy
Systems biology of the cellular regulatory networks
Other Project at the NMR Laboratory: Hannu Maaheimo (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland)