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Research and personnel

Research and personnel


Tiina Salminen
Professor, Head of Subject Cluster Biochemistry and Cell biology

Pia Roos-Mattjus
Senior University Lecturer

Peter Mattjus
Senior University Lecturer

Käthe Dahlström 
Senior University Lecturer (maternity leave)

Jenny Isaksson
University Lecturer

Max Lönnfors
University Lecturer

Mia Åstrand
University Lecturer

Mark S. Johnson
Professor Emeritus

Doctoral researchers

Ida Alanko (SBL)
Anders Backman (Lipid Transfer Protein Research Group)
Tamara Dulic (Detection Methods for Cyanobacterial Peptide Toxins)
Henrik Nurmi (Lipid Transfer Protein Research Group)
Vipin Ranga (SBL)
Marion Alix (SBL)
Mikael Londen (SBL)
Ivan Dudaš

Guest and post doc researchers

Ábris Bendes
Christine Touma
Juan Palacios Ortega
Mia Åstrand (SBL)
Vladimir Vukic (SBL)
Zorica Svircev

Epost: firstname.lastname@abo.fi

Research Groups

Structural Bioinformatics Laboratory (SBL)

Professor Emeriuts Mark S. Johnson

My research team at the  Structural Bioinformatics Laboratory (SBL) focuses on how biological molecules function to produce their biological consequences. Our team has broad expertise and hence applies multiple approaches to investigate different problems, primarily involving human proteins. Key approaches employed by us in our research are experimental structural biology (X-ray crystallography), structural bioinformatics (structure and molecular complex modeling), in silico screening for ligands and development of biologics, development and application of novel computational tools. Our research is made in close cooperation with research groups investigating the biological problem primarily using wet-lab experimental approaches. Our main current problems focus on transcription factors in very early human development; kinases and their involvement in disease processes; integrins – evolution and roles in disease  processes; engineering of enzymes for specific chemistries.

PhD Tomi Airenne 
PhD Konstantin Denessiouk
PhD Alexandre Denesyuk 
PhD Jukka Lehtonen Biocenter Finland Scientific IT Support

Professor Tiina A. Salminen

My research team at the Structural Bioinformatics Laboratory (SBL) focuses on 3D structures of proteins and, particularly, utilizing 3D structures to predict and understand protein function. We are interested in finding out how proteins interact with other molecules and what is the structural basis for their ligand specificity. Some of the proteins we are working with are important in human health and disease, are used as biocatalysts to produce drug molecules or in diagnostics of disease while others are of plant origin and important in maintaining the photosynthetic reaction, which is vital for all of us.

PhD Jenny Isaksson
PhD Mia Åstrand
PhD Christine Touma
PhD Ábris Bendes


Lipid Transfer Protein Research Group

Senior University Lecturer Peter Mattjus

Our research is focused on lipid transfer proteins, in particular proteins specific for glycosphingolipids, such as the glycolipid transfer protein, GLTP, and the Phosphatidylinositol-four-phosphate adapter protein 2, FAPP2. We are also working on the relationship between glycosphingolipid transfer and synthesis, and the connection to the ceramide synthase family, CerS.

PhD Max Lönnfors

Ecophysiology of cyanotoxin production and cyanobacteria in terrestrial bioengineering

Docent Jussi Meriluoto

Zorica Svirčev, Prof. University of Novi Sad, Docent Åbo Akademi University
Sultana Akter, Researcher at University of Turku/Biotechnology
Tamara Dulić, PhD student

Aquatic cyanobacteria produce potent cyanotoxins with adverse health effects on humans and animals exposed e.g. via drinking water, aquaculture and recreation. We are currently comparing the secondary metabolite profiles and ecophysiological properties of aquatic and terrestrial cyanobacteria to identify biological and ecological functions of cyanotoxins. Cyanobacteria are natural colonizers in hostile terrestrial environments often characterized by nutrient deficiency, high UV irradiation, toxic elements and limited water availability. Utilizing our BLOCDUST and Synergosis concepts we aim to establish novel cyanobacterial technology for the safe restoration of degraded and polluted areas affected by climate change and anthropogenic influence.


Roos-Mattjus lab

Senior University Lecturer Pia Roos-Mattjus

My research group studies the family of heat shock transcription factors HSFs and their biological functions both during development, disease and during stressful conditions.

Updated 5.2.2024