Cardiolipin molecules in the cytochrome bc1.

From biological viewpoint, the area of research in our team covers lipid membranes as well as a wide range of other biomolecular systems comprised of proteins, DNA, and sugars, and the interactions of these systems with biomolecular entities such as antibiotics and other drugs, antibodies, and alcohols. The research is coupled to both experiments and applications as our team collaborates with about 50 different experimental teams. The focus of research is on cross-disciplinary problems in the field where the traditional borderlines between physics, chemistry, and computational and medical sciences tend to vanish. The grand objective is to use computational simulations for considerations of phenomena that are relevant to health and disease.

From modeling point of view, we also develop and employ a variety of different techniques to allow studies of complex biomolecular systems over large scales in time and space. Consequently, one of our main objectives is to bridge nanoscale and macroscopic regimes in terms of multiscale modeling.

Toll-like receptor (TLR4).


Concerning larger reseach efforts, our group is a partner in the Center of Excellence in Biological Barrier Mechanics and Disease where research focuses on understanding the function of biological barriers and the causes of their malfunction, as well as correcting these disorders. Our team focuses on simulations and theory, and the teams directed by Johanna Ivaska, Sara Wickström, Pipsa Saharinen and Pekka Lappalainen carry out outstanding experimental life science work.

Furthermore, we are strongly committed to studying lipid-protein interactions and the mechanisms of how lipids modulate protein function in crowded membranes. These are the essence of the ERC Advanced Grant project that was awarded to us by the European Research Council. This work is continued in the context of neurosciences, cardiovascular diseases, and eye disordered with the support granted by the Human Frontier Science Program and the Academy of Finland.

An overall perspective of our recent work can be found by considering recent publications of our group.