Sari has had longstanding interest in actin-based structures, invasion mechanisms of cancer cells and advanced live cell imaging. She did her PhD studies in the Molecular Cancer Biology Program, Biomedicum Helsinki, University of Helsinki, under the supervision of Prof. Marikki Laiho and completed year 2008. After this she joined the Actin dynamics group of Prof. Pekka Lappalainen in the Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki. During these studies she got Postdoctoral Researcher position of the Academy of Finland and in September 2015 received Academy Research Fellow position. She started her own group in the Section of Pathology, Department of Veterinary Biosciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki in the beginning of 2016.  



Kaisa studied biochemistry at the University of Eastern Finland. She did her PhD thesis in Docent Maria Vartiainen’s nuclear actin group at the Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki. In Tojkander lab, she is studying the role of mechanosensitive signaling pathway that regulates the formation of force-producing actomyosin structures and how their regulation is altered during neoplastic progression.


Anna got her BSc in Molecular Biology from University of Sofia (2004) and specialized in Biophysics in the University of Sofia, (2004-2006) and Radiation Biology in University College London, (2007-2008). In 2008 she joined the group of Professor Kevin Prise in the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, Queens University Belfast, where she did her PhD, investigating the non-targeted effects of ionizing radiation in organotypic 3D skin model. During 2012-2015 she was working in the Finnish Radiation Protection Authority as a part of the international project EpiRadBio combining epidemiology, mathematical modeling and radiation biology to reveal the role of tissue microenvironment for lung cancer induction after low does alpha particle radiation (up to 0.1 Gy). In 2016 Anna joined our group and currently she is investigating the role of adipose tissue signaling and actomyosin contractility in breast cancer invasion. Her research interests involve role of tissue microenvironment in cancer development and progression, TGF-beta signaling in cancer and the use of 3D tissue models in cancer and radiation biology studies.



Vivi has graduated in 2006 from the University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover (Germany). Canine mammary gland tumors have fascinated her since undergraduate studies. She has investigated the comparability of canine mammary tumors to human breast cancer in the TEKES funded co-operational project "Translational Models and Biomarkers for Hormonal Cancer" [Institute of Pathology, University of Turku (Finland), and the Section of Veterinary Pathology, University of Helsinki (Finland)] in 2010-2012. Currently Vivi is investigating as a PhD-student the regulatory role of myoepithelial cells in the progression of mammary gland tumors.

Additionally, Vivi has a Master´s degree in 2008 from the University of Helsinki (Finland) in archaeology with specialization in archeozoology, and has participated in field surveys and excavations amongst other in Albania, Finland, Greece, Lebanon and Russia.

PhD Sandhanakrishnan Cattavarayane

M.Sc. Tytti Kärki

B.Sc. Sean Yao