Phd, Group Leader - Docent - Academy Fellow

In the lab generally known as "Michi" - I am a plant molecular biologist interested in the molecular function of receptor-like protein kinases (and their relatives) and evolution. I head the receptor-ligand signaling group (short the recsig group) at the University of Helsinki, Department of Biosciences. The team consists of a small group of very talented, motivated researchers - you can find their profiles below. We mainly use a combination of molecular biology, biochemistry, plant physiology with bioinformatic analysis of protein evolution. As model system we mainly concentrate on the small weed plant Arabidopsis thaliana but we are also expanding our repertoire with Marchantia polymorpha and tomato. The group is also part of the Viikki Plant Science Centre (ViPS) and the Centre of Excellence in the Molecular Biology of Primary Producers.

I teach computer methods for biologists where I aim to introduce the basics of using the Unix/Linux commandline as well as programming/scripting in the Perl language. I also teach signal transduction where I am particularly fond of talking about protein post-translational modifications and protein phosphorylation. You can find some of my lecture slides here.

Before moving to Finland I graduated with a PhD in Genetics from the University of Vienna where I worked on glycogen synthase kinase 3 homologs in plants under the guidance of Dr. Claudia Jonak and Prof. Heri Hirt.

When in am not in the lab or the office (or travelling) I am likely to be taking care of my aquariums, lifting weights or entertaining myself with anything related to SciFi. Typically also listening to a more or less eclectic collection of music - here is what currently motivates me in the gym...

Contact me:
Michael Wrzaczek, PhD, Docent
Group leader, Academy Research Fellow
Department of Biosciences
Viikki Plant Science Centre (ViPS)
P.O. Box 65 (Viikinkaari 1)
00014 University of Helsinki
Phone: +358 (0)2 941 57773

PHD, Post-doctoral researcher

I got a PhD in Tokyo University of Science, Japan. I had studied the regulatory mechanisms of plant NADPH oxidase RBOHs by heterologous expression system using human embryonic kidney 293T (HEK293T) cells.
Before moving to Finland, I was a fellow of Teach @ Tuebingen (T@T) in the University of Tuebingen, Germany. I had gave lecture, practical course and seminar for one year.

I joined the receptor-ligand signaling group in October 2014. I investigate the role of CRKs in systemic signaling using gene expression analysis, imaging approach and protein biochemistry. In addition to HEK293T cells, I am using Arabidopsis thaliana and Nicotiana benthamiana.

I like beers, aquariums and traveling.


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Doctoral student

My main interest is how gene families evolve in plants. In particular, I’m interested in the evolution of genes containing DUF26 domain(s). In my work I’m mostly using bioinformatic tools to collect, curate and analyze gene family data from sequenced genomes.

I have joined the group in April 2013 after gaining the Master degree from University of Oulu.

Almost all my spare time I spend at the stables taking care of my horse. I also like aquariums.



Doctoral Student

My research focuses on protein-protein interactions to determine the biochemical role and signalling context of the CRKs in Arabidopsis thaliana. I am using a variety of biochemistry and molecular biology tools, as well as mass spectrometry and microscopy.

Canadian girl lost in Finland since 2010. PhD student at University of Helsinki by day, live music enthusiast by night, ready traveller anytime.


Doctoral student

My work is focussed on the structure of CRK ectodomain,BBX and LBD transcription factor protein-protein interaction networks.

I am from China,and have completed the Master degree at Lanzhou University in China. During the graduate school where I have worked on phosphatases.

I like sports, music, cartoons and am good at table tennis, badminton, and tennis.

Undergraduate student

I am carrying out my research project in biotechnology course from February 2016 using BiFC to study the interactions  CRKs with other proteins and continue to investigate their interactions in vitro by kinase assay. Soon, I am going to start my master project continuing to research the activities of plant receptor-like kinases and their role in environmental changes.

Before, I graduated from the bachelor program at the International University, Vietnam.

I am sporty person, usually spending couple of hours running in forests and love traveling.


Online-published research: