Professor, PI

Harri Alenius is Research Director at the Medical Faculty (Medicum), University of Helsinki. He is also Professor in Molecular Toxicology at the Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet. He coordinates several national and international research projects in the field of immunology (KARA, MAARS) and systems toxicology (NANOSOLUTIONS).

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Docent and Lab Manager

Piia finished her PhD in molecular biology in the University of Jyväskylä at the end of 2004 and received a docentship in Biochemistry in 2016 from the University of Helsinki. During 2005-2007 she worked as postdoctoral fellow at Prof. Umetsu's laboratory in the Children’s Hospital, Harvard University, Boston. She is currently a university researcher, and a PI in a project funded by the Academy of Finland.

Her research is focused on the interaction of host, nanoparticles and the prevailing microbiome in the skin, gut and lungs. As nanomaterials are increasingly used in several everyday products, it is important to understand their immunological (e.g. inflammation), cellular and transcriptomic effects in vivo. In addition to the omic-based studies, the associated molecular mechanisms are also studied in vitro.

She is also very interested in atopic diseases, and participates in allergy-related projects, which characterize the sensitization, development or recovery phases of asthma, food allergies and atopic dermatitis.

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Docent

Nanna received her PhD in Animal Physiology in 1999, and docentship in Neurosciences and Physiology in 2015 from the University of Helsinki. She is currently a university researcher at the Department of Bacteriology and Immunology at Medicum, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland, and senior researcher at the Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. Her research has focused on T cell mediated skin inflammation, and in particular on how CD4+ and CD8+ T cells contribute to contact hypersensitivity (CHS) responses and on the role of T regulatory cells in experimental atopic dermatitis. Currently she is leading a project which aims at identifying biomarkers discriminating between human irritant and allergic contact dermatitis, and she is involved in multiple studies which explore host-microbe interplay in health and allergic disease and autoimmunity.

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Postdoctoral Researcher

Joe Ndika is a biomolecular scientist, with formal training in functional genetics. As a Phd student, his primary focus was the functional elucidation of the genes involved in the inborn errors of neurometabolic creatine deficiency syndrome. In 2014, he obtained a Phd in Neuroscience at Vrije University, University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

His current interests entail using hypothesis-driven multi-omics (integrated) approaches for resolving the molecular basis of disease within the context of allergy, immunology and adverse human exposures.

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University researcher

I am a post-doctoral researcher in the research group of Harri Alenius (Systems Immunology Group). My current work focuses on associations between host microbiome (human and canine skin and gut) and allergic as well as autoimmune diseases (psoriasis), considering the role of exposure to microbes via living environment, lifestyle and diet. My previous works has been mainly related to environmental microbiology in aquatic, marine and soil environments. I'm specialised to analyse associations between microbial communities and their surrounding enviroment using biostatistics and bioinformatics.

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PhD student

Kuunsäde is currently working on their PhD thesis. Their thesis focuses on discovering the effect of nanomaterial exposure on the skin microbiota.

PhD Student

PhD Student

Matilda earned a MSc degree from Uppsala University in Sweden and during her studies she specialized in immunology and microbiology. Her combined interest in the human microbiome and immune system has led her to join the Systems Immunology group for her PhD. In her PhD project Matilda is researching the interplay between living environment, human skin microbiome and the immune system. 

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PhD Student

Lan Zhao received MMed degree from Peking University in China and she majored in neurobehavioral toxicology and immunotoxicology. Because of her interest in immunology systems, she joined the Systems Immunology groups. She now focuses on the effects of ENMs on host-microbe interactions in the lungs.