Professor Riitta Seppänen-Kaijansinkko (Suuronen) MD, DDS, PhD, DrTech (h.c.), FEBOMS Professor of Translational Research on Oral and Maxillofacial Sciences Specialist in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (Med & Dent) and Chief Physician in Helsinki University Central Hospital. From 2003-2015 she was Professor of Medical Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, University of Tampere during which she was also head of Regea Institute for Regenerative medicine. She has published over 150 original publications, and her h-index is 43. She is an internationally recognized scientist having been invited lecturer in over 200 internationally congresses and meetings. She has received several honors, Apollonia Price and Arje Scheinin medal and Dr. Tech (h.c.) of Tampere University of Technology and Honorary Professorship from University of Hong Kong and recently Apollonia’s 125-year medal.
My research focuses on understanding various aspects of osteosarcoma development. My specific interests are stem cells, biomaterials, and modelling of osteosarcoma tumor microenvironment to build up 3D-models for drug screening purpose.
I have earlier studied cardiovascular and regenerative pharmacology focusing on combination of tissue-derived progenitor cells to supportive extracellular matrix in order produce clinically feasible cardiac tissue-derived cell therapy product. Before that I focused on research and development of bone marrow and umbilical cord blood stem cells e.g. in order to manipulate their therapeutic properties. I have also studied aspects of mitochondrial disease therapeutic targets and developed platform to perform drug library screens on patient-derived myoblast cells. My PhD work involved neuropharmacology of excitatory glutamate receptors, including production of mutated recombinant proteins and studying ligand binding of GluR constructs to identify structural determinants behind agonist vs. antagonist binding.
My research is focussed on studying genetics changes in cancer. After completing my PhD on cervical cancer, I worked as molecular geneticist at the Centre for Genetic disorders, GND University, India, where I performed gene mapping studies on inherited eye diseases. I moved to Finland in 2002 and have since then carried out genetic studies on different cancers, including studies on diagnostic/prognostic cancer markers and markers predictive of treatment response. I have applied different methodologies including microarrays and next generation sequencing to study cancer markers from various minimally invasive sample types. Currently my research is directed towards understanding the molecular pathways involved in osteosarcoma and studying extracellular vesicles-mediated intercellular communication of osteosarcoma cells. My interest is to also identify extracellular vesicle- based markers in plasma samples of osteosarcoma patients.
Assistant Professor, MD, DDS, PhD
Dr. Olli-Pekka Lappalainen received his Licentiate’s degree in Dental Medicine in 1998, Specialist in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery degree in 2009, Licentiate of Medicine degree in 2011 and PhD in Medicine 2016 from the University of Oulu. His PhD thesis focused on tissue engineering by using autologous bone grafts, stem cells, growth factors and biomaterials in the treatment of large calvarial tissue defects. He has been working on regenerative technologies with tissue cultures, reconstructive surgery applications and on osteosarcoma research, the latter being also his current research interest. He is an author in 6 high level scientific publications in his interest field.
Doctor of Dental Science, Licentiate of Medicine (DDS, MD), resident doctor in oral and maxillofacial surgery
Dr. Johanna Uittamo received her Licentiate’s degree in Dental Medicine in 2008, PhD in Dental Science in 2012 and Licenciate’s degree in Medicine 2016 from the University of Helsinki. Her PhD thesis focused on oral cancer and the role of acetaldehyde in the etiology of the disease. She has been working with oral microbes, isolating and culturing them and analyzing the ability of the microbes to produce acetaldehyde. The current focus is to find out the role of exosomes in the oral cancer, in both sarcomas and carcinomas. She is an author of 9 high level scientific publications in the field.
The Postdoc researcher currently works in the group of Translational Research on Oral and Maxillofacial Sciences (TMC group). In 2006, he had his Bachelor in Oral and Dental Medicine from the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Tanta, Egypt. There, he has joined the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery as a resident and then as a Demonstrator, thus allowing him to get a solid clinical background in the field of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases. In his MDSc thesis he assessed the role of autogenous bone-marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells transplantation in the repair of mandibular bone defects experimentally in rabbits, which was a co-operative work of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Department of Tanta Dental School and the Histology Department-Tissue Engineering Unit- of The School of Medicine, Tanta University. He has joined the TMC group as a Doctoral student at the University of Helsinki since August 2016. In his Doctoral thesis and related research projects, he covered several aspects of the current translational research for craniomaxillofacial bone tissue engineering. He has recently graduated with Distinction in August 2021. In his Postdoc research, he focuses on tumor engineering applications for modeling osteosarcoma studies.
PhD Student, MSc
Snehadri graduated with a Master's degree in Molecular Biosciences (Biochemistry) from the University of Helsinki in 2018. In his Master's thesis, he investigated the effects of different lipoproteins on the formation of platelet-derived EVs. He has also worked in the EV Core facility in Viikki, which gave him a good level of experience in the EV field. In his current research, Snehadri is investigating EVs in the osteosarcoma microenvironment and also working on developing a 3D osteosarcoma model.
PhD Student, MSc
Mahamudul completed his MSc degree in Protein Science and Biotechnology from the University of Oulu. He received the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship to conduct research at Leibniz Institute on Aging- Fritz Lipmann Institute (FLI), Germany in a project investigating therapeutic potential of treating cancer (including osteosarcoma cells) by manipulating mTOR signaling in cancer cells. Also, in the Laboratory of Structural Biology at Biocenter Oulu, he investigated the role of Wnt4 in skin development. The main objective of his current project is to identify novel molecular pathways associated with osteosarcoma pathogenesis, new drug targets and diagnostic markers by comprehensive analysis of genetic alterations, changes in expression of RNA/miRNA/noncoding RNA and proteins in osteosarcoma tumor tissue samples and also in osteosarcoma cell lines.
Masters Student, B. Pharm
Aurin will be graduating soon with an MSc in Protein Science and Biotechnology from University of Oulu. She accomplished her bachelor degree in pharmacy from East West University and worked as a registered pharmacist which enabled her understand the pharmacological effects of drugs in human. She has served as a research intern at Leibniz Institute on Aging- Fritz Lipmann Institute (FLI), Germany, where she studied epi-/genetic and molecular mechanisms of stem cell aging. In Phytochemistry laboratory, she investigated a unique analgesic principle from Curcuma amada by bioguided isolation & purification and evaluated pharmacological effects on mice and published in an international journal. Currently she is studying the differential gene expression and HIF-related pathways in OS cells using RNA sequencing analysis.
Roman Kornilov, PhD, DDS
Bettina Mannerström, Adjunct Professor, PhD, Chief Scientist
Sippy Kaur, Adjunct Professor, PhD
Hanna Hiidenmaa, PhD
Arjen Gebraad, PhD
Suvi Haimi, PhD
Iftekhar Chowdhury, BSc
Suveda Maran, BSc
Janne Salmikivi, DDS
Jukka Seppälä (Professor of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, Aalto University; jukka.seppala[a]aalto.fi)
- Eva Sarkiala (Specialist veterinarian in dental diseases for small animals and oral and maxillofacial surgery; Eva.sarkiala[a]evidensia.fi)
Minna Laitinen (Adj.prof. Orthopedic surgeon HUCH, MD, PhD; minna.laitinen[a]hus.fi)
Valerie Trichet (PhD, University of Nantes, France, Valerie.trichet[a]univ-nantes.fr)