Cell Trafficking

Description of Research

Cell trafficking unit is one of the national centers of excellence. The overall goal of our research is to elucidate the mechanisms that regulate the traffic of leukocytes in the body. Harmful leukocyte migration into the heart in myocardial infarction (reperfusion injury), into the joint tissue in rheumatoid arthritis and into the pancreas in diabetes are examples of diseases where leukocytes cause extensive destruction. These inflammatory diseases can be prevented by inhibiting leukocyte trafficking to those sites. Also metastasising malignant cells often use the same mechanisms as leukocytes when extravasating from the blood to different organs or migrating via the lymphatics into the distant sites. The results obtained in this research can be utilized when new types of drugs are developed to treat harmful inflammations and cancer.

Current Topics

  • Enzymatic and adhesive properties of ectoenzymes (VAP-1 and CD73)
  • Targeting lymphocyte and endothelial cell functions during the development of harmful inflammations
  • Pro- and anti-tumor effects of tumor infiltrating leukocytes
  • Identification of new molecules involved in lymphocyte traffic within lymphatics

Members of the Research Group 

Doctoral Candidates
Kristiina Aalto (MSc)
Sina Tadayon (MSc)
Ruth Fair-Mäkelä (MSc)
Petri Elo (MSc),
Sami Kaitaniemi (MD)
Karolina Losenkova (MSc)
Miro Viitala (MSc)
Post Docs
Imtiaz Iftakhar E-Khuda (PhD)
Reetta Virtakoivu (PhD)
Senior Scientists
Gennady Yegutkin (PhD)
Marika Karikoski (PhD)
Maija Hollmén (PhD)
Annika Ålgars (PhD)
Teija Kanasuo
Sari Mäki
Mari Parsama
Maritta Pohjansalo
Kati Elima (MD, PhD) and her doctoral candidate Sam Kaitaniemi
Masayuki Miyasaka (FiDiPro) and his post-doc Akira Takeda (PhD)

Selected Publications