Areas of expertise
After MSc in Clinical Biochemistry in University of Kuopio in 1982, Anna-Marja Säämänen worked as a research assistant and later as a doctoral student in the Department of Anatomy in University of Kuopio. In 1989 she defended her thesis on Articular cartilage proteoglycans and joint loading. A study in young rabbits and dogs. Publications of the University of Kuopio, Medicine, Original Reports 7/1989Thereafter she went for a post-doctoral period, January 1990-May 1992, in University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama to study extracellular matrix biology of proteoglycans. In 1992, she joined the team of Eero Vuorio at the Institute of Biomedicine, University of Turku where the research focused on the molecular biology of cartilage collagens and other extracellular molecules in relation to chondrogenesis and development of osteoarthritic lesions using transgenic mice as model organisms.
Since 2007 she has been a laboratory manager at the Institute of Biomedicine, University of Turku with increasing tasks in the development and maintenance of the research infrastructure.
For over 20 years (1997-2017), she was responsible in teaching molecular biology techniques in Biomedical Research Track and a lecturer in Medical Biochemistry course (Fat metabolism and extracellular matrix) during 2008-2018.
She has quided three doctoral theses and a few pro gradu and other theses in the field of biosciences.
The aim of the research is to find and characterize novel factors that regulate skeletal tissue development and homeostasis, with the ultimate goal to find regulatory factors and conditions that facilitate development of mesenchymal stem cell based transplantation therapies and/or find biomarkers that can be used for monitoring of trauma-related skeletal tissue healing.
Genome wide approaches have been used to search for novel factors regulating limb chondrogenesis, endochondral ossification and fracture healing. Recently we have focused on the microRNAs in the local and systemic regulation of mesenchymal stromal cell differentiation and tissue homeostasis. . The team discovered a novel transmembrane proteoglycan gene SNORC (secondary ossification center associated regulator of chondrocyte maturation).