Anssi Malinen profile picture
University Lecturer, Biochemistry
Docent, Department of Life Technologies


+358 29 450 4784
Tykistökatu 6

Areas of expertise

enzyme and protein chemistry
enzyme kinetics, enzyme inhibitors molecular biology
mechanism of transcription
ion transporting membrane-bound pyrophosphatases
single molecule biophysics
university teacher


University lecturer 9/2022-

Academy research fellow, group leader 9/2017-8/2022 (5-year term).
Research topic: Regulation of eukaryotic transcription.

Researcher/University teacher at the University of Turku, Department of Biochemistry. 2016-2017.
Research topics: Mechanism of transcription & Molecular evolution of membrane-bound pyrophosphatases.

Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford, Department of Physics. 2014-2016.
Research topic: Single molecule biophysics of bacterial transcription initiation.

Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Turku, Department of Biochemistry. 2009-2014.
Research topics: Mechanism of transcription elongation in bacteria & Mechanism of membrane-bound pyrophosphatases.

Doctoral candidate at the University of Turku, Department of Biochemistry. 2002-2009.
Research topic: Structure and function of membrane-bound pyrophosphatases.


Teaching interests:
Bioprocess technology, mammalian cell factories, Enzyme and protein chemistry, transcription, gene regulation, membrane biology.


I am interested in the molecular function and regulatory mechanisms of transcription in eukaryotic species. Current projects in my research group revolve around RNA polymerase I (Pol I) that produces ribosomal RNA – building blocks of cell’s protein factories, ribosomes. The synthesis of ribosomal RNA by Pol I accounts for >60% of total transcription in growing eukaryotic cells and constitutes the rate-limiting step of ribosome biogenesis. Oversupply of ribosomes tightly links with accelerated cellular proliferation, while shortage induces cell cycle arrest, senescence or apoptosis in different cell types. To balance the capacity and demand of protein synthesis, many signaling networks that control cell cycle regulate Pol I. Importantly, dysregulation of Pol I activity is linked to the etiology of many human cancers and hereditary disorders.

To understand on the molecular level how the function of RNA polymerase I is regulated in normal and sick cells, we aim to elucidate the identity and sequence of molecular events that take place at the beginning of Pol I mediated production of ribosomal RNA. Our research approach depends on sophisticated biochemical, enzyme kinetic and single-molecule biophysics tools that we develop to monitor the function of Pol I in real-time. The molecular mechanisms that we will uncover pave the way for the development of new drugs that specifically constrain the function of Pol I and hence potentially slow down the progress of cancer and other diseases.


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