Mikko Uusi-Oukari profile picture
Docent, Faculty of Medicine
Institute of Biomedicine
PhD, Adjunct Professor


+358 29 450 4655
+358 46 922 5337
Kiinamyllynkatu 10

Areas of expertise

GABAA receptors
recombinant protein expression
receptor binding assays


After MSc studies in Dept Biochem Univ Helsinki and Alko Research Laboratories, Helsinki, Mikko Uusi-Oukari moved in 1990 to Institute of Biomedicine, Physiology, Tampere, to do his PhD studies under the supervision of Profs Esa R. Korpi and Simo S. Oja. The main finding in his PhD work was a discovery of line difference in GABAA receptors between the AT and ANT rat lines, two rat lines selected for differential sensitivity to ethanol. The ethanol-sensitive ANT rats had a point mutation in cerebellar α6 subunit that made their cerebellar α6βγ2 receptors sensitive to benzodiazepines, and as shown later by Dr. Martin Wallner, the point mutation made the cerebellar α6βδ subtype particularly sensitive to ethanol.
After PhD studies Mikko worked in several labs in the Helsinki area: 1 year in Orion Pharma Biotechnology Department (setting up quantitative PCR for HBV); 2 years in National Public Health Institute (the later National Institute for Health and Welfare), Dept. Biochem. where he studied lipolytic enzymes and lipid transfer proteins; 2 years in Univ. Helsinki, Dept. Physiol., in the group of Prof. Olli Jänne, where he participated in studies related to producing therapeutic proteins in the milk of transgenic animals (e.g. Huomen-project); and polyamine project focusing mainly on ornithine decarboxylase antizyme. In 1997 Mikko moved to Univ. Turku, Dept. Pharmacol., back to the group of prof. Esa Korpi. Mikko Uusi-Oukari worked in the group of Korpi until the year 2004 when Korpi moved back to Helsinki.
Since then Mikko has had his own GABA group that has included Dr. Sanna Soini, an electrophysiologist, and various students doing their MSc thesis or extended studies. In addition to Sanna Soini the group has included already several years MSc Ali Benkherouf, who is now doing his PhD studies.


Dr. Uusi-Oukari’s teaching has mainly included neuropharmacology in both lectures and lab courses. He has trained various MSc and medical students in their thesis works.


Dr. Uusi-Oukari has a long experience in neurotransmitter receptors and addiction studies. In addition, he has specialized in various techniques during his career, like PCR and quantitative PCR in Orion, heterologous expression systems in NPHI, and regulation of gene expression in Olli Jänne lab. GABAA receptor related studies in Turku have mainly focused on regulation of GABAA receptor subunit expression and on pharmacology of GABAA receptor subtypes.


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