Areas of expertise
Noora Kotaja is a Professor of Molecular Medicine at the Institute of Biomedicine, University of Turku, Finland. She obtained PhD in Biomedicine at the University of Helsinki under supervision of Profs. Olli Jänne and Jorma Palvimo. The title of her PhD thesis was "Function of PIAS proteins in steroid receptor-dependent signaling" , and it was approved with distinction and awarded with PhD theseis award from the Finnish Academy of Science.She did her postdoctoral training at the Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, Strasbourg, France, in the research group of Dr. Paolo Sassone-Corsi on germ cell-specific regulation of gene expression. In 2006, she returned back in Finland to establish her own research group at the University of Turku, where she received first an Academy Research Fellow post from the Academy of Finland, followed by a tenure track Professor position in 2012. Her scientific achievements have been recognized by L'Oreal Finland for Women in Science award in 2006, Unto Uotila award form the Finnish Endrocrine Society in 2008 and Young Researcher award from the International Netwolrk of Young Researchers in Male Fertiliy in 2011 and Yourn Andrologist award from the International Society of Andrology in 2013.
- Molecular biology
- Biomedical research methods
- Reproductive biology
Noora Kotaja's research focuses on the mechanisms of spermatogenesis and germline-mediated epigenetic inheritance. In particular, her research group is interested in the epigenetic and posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression in meiotic and post-meiotic male germ cells, and the role of large germ cell-specific ribonucleoprotein granules (germ granules) in the control of germ cell's transcriptome. The research in the Kotaja group combines experimental animal studies with human cohort studies to elucidate key epigenetic processes required for the production of fertile spermatozoa and correct transgenerational transmission of epigenetic information. The research may provide important novel insights into the development of diagnosis, treatment and prevention strategies for male infertility. Importantly, the research will also clarify the mechanisms of epigenetic inheritance, which could help us to understand and potentially prevent the transmission of acquired diseases such as metabolic disorders.