Areas of expertise
I have my background in pharmacy studies from University of Kuopio (now University of Eastern Finland) but specialized on pharmacology during my PhD (2008; University of Kuopio). I did my post-doc training in University of Helsinki, University of Antwerp (Belgium) and in Georgetown University (Washington DC, USA), and got expertise in cellular and animal studies in neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Parkinson's disease. Docentship in pharmacology I got from University of Helsinki at 2012. I have been leading my own research group in University of Helsinki since 2011, and got appointed as tenure track assistant professor to University of Turku at the 2020.
My research aims to find a disease-modifying therapy for neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. The task is challenging as there current therapies can only relieve symptoms and several clinical trials on neurodegenerative diseases have failed. Our studies have focused on developing small-molecule inhibitors for prolyl oligopeptidase (PREP), and we have shown that targeting PREP has multitargeting features on several toxic features common for e.g. Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Our future studies aim to characterize PREP as a drug target further, and find other similar targets with multitargeting features as this could be the key for disease-modifying therapies.