Ulla Pentikäinen profile picture
Turku Bioscience Centre
University Lecturer, Faculty of Medicine
FT, Dos


+358 50 501 2574
Tykistökatu 6

Areas of expertise

Structural biology
X-ray crystallography
theoretical biophysics


I am structural biologists having a wide expertise in chemistry, biochemistry, protein chemistry, structural biology, and theoretical biophysics.  I have gained this expertise by working in different research projects and groups both in Finland (University of Turku, University of Kuopio, University of Jyväskylä) and abroad (University of Bristol, UK, University of Illinois, USA). What I do not know yet, I can learn. I am interested in to understand how human diseases are developed at molecular level, what goes wrong at atomic, molecular, and protein level so that we got sick. This kind of research will help to develop new therapeutics towards different diseases, such various cancer types. 


  • Wide teaching experience on biochemistry and chemistry 
  • Responsible teacher in various lecture- and laboratory courses both in Turku and Jyväskylä universities
  • Responsible on study- and degree modules 
  • Teacher's pedagogic qualification 
  • University teacher's pedagogic qualification


Why diseases  are developed? What goes wrong at molecular level in our body so that we get sick? The  aim of my group  is to learn to understand the molecular and structural level the underlying mechanisms behind different human diseases.  Currently, we are focused on 1) mitral valve disease caused by the mutations in a cytoskeletal protein Filamin, and 2) cancer types developed due to the inhibition of protein phosphates 2A by different proteins. In addition, we are interested in how mechanical forces are mediated and propagated in cells, crucial for tissue development and having important implications for various diseases such valvular diseases, osteoporosis, and cancer. 

In our research, we employ various structural biology methods, such as X-ray crystallography, protein NMR-spectroscopy, SAXS, as well as different theoretical biophysical simulations including MD and SMD simulations.  


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A Novel Structural Unit in the N-terminal Region of Filamins (2014)

Journal of Biological Chemistry
Sethi R, Seppala J, Tossavainen H, Ylilauri M, Ruskamo S, Pentikainen OT, Pentikainen U, Permi P, Ylanne J
(Vertaisarvioitu alkuperäisartikkeli tai data-artikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä (A1))