Kerkelä Risto

Molecular Cardiology

Group leader:  Professor Risto Kerkelä

Background and significance

Aim of this research is to identify and investigate regulatory pathways involved in pathology of cardiovascular diseases. The research involves both in vivo and in vitro applications with active translational focus. We utilize genetically engineered mice and cutting-edge pharmacological tools in our research to dissect the roles of key signaling elements in experimental models of cardiovascular diseases. By this, we aim to identify novel targets for therapy to prevent or reverse the development of cardiovascular diseases.

Future goals

A number of signaling pathways are activated during cardiac hypertrophy and remodeling, but specific therapies to treat these conditions are yet to be developed. Our aim is to investigate those mechanisms by modifying the activity of key signaling pathways by using pharmacological compounds as well as novel genetic approaches.

Research funding  

  • Academy of Finland
  • Sigrid Juselius Foundation
  • Finnish Foundation for Cardiovascular Research
  • Emil Aaltonen Foundation

Research group members

  • Johanna Magga, PhD (Pharm)
  • Jarkko Piuhola, MD, PhD
  • Olli Tenhunen, MD, PhD
  • Johanna Ulvila, PhD
  • Tarja Alakoski, MSc
  • Manar Elmadani, MSc (Pharm)
  • Leena Kaikkonen, MD
  • Zoltan Szabo, MSc
  • Saija Taponen, MSc
  • Laura Vainio, MD
  • Raisa Haataja, BSc
  • Teemu Kilpiö, Med. Cand.

Most important collaborators

  • Professor Olli Ritvos, Haartman Institute, University of Helsinki
  • Professor Kimmo Porkka, University of Helsinki
  • Adjunct professor Helder Santos, University of Helsinki
  • Dr. Krister Wennerberg, FIMM, University of Helsinki
  • Professor Walter J Koch, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia
  • Professor Thomas Force, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia
  • Professor Istvan Szokodi, University of Pécs, Hungary
  • Professor James Bibb, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas

Last updated: 10.9.2018