Seppo Vainio Group (Developmental Biology)

Our group has been primarily studying the mechanism of organogenesis that regulate establishment of complex tissue structures of functional organs are based on cell-cell and tissue interactions. We provided evidence that in the context of the mammalian kidney, the Wnt signaling pathway is critical to trigger the genomic program that leads to composition of the key functional unit of the kidney, the nephron. One of the major current tasks in our research line is to reveal the cellular and molecular details how the Wnt signal transduction induces and controls nephrogenesis. To obtain more throughput for the empirical studies we have developed several novel experimental in vivo and ex vivo cellular and molecular technologies. These should offer  detailed experimental approaches to be conducted with in the kidney model system.

With the new strategic openings in Infotech Oulu, our group has collaborated with Juha Röning's group at the department of computer science and engineering to initiate new projects which will integrate the biological sciences with the high throughput data analysis and processing capabilities.

Current Projects

Biomimetic glucose sensor

In a joint effort with VTT Espoo, we are developing a novel biomimetic glucose sensor which will measure the metabolic glucose level with an internal reference. This sensor doesn't require daily invasive measurements, and thus will be a new line of biocompatible, personalized medical sensing device.

Exosomes as genetic transfer materials

Exosomes are nanovescicles generated by the cell in response to environmental stimulus, and carry genetic material which can reveal the health status of a cell. We are screening for exosomes secreted in response to a kidney injury or disease, and also as a cell derived reprogramming material for genetic engineering purposes.

Genome and the electromagnetic spectrum

Our aim in the InfoTech Oulu research program is to set the ground for new openings to identify novel cell-background radiation interactions mechanisms. Specifically, we will address the subtle roles of electrical and magnetic fields interacting with the cell genome, which has been poorly understood so far. This will be accomplished with genome wide biosensor screening tests performed by automated handling robots.

Group Members

Group leader: Seppo Vainio, PhD, Professor

Dr. Ilya Skovorodkin

Dr. Genevieve Bart

Dr. Nsrein Ali

MSc. Prateek Singh

Collaboration

VTT Espoo, Department of Micro- and Nanotechnology at Technical University of Denmark, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.

Last updated: 24.6.2014