Molecular Neurodegeneration // People

Group leader/PI

Annakaisa Haapasalo, PhD, Associate Professor in Molecular Neurodegeneration

Postdoctoral fellow

Dorit Hoffmann, PhD

PhD students

Stina Leskelä, MSc
Nadine Huber, MSc
Hannah Rostalski, MSc

MSc students

Sonja Korhonen, BSc (Pharmacy)
Sini Sarlin, BSc (Biomedicine)

BSc students

Tomi Hietanen (Biomedicine)

Co-supervised PhD students

Rebekka Wittrahm, MSc (with Professor Mikko Hiltunen, Institute of Biosciences)
Sami Gabbouj, MSc (with Professor Mikko Hiltunen, Institute of Biosciences)
Kasper Katisko, BM (with Professor Anne Remes, University of Oulu)
Ville Korhonen, BM (with Professor Ville Leinonen, Kuopio University Hospital, NeuroCenter, Neurosurgery)

Previous lab members and students

Minttu Kärkkäinen, summer intern (Biomedicine)
Mikael Marttinen, PhD student (co-supervision with Professor Mikko Hiltunen, Institute of Biosciences)
Julia Straβer, BSc student, Erasmus Exchange student (Austria)
Mari Takalo, PhD student
Anu Toropainen, MSc student (co-supervision with Assistant Professor Jussi Paananen from the UEF Bioinformatics Center)
Anni Vänttinen, BSc student (Biomedicine)
Amira Chafqane, BSc student (Biomedicine)
Mireia Cartró Font, BSc student, Erasmus Exchange student (Spain)
Liam Jenkins Sánchez, BSc student, Erasmus Exchange student (Spain)
Julia List, BSc student, Erasmus Exchange Student (Austria)
Carmela Serpe, MSc student, Erasmus Exchange student (Italy)
Ville Juutilainen, MSc student (Biomedicine)
Timo Sarajärvi, PhD (Pharm.), Postdoctoral Researcher
Tiina Laiterä, MSc, BMed, PhD student (co-supervision with Professor Ville Leinonen, Kuopio University Hospital, NeuroCenter, Neurosurgery)

Secretary

Financial Secretary Marja Järveläinen

Annakaisa Haapasalo details

Address: A.I. Virtanen Institute, University of Eastern Finland, Neulaniementie 2 (P.O.Box 1627), 70211 Kuopio, Finland
Office: Bioteknia 1, room 3129/2
Phone number: +358 40 35 52768
E-mail: annakaisa.haapasalo(at)uef.fi

Background and major research interests

My background is in molecular and neurobiology. My previous research has focused on the biology of TrkB neurotrophin receptors and different genes and molecular players in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathogenesis. I lead the research group of Molecular Neurodegeneration at AIVI, UEF.

My research interests are on molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration in frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and AD. I am interested in understanding common and disease-specific molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration in these disorders. Currently my research strongly focuses on the physiological and pathophysiological functions of C9orf72, in which a hexanucleotide repeat expansion is the most common cause of FTD and the motoneuron disease ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).

Academic degrees

  • Adjunct Professor (Docent) in Neurobiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, 2011
  • PhD (neurobiology/biotechnology) Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences, University of Kuopio, 2003
  • MSc (biotechnology) Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences, University of Kuopio, 1996

Major appointments and research training

  • Associate Professor in Molecular Neurodegeneration, A.I. Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland, 2015 - present
  • Group Leader, Institute of Clinical Medicine - Neurology, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland, 2009-2015
  • Academy Research Fellow, Neurology, University of Eastern Finland, 2009-2014
  • Research Specialist (Research Fellow), Department of Neurology, University of Kuopio, Finland, 2006-2009
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Neurobiology of Disease Laboratory, Genetics and Aging Research Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA, USA, 2004-2006
  • Attendee at Neurobiology course in molecular biology, electrophysiology, microscopy and imaging at Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), Woods Hole, MA, USA, Jun 13 - Aug 14, 1999