1 Jan 2016–31 Dec 2020
Biomedicine, cellular and molecular biology
University of Turku
Riitta Lahesmaa studies the development and functions of T cells. T cells play a crucial role in protecting the body against pathogens and cancer. Defects in T cell functions can give rise to diseases of the immune systems, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and allergies. Lahesmaa aims to study the mechanisms that lead to the differentiation of human T cells and why disturbances in this process may lead to diseases. The research will utilise comprehensive genome-wide analysis methods, cutting-edge computational data analysis and biobanks. The aim is to increase our understanding of the mechanisms underlying immunological diseases and find new, improved methods of therapeutic intervention.
Lahesmaa is an internationally recognised and acclaimed researcher of T cells. She is a professor in immunology and has headed the Turku Centre for Biotechnology since 1998. Thanks to Lahesmaa’s long-term commitment and hard work, the centre has flourished into an internationally competitive research environment. She has had a number of scientific articles published in leading journals in the field. Lahesmaa is also a team leader in the Academy of Finland’s Centre of Excellence in Molecular Systems Immunology and Physiology Research.