1 Jan 2019–31 Dec 2023
Cellular and molecular biology
University of Helsinki
Pekka Lappalainen will apply a combination of structural biology, biochemistry and cell biology approaches to uncover the molecular principles by which two central actin-binding proteins, twinfilin and CAP, accelerate actin filament disassembly and actin recycling in cells. The actin cytoskeleton provides force for several dynamic cellular processes, including migration, morphogenesis, adhesion and endocytosis. Abnormalities in these actin-driven processes are typical in many diseases, such as cancer. Lappalainen’s research will provide fundamental new information on the general mechanisms that control cytoskeletal dynamics in eukaryotes.
Lappalainen is a research director and professor of quantitative cellular biology at HiLIFE Helsinki Institute of Life Science. He also heads a research team that is part of the Centre of Excellence in Biomembrane Research: From Lipid-Protein Interactions to Functions (2014–2019).