VACCIM Day 2023


VACCIM Day 2023 was organised on Friday 3.11.2023 at Varala Sports Institute. Aim of the day is for research centre personnel to meet each other in a relaxed atmosphere outside the laboratories and offices, workshop together and present our research to enhance collaboration within the centre. Registration for the day has closed, contact organisers for any inquiries!

Address: Varalankatu 36

NOTE: Varala recommends arriving by bus, parking is very limited! Bus no. 10 goes straight to Varala

Program of the day:

08.30-09.00 – Coffee reception (Tea/coffee, nametags)

09.00-09.10 – VACCIM Presentation by Heikki Hyöty and Eeva Moilainen (Varala Sali)

09.10-10.10 – PI presentations á 5 min (Varala Sali, Chairs Martin & Minne)
– Pharmacology/Immunopharmacology: Eeva Moilanen
– Virology: Heikki Hyöty
– Virology and Vaccine Immunology: Minna Hankaniemi
– Viruses and Inflammation: Mikko Hurme (represented by Arttu Autio-Kimura)
– Protein Dynamics: Vesa Hytönen
– Cytokine Biology: Ilkka Junttila (represented by Tanja Salomaa)
– Environmental Health research group: Sami Oikarinen
– Bioengineering and Nanomedicine: Oommen Podiyan Oommen
– Infection Biology: Mataleena Parikka
– Molecular Immunology: Olli Silvennoinen (represented by Anniina Virtanen)
– Experimental Immunology: Mika Rämet (remotely)

10.10-10.40– Coffee break – pullakahvit

10.40-11.50 – Presentations (Varala Sali)
– Research and Innovation Services, Helena Lähdekorpi (1 h)
– Saana Soppela, presenting REACH program (5 min)
– Markus Ojanen, presenting VACCIM Journal Club (2 min)
– Introducing the Flinga system for Scientific presentations (2 min)

11.50-13.00 – Lunch at Varala restaurant

13.00-14.00 – Scientific presentations at Luentosali 1 & 3 (á 10 min + 3-4 min discussion, schedule below)

14.00-14.15 – Break

14.15-15.00 – Scientific presentations at Luentosali 1 & 3 (á 10 min + 3-4 min discussion, schedule below)

15.00-18.00 – Get together program (sauna & possibility to swim in Pyhäjärvi, snacks, fun etc. Remember to bring your own towel for sauna!)


The organising committee warmly welcomes you!

Martin González Rodriguez (
Minne Jartti (
Arttu Autio-Kimura (
Niila Jouppila (
Leena-Maija Vanha-aho (
Annika Länsivaara (

Concurrent scientific presentations (format: 10 min talks + 3-4 min for Q&A)

Luentosali 1 (Chair: Niila)

13:00 – Vili Lampinen: Norovirus-like particle vaccine platform against self-antigens

13:15 – Sanna-Kaisa Harjula: A forward genetic screen to identify host susceptibility factors for mycobacterial infection in zebrafish

13:30 – Lotta Hiihtola: Optimizing scaffold composition for bioengineering tumor microenvironment

13:45 – Amir-Babak Sioofy-Khojine: Antiviral and drug repurposing models


14:15 – Austin Evans: Harnessing glycosaminoglycan based materials for tumor microenvironment modeling and targeted immunotherapies

14:30 – Anniina Virtanen: JAK-inhibitors in rheumatic diseases

14.45 – Niila Jouppila: High throughput multiplex assays for establishing pathogen-disease linkage in cohort studies

Luentosali 3 (Chair: Martin/Leena-Maija)

13:00 – Susanna Valanne: Drosophila in immunology research: silencing a conserved ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme effete causes blood cell activation in this model

13:15 – Matthew Maasdorp: Immunity, metabolism, and the CNS in Drosophila

13:30 – Leena-Maija Vanha-aho: MMAR_3485 does not form functional amyloid but contributes to cording morphology in Mycobacterium marinum

13:45 – Ilari Mäki-Opas: TRPA1 as a potential factor and drug target in scleroderma: dermal fibrosis and alternative macrophage activation are attenuated in TRPA1-deficient mice in bleomycin-induced experimental model of scleroderma


14:15 – Markus Ojanen: Bacteria-targeting VLP vaccine in prevention of cardiovascular diseases

14:30 – Palina Bruyek: Development of Calixarene-based Surface Imprinted Polymer as a Novel Scavenging Device for Biological Contaminants in Water

14.45 – Leevi Halonen: Transient receptor potential (TRP) channel expression in human osteoarthritic chondrocytes —TRPA1 and TRPM8 as potential drug targets