People at BiHy
Professor Mauri Kostiainen
Erasmus, 2003-2004, Supramolecules
(University of York)
MSc, 2005, Organic Chemistry
(University of Helsinki)
PhD, 2008, Technical Physics
(Helsinki University of Technology)
PostDoc, 2008-2010, Physical Virology
(Radboud University Nijmegen, NL)
Research Associate, 2011-2013
Applied Physics (Aalto)
Assistant Professor, 2013-2016
Biohybrid Materials (Aalto)
Associate Professor (Tenured), 2016-2020
Biohybrid Materials (Aalto)
Full Professor, 2020-
Biohybrid Materials (Aalto)
Biohybrid Materials Group
Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Aalto University, Kemistintie 1
FI-02150 Espoo, Finland
Current Group Members: Research Associates
Dr. Eduardo Anaya
Eduardo Anaya-Plaza received his PhD in 2016 from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (Spain), under the supervision of Prof. Torres and Dr de la Escosura, focusing on the synthesis and characterization of water-soluble phthalocyanines and their application in nanomedicine and photovoltaics. In 2016 he moved to the University of Birmingham (UK) joining Prof. Paula Mendes’ group. In February 2018 he moves to Aalto University (Finland) with a MSCA Individual Fellowship (BiHyOMat, project number 794536). Eduardo is currently working as an Academy Research Fellow and heading the Photoactive Organic Materials group. His research interests lie at the interface of chemistry, biology, and physics, working on the synthesis and conjugation of organic chromophores with biological scaffolds such as proteins, DNA origami, and cellulose derivatives, in order to develop biohybrids with optoelectronic properties.
Current Group Members: PostDocs
Dr. Katja Heise (together with prof. E. Kontturi)
I have a strong background in chemically modifying and characterizing biopolymers and I am very much interested in structure-property-relationships resulting from tailored modifications of these fascinating materials. My PhD thesis (completed in 2017 at the Institute of Plant and Wood Chemistry, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany) was carried out in collaboration with BASF SE focusing on the synthesis of lignocellulose-based hydrogels for soil applications. I joined Aalto in November 2017 as a shared postdoctoral researcher (together with the group of Prof. E. Kontturi). My current work lies at the interface between nanocellulose modification, organic synthesis, and polymer sciences, using cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) or nanofibers (CNF) as modification templates.
Dr. Sandra Kaabel
I completed my PhD in 2019 at Tallinn University of Technology under the supervision of Prof. Riina Aav and Prof. Kari Rissanen (University of Jyväskylä) and focused on the supramolecular chemistry and templated solvent-free synthesis of cucurbituril-type macrocyclic molecules. After finishing my PhD, I worked with Prof. Karine Auclair and Prof. Tomislav Friščić as a postdoctoral researcher at McGill University, developing mechanoenzymatic reactions for the degradation of plastics. I joined the BiHy group in June 2021 as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action Individual Fellow to study the isolation and modification of nanomaterials from biomass using efficient and environment-friendly mechanochemical methods (ENBIOMECH, project number 101027061).
In my spare time I enjoy creating scientific illustrations, running, and cross-country skiing.
I finished my Ph.D. training at the University of Groningen and RWTH Aachen University in 2021 with Prof. Andreas Herrman. During that, I focused on using mechanical force to control protein activity and developing protein-based optical force sensors. Afterward, I moved to Aalto University as a postdoc in Prof. Mauri Kostiainen's group. The goal of my research is to find an elegant way to combine the protein cages and the other synthetic materials for novel catalysis applications.
Swarnalok De (together with prof. J. Vapaavuori)
I did my PhD on plant virology as a student of the Doctoral Programme in Plant Sciences (DPPS) at the University of Helsinki in 2014-2019 (Plant-Virus Interactions group). The major focus of my doctoral research was to understand the molecular mechanisms behind different roles potyviral silencing suppressor HCPro plays during PVA infection cycle."
In 2020, I received a one-year postdoctoral grant from The Ella and Georg Ehrnrooth Foundation and joined the 'Multifunctional Materials Design' research group at Aalto University to study material science aspects of potato virus A nanoparticles. I joined the BiHy group in 2022.
My current research activities focus on producing functional nano-structures with potato virus A particles via various self-assembly techniques (virus nanotechnology).
Current Group Members: PhD Students
I received my M.Sc. degree in Biosystems and Biomaterials Engineering from Aalto University in 2018. As a part of my master, I spent the academic year 2014-2015 as an Erasmus exchange student at Graz University of Technology (Austria) studying Pharmaceutical Engineering. I joined the Biohybrid Materials group in 2017 as a master thesis student and I am currently a PhD student in the group. My research interests lie at the interface of biology, material sciences and physics, and include DNA nanotechnology and self-assembly. In my research, I study how electrostatic self-assembly guided by DNA origami structures can be used to construct novel, highly ordered biohybrid structures.
I graduated from the master’s programme in chemical, biochemical and materials engineering with a major in functional materials and minor studies in sustainable metals processing. I have a keen interest in all things materials related and I am now working on my doctoral studies in a materials science oriented application of DNA nanostructures. The aim of my work is to further expand on a newly developed DNA-assisted lithography (DALI) technique, where we combine the high accuracy and addressability of DNA origami with traditional lithography methods.
I am working as a Ph.D. candidate in the group since August 2019. My research focuses on developing novel biohybrids based on DNA origami and protein cages for nanomedicine and water remediation purpose. Before joining the group, I was associated with Biohybrid material group in 2018 as a research assistant and later on, continued my master thesis on DNA nanostructures interaction with Zinc Phthalocyanine. I did my master’s degree in Life Sciences Technologies (Major: Biosystems and Biomaterials Engineering) from Aalto University, Finland.
When not lost in the lab, I enjoy watching cricket, listening Sufi music and hiking.
I obtained my master degree at University of Vienna and the Vienna University of Technology in Chemistry and Materials Technology, where I developed my interest in materials. In the master study, I specialized on materials synthesis and characterization, predominantly in functional solid-state materials.
I joined the BiHy group in the middle of May 2020 and started working on my PhD project, which is about developing new biohybrid materials on synthesizing and characterizing DNAzymes.
I am part of the BiHy group since summer 2020 in order to conduct my doctoral studies, after completing my M.Sc. studies in Nanobiotechnology at Aalborg University (Denmark) and B.Sc. studies in Innsbruck (Austria). I am very much interested in research conducted at the interface of physics, chemistry and biology including the functionalization of DNA nanostructures and self-assembly, for example sensing using DNA and DNA cages for drug delivery. I will be working on engineering of DNAzymes and the encapsulation of DNA origami structures for efficient delivery.
Alba Sanz Velasco
I finished my Bachelor´s Degree in chemistry at the University of Zaragoza (Spain). Being already aware of my interest in R&D, I studied a Master´s Degree in Applied Research in Chemical and Paharmaceutical Industry (Barcelona, Spain). Then, having received a fellowship in Medical Chemistry on IQM-CSIC (Spain) I moved to Madrid. At the same time, I started a Master´s Degree at UNED (Spain) focused on the synthesis of photoswitchable compounds for ACh receptors. I joined BiHy group in November 2021 to start a PhD project based on the encapsulation of highly-emitting fluorophores within protein cages.
I received my MSc degree in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials engineering from Aalto University in 2022, with a major in Fibre and Polymer Engineering and minor studies centred mostly on nanomaterials and surface science. I carried out my master’s thesis work in Orlando Rojas’ group Biobased Colloids and Materials, where I also worked as a research assistant afterwards. I also have background in biochemistry from my BSC degree at KU Leuven (Belgium) and work as research assistant at VTT.
As of 2022, I am part of the Biohybrid Materials group as a doctoral researcher, funded by the LIBER (Life Inspired Hybrid Materials) Centre of Excellence.
I studied in the Life Science Technology Master’s programme in Aalto University with Biosystems and Biomaterials engineering as my major. I’ve also completed my BSc in Bioinformation technology in Aalto with chemistry as my minor. I first joined the BiHy group in May 2021 as a summer intern, and now I’m doing my PhD thesis about encapsulating RNA/DNA hybrid origamis.
Current Group Members: Master Students
I completed my BSc degree at Aalto University in Bioinformation Technology and minored in bioproducts. I proceeded to continue my studies at Aalto in Biosystems and Biomaterials Engineering under Life Science Technologies program and joined the Biohybrid Materials group as a master’s thesis student. I will be working on developing self-sterilizing and biodegradable materials. My interests lie in combining chemistry and biology with material science to create sustainable solutions.
Current Group Members: Trainees
Dr. Veikko Linko
Dr. Veikko Linko is a Research Fellow who holds two Docentships; one in Chemical Engineering (field: Bionanotechnology) at the Aalto University and another in Physics (field: Molecular Nanotechnology) at the University of Jyväskylä. His research interests include DNA nanotechnology, self-assembled and biohybrid materials, drug-delivery applications, nanolithography, molecular electronics and plasmonics. (homepage)
Alumni (continued to):
- Dr. Veikko Linko (Associate Professor at University of Tartu)
- M.Sc. Anniina Savolainen (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland)
- M.Sc. Olajide Ogunyemi (continues studies at Aalto University)
- M.Sc. Aya Kähäri (continues studies at Aalto University)
- M.Sc. Nashwa Atallah (continues PhD studies at Aalto University)
- Dr. Heini Ijäs (Technical University of Munich)
- Dr. Qing Liu (Research Leader at UCAS Wenzhou, China)
- Dr. Kalle Lintinen (LignoSphere Company and Aalto University)
- Dr. Sami Nummelin
- Ojasalo Sofia (continues studies at Aalto University)
- Saarinen Sharon (continues studies at Aalto University)
- Hart Emily (continues studies at Aalto University)
- Stubb Henrik (continues studies at Aalto University)
- Kyllönen Daniella (continues studies at Aalto University)
- Dr. Boxuan Shen (Karolinska Institute)
- Dr. Antti Korpi (The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI))
- M.Sc. Alexander Fusi (Eindhoven University of Technology)
- M.Sc. Henri Sydänmaanlakka (Tekmala Oy)
- Dr. Salla Välimäki (Tikkurila)
- Inka Lehtonen (continues studies at Aalto University)
- Mikko Korkiakoski (continues studies at Aalto University)
- M.Sc. Ahmed (continues as a doctoral candidate)
- M.Sc. Taofik Araba
- M.Sc. Ekaterina Sakarinen (Microsoft)
- M.Sc. Iiris Hakaste (Boston Scientific)
- Dr. Apeksha Damania (Guidehouse)
- Henri Sydänmaanlakka (continues studies at Aalto University)
- Dandan Hou (continues studies at Aalto University)
- Aykut Bilir (continues studies at Hacettepe University)
- Piotr Skumial (The University of Texas at Austin)
- Dr. Ari Ora (continues teaching at Aalto University)
- Dr. Ville Liljeström (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
- Lotta Gustavsson (Stockholm University)
- M.Sc. Alisa Kopilow (StatFinn)
- Ekaterina Sakarinen (Helmholtz Institute, Berlin)
- M.Sc. Markus Ronkainen
- M.Sc. Sanna Luiro (DuPont)
- M.Sc. Henni Auvinen (Biolin Scientific)
- M.Sc. Juhana Kommeri (Qvik)
- Maria Heilala (continues studies at University of Helsinki)
- Dr. Joona Mikkilä (University of Helsinki)
- M.Sc. Faizan Asad (ThirdEye)
- M.Sc. Erika Järvihaavisto (Oy Fision Ltd.)
- M.Sc. Jenny Kiviaho (Metropolia, University of Applied Sciences)
- Lotta Gustavsson (continues studies at University of Helsinki)
- Laura Aarnos (continues studies at Aalto / Nanyang Technological University, Signapore)
- M.Sc. Eduardo Anaya (visited from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
- Dr. Salla Välimäki (Aalto university, School of Chemical Technology)
- Lic.Sc. (Tech.) Pegah Khanjani (Aalto university, School of Chemical Technology)
- M.Sc. Marika Eerikäinen (Murata Electronics)
- M.Sc. Ville Lovikka (Aalto university, School of Chemical Technology)
- M.Sc. Sari Tähkä (University of Helsinki, Faculty of Pharmacy)