Research Groups and R&D Platforms: Target discovery

R&D Platform:
Screening Unit

The screening unit offers academic researchers and industrial customers a broad range of services for identifying and optimising bioactive molecules for the drug discovery process. These include molecular modelling and in silico screening, development of screening assays and compound library screens, in vitro and in situ hit validation, hit optimisation and SAR analyses. A suite of cell and tissue-based disease models for oncology and neurological diseases are available for further validation of optimised hits or for independent phenotypic screens. High-throughput kinetic assays of changes in morphology or intracellular signalling over time may be integrated into chemical, genetic or optogenetic perturbation screens. A library of reporters in gene-delivery vectors are available for this purpose. The unit also has experience performing screens and toxicological evaluations in small animal models.

Contact details

High-throughput screens, screen-compatible assays, high-throughput microscopy, libraries, optogenetics, cell-based neurological disease models:
michael.courtney[at]utu.fi

3D oncology models, phenotypic screens, high-content screens:
malin.akerfelt[at]utu.fi

Medicinal chemistry, virtual screening and molecular modelling:
olli.pentikainen[at]utu.fi

Assay development, Basic research, Disease models, High throughput imaging, Hit to lead, Lead optimization, Medicinal chemistry, Molecular modelling, R&D Platforms, Screening, Signaling, Target discovery

Research Group:
Cytoskeletal and survival signaling

John Eriksson
john.eriksson[at]abo.fi

Turku Centre for Biotechnology &
Cell Biology, Faculty of Science and Engineering,
Åbo Akademi University

John Eriksson

Cytoskeletal and survival signaling

Atomic-force microscopy, Basic research, Biochemistry, Cancer, Diabetes, Diagnostics, Electron microscopy, High throughput imaging, Imaging, In Vitro Diagnostics, Metabolic diseases, Molecular Biology, Molecular Cell Biology, Nanoparticles, Natural Compounds, Natural products, Physiology, Proteomics, Receptor, Signaling, Super-resolution imaging, Target discovery

R&D Platform:
The Turku Metabolomics Centre

The Turku Metabolomics Centre (TMC) was established in the Fall of 2017, and currently comprises four analytical laboratories on the University of Turku and Åbo Academy campuses, with the primary focus on biomedical and clinical applications. TMC covers a broad range of analytical methods, useful for discovery studies, hypothesis-driven targeted studies as well as clinical applications in Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) setting. The methods include:

1. Targeted quantitative analyses by mass spectrometry (MS) of specific groups of metabolites, e.g. bile acids, endocannabinoids, amino acids, eicosanoids.

2. Global profiling of molecular lipids (lipidomics) and polar metabolites.

3. Diagnostic, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetic applications in Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) setting.

4. Tissue metabolomics by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR).

5. How dietary intake affects blood metabolism.

TMC infrastructure currently includes 7 MS instruments (2 x UHPLC-QTRAP/QqQ-MS, 2 x UHPLC-QqQ-MS, 1 x GC-QqQ-MS, 2 x GC-QMS) and 2 NMR instruments (1 x 600 MHz and 1 x 400 MHz). The 400 MHz spectrometer is equipped with a high resolution magic angle spinning probe for the detection of metabolites in tissue and cell samples without the need for extensive sample preparation. The 600MHz instrument is equipped with a cooled sample handling robot with space for 300 samples allowing high throughput liquid NMR studies. Two new MS instruments also being purchased this year.

Metabolomics

Basic research, Bioinformatics, Diagnostics, In Vitro Diagnostics, Machine learning, Metabolomics, NMR, Pattern recognition, R&D Platforms, Systems Biology, Target discovery

Research Group:
Molecular mechanisms of diseases

Ulla Pentikäinen
ulla.pentikainen[at]utu.fi

Institute of Biomedicine,
University of Turku

UP Lab

Basic research, Bioinformatics, Biomedicine, Biomolecular chemistry, Cancer, Cardiovascular diseases, Developmental disorders, Medicinal chemistry, Molecular modelling, NMR, Structural Biology, Target discovery, X-ray crystallography

Research Group:
Structural bioinformatics for drug discovery and development

Mark S. Johnson
finmark54 at icloud dot com

Biochemistry,
Åbo Akademi University

Mark S. Johnson

Structural Bioinformatics Laboratory

Ageing-related diseases, Autoimmune diseases, Basic research, Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, Biomolecular chemistry, Biopharmaceuticals, Biotechnology, Cancer, Chemical Physics, Computer Science, Diabetes, Drug target, Hit to lead, Inflammation, Inherited diseases, Lead optimization, Lung cancer, Medicinal chemistry, Metabolic diseases, Molecular modelling, Musculoskeletal disorders, Nucleic acids, Organic compounds, Pattern recognition, Personalized medicine, Physico-chemical properties, Preclinical development, Receptor, Signaling, Structural Biology, Surface area, Target discovery, X-ray crystallography

Research Group:
Leukocyte traffic and the immune response

Marko Salmi
marko.salmi[at]utu.fi

Institute of Biomedicine
University of Turku

http://www.utu.fi/en/units/med/units/genetics/research/Sivut/salmi.aspx

Autoimmune diseases, Basic research, Biomarker, Biomedicine, Cancer, Cardiovascular diseases, Imaging, Immunology, Inflammation, Next-generation sequencing, Receptor, Screening, Target discovery