After completing my Master's degree in 2006 at Tampere University in Finland, I was working as a lab manager in Dr. Renee Reijo Pera's lab at University of California, San Francisco (2006-2007) and at Stanford University (2007-2010). I started my PhD research in late 2009 at Reijo Pera lab, and then continued the work in Dr. Shinya Yamanaka's lab at Kyoto University, Japan (2010-2012), and finished the work in Dr. Outi Hovatta's lab at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden (2012-2015). Currently, I am working as a post doc in Dr. Fredrik Lanner’s lab at Karolinska Institutet.
MSc, University of Tampere, Finland, 2006. PhD, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, 2015
During the first week of fertilization, the human embryo grows from a single cell into a blastocyst, comprising from three distinct cell types: epiblast, primitive endoderm and trophectoderm. As development progresses, the blastocyst attaches to the wall of the uterus (implantation) and primitive endoderm and trophectoderm give rise to the yolk sac and placenta, while epiblast forms the embryonic tissue. For a limited period from fertilization to a few days after implantation the epiblast cells are pluripotent; they can differentiate to all cell types of the body. Despite the similar differentiation potential, preimplantation epiblast and postimplantation epiblast are in two different states of pluripotency: naïve state and primed state, respectively. Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are an in vitro model for pluripotency and they can be maintained in naïve state and in primed state. The naïve state hESCs are more similar with preimplantation epiblast in the embryo, but it is still unclear how similar the primed state hESCs are with the postimplantation epiblast cells due to inaccessibility of early implanted human embryos. However, recently an in vitro system to culture human embryos through implantation stages was established, making the previously unknown development period accessible for research. I am studying the naïve and primed pluripotency in human preimplantation embryos and in vitro postimplantation embryos, as well as in naïve and primed hESCs using single cell RNA-sequencing, protein expression analysis and X chromosome inactivation analysis.