Our Group

Prof. Pasi Virta, Group Leader

Pasi Virta became professor of Organic Chemistry at Department of Chemistry, University of Turku 1.9.2016.

Main interests: Synthesis of biomolecular conjugates (oligonucleotides, carbohydrates and peptides), Transitions of higher order secondary structures of oligonucleotides, Biodistribution studies on olimeric biomolecules, DNA-templated ligation, Chemical modification of rare nucleosides.





Ass. Prof. Tuomas Lönnberg

Tuomas Lönnberg was appointed Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry, University of Turku in Oct 2016.

Main research interests: Synthesis and properties of oligonucleotides incorporating organometallic  nucleobase surrogates, Metal mediated base pairing, Mechanisms of biologically relevant phosphate-transfer reactions.





Dr. Jianwei Li, Independent Group leader of Molecular Systems Engineering

Dr. Jianwei Li  started his independent career funded by Turku Collegium for Science and Medicine (TCSM) as a senior researcher at Department of Chemistry, University of Turku. In the following years, he will be leading a group to play the interface between systems chemistry and other emerging fields such as materials chemistry, enzymology and biology. For more details, please refer to our independent group page www.li-chemlab.com




Senior lecturer, Dr. Satu mikkola

Satu Mikkola has been working as a senior lecturer in organic chemistry since 2001. She is also currently appointed as the deputy head of the Department of Chemistry being in charge of teaching matters.

Main interests: Dr. Mikkola has long worked on mechanisms and kinetics of hydrolytic reactions of RNA, related phosphodiesters and other biological phosphates, such as dinucleoside oligophosphates and sugar nucleotides.




Senior lecturer, Dr. Mikko Ora

Mikko Ora has worked as Senior lecturer at Department of Chemistry, University of Turku since 2006.

Main interests: Prodrug strategies of nucleotides and biologically active phosphate esters as goal to develop the degradable lipophilic carriers, the protecting groups, which are used to improve the cellular membrane penetration. The kinetic studies of the prodrugs to obtain mechanistic information on the chemical hydrolysis and enzymatic cleavage of the protecting groups. Syntheses of structurally modified nucleoside analogues.



Senior lecturer, Dr. Heidi Korhonen

Heidi Korhonen has worked as a University lecturer at the Department of Chemistry, University of Turku since autumn 2006. Currently she is working as a Senior lecturer.

Main interests: Mechanistic studies, including metal-ion catalyzed reactions, of RNA phosphodiester bond and other biologically active phosphate esters. Nucleoside phosphorylation. Enzyme-free, DNA-templated ligation reactions.




University lecturer, Dr. Tuomas Karskela

Tuomas Karskela has worked in various positions at the Department of Chemistry, University of Turku since spring 2000. Currently he is working as a University lecturer.

Main interests: Prebiotic formation of peptides, solid phase synthesis and peptide chemistry.




Researcher, Dr. Sajal Maity

Sajal Maity has been working as postdoctoral researcher in Bio-organic group at the Department of Chemistry, University of Turku, since December 2014. Presently he is working on the synthesis of metal incorporated oligonucleotides and studying the physicochemical properties of such oligonucleotides.

Main research interests: Synthesis and properties of oligonucleotides incorporating palladated nucleobase surrogates, Synthesis of carbohydrate conjugates.



Researcher, Dr. Yu Cao

Yu Cao, exploring biomaterials emerging from Dynamic Combinatorial Libraries (DCC), has been working as a postdoctoral fellow in Bio-organic group at the department of chemistry, University of Turku since May 2017.

Main interests: design and synthesis of different building blocks and templates for DCC system, and its application in biology, such as drug delivery and bionics.




PhD students

Ms. Marika Karskela, MSc

Mr. Vyacheslav Kungurtsev, MSc

Ms. Lotta Granqvist, MSc

Mr. Ville Tähtinen, MSc

Mr. Petja Rosenqvist, MSc

Mr. Chunfeng Chen

Ms. Madhuri Hande

Mr. Dattatraya Ukale

Mr. Asmo Aro-Heinilä