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Lauri Pulkkinen

I am a structural virologist working in Richard Lundmark’s group. I try to understand how tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) rearranges the membranes of the host cell during infection.



Works at

hus H, Johan Bures väg 12, Biologihuset Umeå universitet, 901 87 Umeå

Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) is a dangerous, emerging pathogen that causes large-scale changes in the host membranes to produce the next generation of virions, yet these processes are poorly understood. As a postdoc in Professor Richard Lundmark lab, I study them by reconstituting the membrane remodelling events using recombinant proteins and artificial lipid models and characterizing them with cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and other advanced structural biology methods. The aim of my work is to understand fundamental biological processes in atomic detail, but also to provide targets for future medical interventions. 

I did my PhD work at the University of Helsinki in Professor Sarah Butcher’s group. I focused on the structural details of the TBEV virion as well as its assembly and maturation processes. We solved the cryo-EM structures of both mature and immature TBEV, and I investigated the role of different lipid species in the very early stages of virion assembly.  

In my free time I enjoy skateboarding, miniature wargames, birdwatching, and comics. 

Research groups

Group member