Sirpa Jalkanen

Director of InFLAMES Flagship
University of Turku
Experienced in leading different scientific communities such as the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, two CoEs, big foundations such as the Finnish Cancer Foundation and being a board member for the biggest pharmaceutical company in Finland. Expertise in Immunology and Drug development recognized by several prestigious awards including EU women innovator prize. Co-founder of 2 stock market listed biotech companies.


The overall goal of the research of the Jalkanen group is to elucidate the mechanisms regulating the traffic of leukocytes and cancer cells in the body. The focus is both on blood and lymphatic vasculature. Harmful leukocyte migration into the joints in rheumatoid arthritis and into the pancreas in diabetes are examples of diseases where leukocytes cause extensive destruction. These inflammatory diseases can be cured by inhibiting leukocyte trafficking. Also metastasising malignant cells often use the same mechanisms as leukocytes when extravasating from blood to different organs or migrating via the lymphatics into distant sites. The results obtained can be utilized when new types of drugs are developed to treat harmful inflammations and cancer. The group utilises the most modern imaging techniques, animal models, molecular and cell biology methods including single cell sequencing and mass cytometry and is intimately collaborating with clinicians.