Vilma Väänänen

Master of Science

Vilma Väänänen -at-

I joined the lab in 2016 to complete my Bachelor`s thesis and eventually graduated M.Sc. in 2018 with a project concerning X-ray microtomography imaging of gene expression. I am currently working towards PhD in University of Helsinki Doctoral School of Integrative Life Sciences. My research interests lie in the developmental dynamics of mineralizing tissues and how they obtain their functional shape. Mammalian molar is a well-studied model for early organ patterning and growth, processes that take place in soft tissue. Simultaneously, the diversity and evolution of complex tooth shapes is realized in mineralized teeth. What fascinates me is what happens to the three-dimensional shape of a mammalian molar as it undergoes transition from the roughly patterned soft tissue to elaborate, fine-tuned and beautiful mineralized structure through growth, tissue differentiation and mineralized matrix secretion. To characterize the effects of these events to the cusp shape of mammalian molars, I use conventional wet lab methods such as ex vivo tissue culture and transcriptomics. I also aim to develop expertise in biological 3D X-ray imaging and data analysis.