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Tomi´s group investigates the therapeutic potential and underlying neurobiological mechanisms of sedatives and anesthetics, particularly volatile and gaseous, against nervous system disorders associated with compromised neuronal plasticity.
Samuel is focused on the neuropharmacology of rapid acting antidepressant drugs, shared neurobiological mechanisms, neurotrophic signaling pathways, and protein phosphorylation
PhD Student, Pharmacist
Effects of rapid-acting antidepressants on metabolic and circadian regulation, signaling pathways of rapid-acting antidepressants, psychedelic therapy.
Iina focuses on investigating the antidepressant actions, utilizing electrophysiological, biochemical and behavioral experiments in vivo, as well as in vitro and computational methods.
Professor of Pharmacology
Dr. Tomi Rantamäki has master´s degree in pharmacy (2003, University of Eastern Finland), a PhD degree in pharmacology and neuroscience (2006, University of Helsinki, Finland) and a docentship (Adjunct Professor) in neuropharmacology (2011, University of Helsinki). In 2014 he received the Fellowship grant from the Academy of Finland and with this grant he was able to establish his research group to the University of Helsinki. Tomi´s group investigates the therapeutic potential and underlying neurobiological mechanisms of sedatives and anesthetics, particularly volatile and gaseous, against nervous system disorders associated with compromised neuronal plasticity. Main focus is in discovering novel rapid-acting treatment concepts for depression. Tomi has >30 peer-review publications (H-index 17; >1200 citations) in scientific journals including Neuropsychopharmacology, Journal of Neuroscience, Neurobiology of Disease and Developmental Neurobiology. He is a Member of Council in the Brain Research Society Finland (BRSF) and a member in the following societies: BRSF, Federation of European Neuroscience Communities (FENS), Society for Neuroscience (SfN), Finnish Pharmaceutical Association and Finnish Pharmacological Society. He has been a reviewer in >20 journals including Neuropharmacology, Scientific Reports and International Journal of Neuropharmacology. Tomi has been 2 times a PhD thesis opponent, 3 times a docentship reviewer, 7 times a PhD thesis reviewer and has supervised 4 PhD students.
PhD, postdoctoral researcher, pharmacist
Samuel Kohtala has a PhD (pharm.) in neuropharmacology. He focuses on studying the neuropharmacological effects of rapid acting antidepressant drugs. He is especially looking at pathways related to neurotrophic signaling and investigating putative novel rapid-acting treatments of depression, especially ketamine, nitrous oxide and psilocybin. Samuel also actively participates in scientific outreach activities, where he takes advantage of his previous artistic endeavors in news writing, editing, graphic design and audiovisual production.
Okko has a master’s degree in pharmacy (2017, University of Eastern Finland) and a vocational degree in pharmaceutical marketing communications (2016, Institute of Marketing). Okko has previously worked at University of Eastern Finland, Charles River Laboratories, and A.I. Virtanen Institute. His research is focused on the effects of rapid-acting antidepressants on metabolic and circadian regulation. In addition, Okko is studying the signaling pathways mediating the effects of antidepressant drugs and pharmacotherapy using psychedelics. Okko has extensive background in arts and IT, so his work at laboratory also involves graphic design and website administration.
In my PhD project, supervised by Tomi Rantamäki, Tuomas Lilius, and Samuel Kohtala, I study the effects and mechanism of action of ketamine and nitrous oxide. Besides being anesthetic agents, these drugs have been shown to have rapid antidepressant effects in depressed patients. I am focusing on investigating the antidepressant actions, utilizing electrophysiological, biochemical and behavioral experiments in vivo, as well as in vitro methods. In addition, I make use of computational methods to study the effects of the compounds at molecular level, potentially paving way to find new molecules with antidepressant potential.