Dr. Juha Oskari Saarikangas

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Dr. Juha Oskari Saarikangas
Dr. Juha Oskari Saarikangas

ETH Zurich

Institut für Biochemie

Dr. Juha Oskari Saarikangas

HPM D 11.1

Otto-Stern-Weg 3

8093 Zürich


  • phone +41 44 633 60 98 
  • vcard V-Card (vcf, 1kb)

Juha Saarikangas did his undergraduate studies at the University of Eastern Finland (Joensuu) and University of Jyväskylä (Finland). He obtained his PhD from the University of Helsinki (Finland) under the supervision of Prof. Pekka Lappalainen. During his PhD he investigated the biochemical, cell biological and physiological functions of Inverse-BAR proteins. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow with Prof. Yves Barral at the Institute of Biochemistry, ETH Zurich (Switzerland).

Research synopsis

Coordinated conversion of specific type of proteins into multimerized aggregates allows cells to respond to various environmental cues in an effective manner. Conversely, lack of such coordination may lead to aberrant protein aggregation with detrimental consequences, as evidenced for example by the precence of abnormal aggregates in many human aging-associated disorders.

I am interested in the mechanisms by which cells generate subcellular order through regulated assembly of protein aggregates and utilize this strategy to respond to different environmental cues as well as to abnormal protein misfolding events. At the moment, I am specifically focusing on this process in the context of aging and trying to resolve whether age-induced protein aggregates function as cellular fate determinants. As a model, I use budding yeast and various biochemical, genetic and light microscopic methods.

Awards & Honors

  • 2014 Finnish Cultural Foundation (post doc pool) Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 2014 Faculty of 1000 Prime AFM Travel Grant
  • 2011-2013 FEBS Long-Term Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 2010 Oskar Öflund Foundation. Grant
  • 2010 Finnish Cancer Foundation. Travel Grant
  • 2010 Emil Aaltonen Foundation. Encouragement Award
  • 2009 American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) Travel Award
  • 2007, 2008 University of Helsinki Chancellor's Travel Award
  • 2007-2010 Helsinki Graduate School in Biotechnology and Molecular Biology PhD Fellowship
  • 2006 European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) Travel Grant


  • Associate Faculty Member of Faculty of 1000 (F1000).
  • Member of the Finnish Biological Society Vanamo.
  • Member of the American Association for Cell Biology (ASCB).
  • Member of the European Biochemical Society (FEBS) (Societas Biochemica, Biophysica et Microbiologica Fenniae).


Mertz KD, Pathria G, Wagner G, Saarikangas J, Sboner A, Romanov J, Gschaider M, Lenz F, Neumann F, Schreiner W, Nemethova M, Glassmann A, Lappalainen P, Stingl G, Small JV, Fink D, Chin L, Wagner SN.
MTSS1 is a Metastasis Driver in a Subset of Human Melanomas. Nature Communications. 17: 3465, 2014.

Maddugoda MP, Stefani C, Gonzalez-Rodriguez D*, Saarikangas J*, Torrino S*, Janel S, Prodon F, Doye A, Goossens PL, Lafont F, Bassereau P, Lappalainen P, Brochard F and Lemichez E.
cAMP signaling by anthrax edema toxin induces transendothelial cell tunnels, which are resealed by MIM via Arp2/3-driven actin polymerization. Cell Host and Microbe. 10: 464-74, 2011.

Saarikangas J and Barral Y.
The Emerging Functions of Septins in Metazoans. EMBO Reports. 12: 11188-26, 2011.

Pykalainen A, Boczkowska M, Zhao H, Saarikangas J, Rebowski G, Jansen M, Hakanen J, Koskela E, Peranen J, Vihinen H, Jokitalo E, Salminen M, Ikonen E, Dominguez R, Lappalainen P.
Pinkbar is an epithelial-specific BAR domain protein that generates planar membrane structures. Nature Structural and Molecular Biology. 18: 902-7, 2011.

Saarikangas J*, Mattila P.K*, Varjosalo M, Bovellan M, Hakanen J, Calzada-Wack J, Tost M, Jennen L, Rathkolb B, Hans W, Horsch M, Hyvönen ME, Perälä N, Fuchs H, Gailus-Durner V, Esposito I, Wolf E, Hrabé de Angelis M, Frilander MJ, Savilahti H, Sariola H, Sainio K, Lehtonen S, Taipale J, Salminen M and Lappalainen P.
Missing-in-metastasis MIM/MTSS1 promotes actin assembly at intercellular junctions and is required for integrity of kidney epithelia. Journal of Cell Science 124: 1245-55, 2011.

Saarikangas J, Zhao H and Lappalainen P.
Regulation of the Actin Cytoskeleton-Plasma Membrane Interplay by Phosphoinositides. Physiological Reviews. 90: 259-89, 2010.

Saarikangas J*, Zhao H*, Pykalainen A, Laurinmaki P, Mattila PK, Kinnunen PK, Butcher SJ and Lappalainen P.
Molecular mechanisms of membrane deformation by I-BAR domain proteins. Current Biology. 19: 95-107, 2009.

Saarikangas J, Hakanen J, Mattila PK, Grumet M, Salminen M and Lappalainen P.
ABBA regulates plasma-membrane and actin dynamics to promote radial glia extension. Journal of Cell Science. 121: 1444-1454, 2008.

Mattila PK, Pykalainen A*, Saarikangas J*, Paavilainen VO, Vihinen H, Jokitalo E and Lappalainen P.
Missing-in-metastasis and IRSp53 deform PI(4,5)P2-rich membranes by an inverse BAR domain-like mechanism. Journal of Cell Biology. 176: 7: 953-964, 2007.

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Fri Jun 23 15:40:33 CEST 2017
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