Advisory Board

Professor Pekka Katajisto

Pekka Katajisto, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Aging Biology, Group Leader in the Katajisto Lab, and Director of the MetaStem Centre of Excellence at the University of Helsinki. He is also Assistant Professor at the Karolinska Institute.

The Katajisto Lab works on the research of Stem Cells and Aging. Their goal is to understand why stem cell activity deteriorates with age and to develop stem cell-based strategies targeting aging-related diseases and ailments.

Currently, his laboratory focuses on the role of niche-stem cell interaction and asymmetric cell division in aging. His discoveries include how the intestinal stem cell niche couples organismal nutrient status to the stem cell function, how alterations in nutrient sensing can result in the secretion of novel aging factors, and how stem cells can segregate their organelles age-selectively during cell division.

At MetaStem, the Academy of Finland-funded Centre of Excellence in Stem Cell Metabolism, they combine expertise on stem cells, nutrient sensing, and mitochondrial biology to address how stem cell function can be modified through the regulation of their metabolism. They aim to target tissue repair with metabolic tools, and to develop cellular therapy strategies for diabetes. MetaStem was established in 2018 and has over 80 researchers in four research groups at the University of Helsinki.

Pekka has been at the Karolinska Institute since 2015. He leads his Pekka Katajisto Group on Tissue Stem Cells and Aging. They focus on Asymmetric Segregation of Organelles during stem cell division, Cellular Metabolism and cell fate, and the Impact of the Stem Cell niche on Aging.

Read Stem cells. Asymmetric apportioning of aged mitochondria between daughter cells is required for stemness, Notum produced by Paneth cells attenuates regeneration of aged intestinal epithelium, and mTORC1 in the Paneth cell niche couples intestinal stem-cell function to calorie intake.

Pekka earned his Ph.D. in 2009 from the University of Helsinki and conducted postdoctoral research at MIT’s Whitehead Institute on cell-cell interactions in the context of stem cells and their surrounding niche.

He is an ERC awardee, a member of the European Network for Breast Development and Cancer, member of the Pennsylvania Cancer and Regenerative Medicine Research Center, and a regular speaker at Conferences and Symposiums on Stem Cell research and Aging including Cell Symposia Multifaceted Mitochondria, Weill Cornell Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, King’s College London, and at the Institute de Genomique Fonctionnelle de Lyon.

Read Rapamycin-induced insulin resistance is mediated by mTORC2 loss and uncoupled from longevity and Alanine Catabolism of Paneth Cells Maintains Intestinal Stem Cell Function During Dietary Restriction.

Read Fruit fly gene can help us to combat disease and ageing and Levels of Cell Fate Regulation.

Listen to “Stem Cells and Aging” Featuring Dr. Pekka Katajisto at The Stem Cell Podcast.

Visit his LinkedIn profile, Work page, Google Scholar page, ResearchGate page, and his lab’s Twitter. Follow him on AD Science Index, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Science News.