Liesi, M.D., Ph.D.
Päivi Liesi, M.D., Ph.D., is the lab leader in the Department of
Biological and Environmental Sciences (Physiology) at the University
Dr. Liesi is one of the world’s leading researchers in the fields
of neuronal migration, axon growth and nervous tissue regeneration. Her
pioneering studies in early 1980’s were the first to demonstrate
a role for the extracellular matrix protein laminin in the development
and regeneration of the central nervous system. She has systematically
continued pursuing this field, resulting in the discovery of the KDI tri-peptide
that may be used therapeutically. Her studies on the role of the KDI tri-peptide
and gamma1 laminin have always been in the forefront of research and have
greatly enhanced understanding of the vital importance of laminin and additional
matrix molecules for central nervous system development and repair.
Dr. Liesi has attracted considerable international research funding
for these studies, and has a high personal citation index. She has
authored or co-authored more than 60 papers, received several awards
and honors for her research, and lectured at scientific congresses
nationally and internationally. Dr. Liesi is a member of many professional
societies, including the American Society for Neuroscience.
Dr. Liesi earned her medical degree and Ph.D. at the University of
Helsinki, Finland. Subsequently, she earned a docentship in cell
biology also at the University of Helsinki. After earning her Ph.D.,
Dr. Liesi was awarded a two-year EMBO (European Molecular Biology
Organization) fellowship and she worked as a post-doctoral fellow
at the National Institute for Medical Research in London, U.K. She
returned to Finland in 1988 and has been a lab leader since. From
1993 to 1998, she worked at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
as a visiting scientist. In 1998, she moved back to Finland and has
headed the Brain Laboratory at the University of Helsinki since then.