Frilander Group

Mikko Frilander, PhD
Participating group members:
Ph.D. studs Elina Niemelä, Jouni Kvist, Ali Oghabian, Janne Turunen and Jens Verbeeren, Post doc. Bhupendra Verma
Address etc.:
Program in Genome Biology, Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki PL56 (Viikinkaari 9) 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland. email: Mikko.Frilander@Helsinki.Fi

Profile of the group:

M. Frilander is group leader at the Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki since 2000. His group is a member of an Academy of Finland Center of Excellence and Biocentrum Helsinki, which consists of the top molecular biology laboratories in the Helsinki region. He is also a vice-chair of the genetics and genomics program at the University of Helsinki Viikki Biocenter. He has organized advanced teaching curricula concentrating on eukaryotic mRNA processing and other aspects of eukaryotic gene expression regulation. The focus of the group is on the non-coding snRNAs and associated protein components functioning in splicing of U12-type introns. His lab studies RNA-RNA and RNA-protein interactions in this molecular machinery, and recently described an ancient feedback regulatory system conserved from plants to humans that uses U11 snRNP to direct alternative splicing decisions. The group has also been developing genetic tools to study gene expression regulation in various non-model organisms like Glanville Fritillary, and more recently he has started to work on the ncRNA transcriptome in Daphnia species, that are used as environmental indicator species. The group has a strong international reputation in the field of splicing. This status is reflected in several high profile publications and assignments as reviewer for numerous publications and grants. The lab has a strong external funding base from the Academy of Finland, EUROCORES program, and domestic foundations.


  • Verbeeren, J., Niemelä, E.H., Turunen, J.J., Will, C.L., Ravantti, J.J., Lührmann, R., and Frilander, M.J. (2010). An ancient mechanism for splicing control: U11 snRNP as an activator of alternative splicing. Mol Cell 37, 821-833
  • Pessa, H.K.J., Greco, D., Kvist, J., Wahlström, G., Heino, T.I., Auvinen, P., and Frilander, M.J. (2010). Gene Expression Profiling of U12-Type Spliceosome Mutant Drosophila Reveals Widespread Changes in Metabolic Pathways. PLoS ONE 5, e13215.
  • Frilander, M.J., and Steitz, J.A. (2001). Dynamic Exchanges of RNA Interactions Leading to Catalytic Core Formation in the U12-Dependent Spliceosome. Mol Cell 7, 217-226.