Short CV/Education and training


  • 1990
    MSc, Department of Cell Biology, University of Jyväskylä, Finland, field: cell biology

  • 2004
    PhD, Medical Faculty, University of Helsinki, Finland, field: developmental biology

  • 2007
    Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Biosciences, University of Helsinki, Finland, field: developmental biology

Training and Positions

  • 1990 – 1991
    Researcher, Department of Cell Biology, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

  • 1992 – 2001
    Researcher, Department of Pathology, Medical Faculty, University of Helsinki, Finland

  • 2001 – 2005
    Researcher, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of California San Diego, CA, USA

  • 2005 – 2006
    Postdoctoral researcher, Medical Faculty, University of Helsinki, Finland

  • 2007 – 2009
    Academy of Finland postdoctoral researcher, Medical Faculty, University Helsinki, Finland

  • 2009 – 2011
    Academy Research Fellow, Medical Faculty, University of Helsinki, Finland

  • Since 2012
    Tenure Track Associate Professor, Medical Faculty, University of Helsinki, Finland, field: cell and developmental biology

Short-term Training Abroad

  • 1994 – 1995
    (2,5 months) Visiting Scientist, EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany

  • 1996 – 1997
    (4 months) ESF short term fellowship, EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany

  • 2006
    (1 month) Visiting Scientist, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA

Selected publications

  • Kuusela S, Wang H, Wasik, AA, Suleiman H, Lehtonen S: Tankyrase inhibition aggravates kidney injury in the absence of CD2AP, Cell Death & Dis 7:e2302. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2016.217, 2016

  • Tolvanen T, Dash SN, Polianskyte-Prause Z, Dumont V, Lehtonen S: Lack of CD2AP disrupts Glut4 trafficking and attenuates glucose uptake in podocytes. J Cell Sci 128: 4588-4600, 2015

  • Saurus P, Kuusela S, Lehtonen E, Hyvönen ME, Ristola M, Fogharty CL, Tienari J, Lassenius MI, Forsblom C, Lehto M, Saleem MA, Groop P-H, Holthöfer H, Lehtonen S: Podocyte apoptosis is prevented by blocking the Toll-like receptor pathway. Cell Death & Dis, 6:e1752. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2015.125, 2015

  • Wasik, AA, Koskelainen, S, Hyvönen, ME, Musante, L, Lehtonen, E, Koskenniemi, K, Tienari, J, Vaheri, A, Kerjaschki, D, Szala, C, Révész, C, Varmanen, P, Nyman, TA, Hamar, P, Holthöfer, H, Lehtonen, S: Ezrin is downregulated in diabetic kidney glomeruli and regulates actin reorganization and glucose uptake via GLUT1 in cultured podocytes. Am J Pathol 184: 1727-1739, 2014

  • Hyvönen, ME, Ihalmo, P, Sandholm, N, Stavarachi, M, Forsblom, C, McKnight, AJ, Lajer, M, Maestroni, A, Lewis, G, Tarnow, L, Maestroni, S, Zerbini, G, Parving, HH, Maxwell, AP, Groop, PH, Lehtonen, S: CD2AP is associated with end stage renal disease in patients with type 1 diabetes. Acta Diabetol 50: 887-897, 2013

  • Wasik, A, Polianskyte-Prause, Z, Dong, M-Q, Shaw, AS, Yates 3rd, J.R., Farquhar, MG, Lehtonen, S: Septin 7 forms a complex with CD2AP and nephrin and regulates glucose transporter trafficking. Mol Biol Cell 17: 3370-3379, 2012

  • Hyvönen, ME, Ihalmo, P, Forsblom, C, Thorn, L, Sandholm, N, Lehtonen, S, Groop, P-H: INPPL1 is associated with the metabolic syndrome in men with Type 1 diabetes, but not with diabetic nephropathy. Diabetic Medicine, 12: 1589-1595, 2012

  • Hyvönen, ME, Saurus, P, Wasik, A, Heikkilä, E, Havana, M, Trokovic, R, Saleem, M, Holthöfer, H, Lehtonen, S: Lipid phosphatase SHIP2 downregulates insulin signalling in podocytes. Mol Cell Endocrinol 328:70-79, 2010

  • Lehtonen S, Ryan JJ, Kudlicka K, Iino N, Zhou H, and Farquhar MG: Cell junction-associated proteins IQGAP1, MAGI-2, CASK, spectrins, and α-actinin are components of the nephrin multiprotein complex. PNAS 102: 9814-9819, 2005

  • Lehtonen S, Zhao F, and Lehtonen E: CD2-associated protein directly interacts with the actin cytoskeleton. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 283: F734-F743, 2002

Complete list of publications

Selected projects

  • ERC-StG project DiaDrug: Insulin resistance and diabetic nephropathy – development of novel in vivo models for drug discovery, 2009 – 2014

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • American Society of Nephrology

  • European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes

  • European Diabetic Nephropathy Study Group

Additional qualifications

Academic Merits, supervision

  • Supervised 5 doctoral theses (Defences between 2010-2016)

  • Supervisor of 4 doctoral students currently

  • Mentored 2 postdoctoral fellows

  • Mentor of 2 postdoctoral fellows currently

Academic Merits other

  • Official opponent of 4 doctoral dissertations

  • Official pre-examiner of 6 doctoral dissertations

  • 2016-2018 Member of the Scientific Committee of Diabetes Research Foundation, Finland

  • 2015, 2016 Reviever for Medical Research Council, UK

  • 2015, 2016 Abstract Reviewer for the American Society of Nephrology Kidney Week

  • 2014 Reviewer for National Science Foundation, USA

  • 2013, 2015 Reviewer for Italian Telethon Foundation

  • 2011 Reviewer for Greek Ministry of Education, Research program 'Thalis

  • Since 2008 Reviewer for Kidney Research UK (8 tasks by now)

  • Since 2015 Editorial Board Member in Scientific Reports

  • Since 2015 Editorial Adviser in Clinical Science


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