Short CV/Education and training

Current positions

  • Since 1998
    Professor of Neurobiology, UEF, Finland

  • Since 2015
    Director, UEF Program in Neurosciences

  • 2014 – 2018
    Academy Professor, Medical Research Council, Academy of Finland

Previous work experience

  • 1984 – 1986
    Neurology resident, National Vaajasalo Epilepsy Center, Kuopio, Finland

  • 1987 – 1989
    Research Assistant, Medical Council, Academy of Finland

  • 1989 – 1992
    Junior Research Fellow, Medical Council, Academy of Finland

  • 1992 – 1993
    Research Scientist, University of Kuopio

  • 1993 – 1994
    Senior Research Scientist, Medical Council, Academy of Finland

  • 1994 – 1995
    Acting Professor in Neurosciences, A.I. Virtanen Institute, Univ. of Kuopio

  • 1995 – 1998
    Research Director (neuroanatomy), A.I. Virtanen Institute, Univ. Kuopio

  • 1995 – 2000
    Senior Research Fellow, Medical Council, Academy of Finland

  • 2000 – 2001
    Senior Research Scientist, Medical Council, Academy of Finland

  • 2004 – 2005
    Senior Research Scientist, Medical Council, Academy of Finland

Education and degrees awarded

  • 1988
    Docent of Neurobiology, 1988, University of Kuopio, Finland

  • 1984
    MD, University of Kuopio, Finland

  • 1987
    M.Sc. in biochemistry, University of Kuopio, Finland

  • 1987
    Ph.D. in medicine, University of Kuopio, Finland

  • 1989
    Ph.D. in biochemistry, University of Kuopio, Finland

Selected publications

  • Lukasiuk K, Kontula L, Pitkänen A. cDNA profiling of epileptogenesis in the rat brain. Eur J Neurosci 2003:17(2):271-9.

  • Pirttilä TJ, Manninen A, Jutila L, Nissinen J, Kälviäinen R, Vapalahti M, Immonen A, Paljärvi L, Karkola K, Alafuzoff I, Mervaala E, Pitkänen A. Increased expression of cystatin c in the dentate gyrus is associated with granule cell dispersion in experimental and human temporal lobe epilepsy. Ann Neurol 2005: 58(2):211-23

  • Kharatishvili I, Immonen R, Gröhn O, Pitkänen A. Quantitative diffusion MRI of the hippocampus as a surrogate marker for posttraumatic epileptogenesis. Brain 2007: 130 (Pt12):3155-68.

  • Minkeviciene R, Dobszay MB, Rheims S, Zilberter M, Hartikainen J, Fülöp L, Penke B, Harkany T, Zilberter Y, Pitkänen A, Tanila H. Fibrillar β-amyloid -induced hyperexcitability of cortical and pyramidal cells triggers progressive epilepsy. J Neurosci 2009:29(11):3453-62.

  • Pitkänen A, Lukasiuk K. Mechanisms of epileptogenesis and potential treatment targets. The Lancet Neurology 2011:10(2):173-86.

  • Ndode-Ekane XE, Pitkänen A. Urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor modulates epileptogenesis in mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy. Mocelular Neurosci 2013:47(3):914-37.

  • Miszczuk D, Dębski KJ, Tanila H, Lukasiuk K, Pitkänen A. Traumatic Brain Injury Increases the Expression of Nos1, Aβ Clearance, and Epileptogenesis in APP/PS1 Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease. Mol Neurobiol 2016:53(10):7010-7027.

  • Dębski KJ, Pitkänen A, Puhakka N, Bot AM, Khurana I, Harikrishnan KN, Ziemann M, Kaspi A, El-Osta A, Lukasiuk K, Kobow K. Etiology matters – Genomic DNA Methylation Patterns in Three Rat Models of Acquired Epilepsy. Sci Rep 2016:6:25668.

  • Lipponen A, Paananen J, Puhakka N, Pitkänen A. Analysis of Post-Traumatic Brain Injury Gene Expression Signature Reveals Tubulins, Nfe2l2, Nfkb, Cd44, and S100a4 as Treatment Targets. Sci Rep 2016:6:31570.

  • Pitkänen A, Löscher W, Vezzani A, Becker AJ, Simonato M, Lukasiuk K, Gröhn O, Bankstahl JP, Friedman A, Aronica E, Gorter JA, Ravizza T, Sisodiya S, Kokaia M, Beck H. Biomarkers in epilepsy, The Lancet Neurology 2016:15(8):843-56

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

Membership in international expert groups

  • ERC StG; Chair L5 in 2017, 2015 – 2017

  • ERA-Net Russia, 2014

  • Member of the Advisory Board: FP7 Theme I: Health, 2008 – 2011

  • NINDS Workshops 7 times, 2001 – 2010

Positions as editor-in-chief or member of editorial boards of scientific journals

  • Epilepsia Open, 2016 – 2017

  • Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis, since 2012

  • Epilepsy Research: Co-Editor-in Chief, 2006 – 2012, and Member of Editorial Board, since 2012

  • Neuroscience (Systems Neurosciences, Section Editor), 2005 – 2011

  • Folia Morphologica, Member of Editorial Board, 2008 – 2013

  • Reviews of Recent Clinical Trials

  • Book series in "Progress in Epileptic Disorders", Member of International Advisory Board since 2008

  • Journal of Comparative Neurology, Member of Editorial Board, 2005 – 2009

  • Epilepsia, Member of Editorial Board, 2002 – 2005


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  1. $21 million NIH grant awarded to epilepsy research consortium

    Seven scientists, among them AcademiaNet member Prof Asla Pitkänen, will share the funds and collaborate on developing effective therapies for epilepsy.