Research Director (Forskningschef) at Åbo Akademi University

Vice Director Turku Centre for Biotechnology

Head of Cell Imaging Core

Eleanor Coffey graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 1990 and received her PhD in 1994 from the University of Dundee where she studied molecular mechanisms of synaptic transmission. She was awarded a Wellcome Trust Fellowship and thereafter an Academy of Finland Fellowship to work on protein kinase function in brain, from 1994-1997. She studied signalling mechanisms regulating neuronal survival and founded the Neuronal Signalling lab in 1997. She is a Research Director at Turku Centre for Biotechnology where she has led a lab since 2000. The Center is an independent research and service unit of the two universities in Turku that hosts state-of-the-art national infrastructures for imaging, next generation sequencing and mass spectrometry. Her lab investigates the molecular mechanisms of brain development and neurodegeneration with a focus on the protein kinases JNK and LRRK2. They are particularly interested in the function of JNK in dendrite and spine architecture regulation as well as neurogenesis. Her group has contributed new knowledge on the physiological importance of JNK in developing brain and has highlighted the significance of spatial segregation of JNK signalling in neurons. Moreover, her lab has demonstrated the importance of JNK spatial inhibition in the adult hippocampal neurogenesis. Their methods include high-end imaging, development of optogenetic tools, proteomics, biochemistry and animal studies.


FP7 Marie Curie-ITN Brain Imaging Return to Health, TEKES (Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation), Åbo Akademi University, Molecular Biosciences and UTUGS graduate school, Suomen Kultuurirahasto, The Finnish Parkinson’s Association (Parkinsonliitto ry), Michael J. Fox Foundation, The Swedish Cultural Foundation (Svenska Kulturfonden). Previous: EU-FP6 STREP and ToK, Sitra, CIMO, Juselius, Biocenter Finland, Academy of Finland.