Dr. Saarela received his PhD from the University of Helsinki in January 2004 from Prof. Leena Peltonens lab, studying the activation of human aspartylglucosaminidase. In April 2004, he moved to Vienna, Austria, for a post-doc research period in Prof. Wolfgang J. Schneiders lab and returned back to Helsinki in July 2007 for a second post-doc period in Dr. Matti Jauhiainens lab. Since September 2010, Dr. Saarela has worked at FIMM as a Senior Researcher. Currently, Dr. Saarela is the operational manager of the High Throughput Biomedicine unit at FIMM Technology Centre. The unit is a national and international core infra-structure unit, where his tasks include coordinating and overseeing all project work in the unit, management of user projects, assay development, and assay miniaturisation. User projects are diverse and vary from biochemical screening to drug resistance and sensitivity testing of primary cells of cancer patients. Dr. Saarela's duties in screening projects consist of assay optimisation, assay design and execution, and data analysis. He is also involved in the development of screening data analysis pipelines with bioinformaticians.
van Adrichem A, Fagerholm A, Turunen L, Lehto A, Saarela J, Koskinen A, Repasky GA & Wennerberg K (2015) Discovery of MINC1, a GTPase-Activating Protein Small Molecule Inhibitor, Targeting MgcRacGAP. Comb Chem High Throughput Screen, 2015;18(1):3-17.
Gu Y, Bouwman P, Greco D, Saarela J, Yadav B, Jonkers J & Kuznetsov SG, (2014) Suppression of BRCA1 sensitizes cells to proteasome inhibitors. Cell Death and Disease, 5, e1580. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2014.537.
Saarela J, Metso J, Schneider WJ, & Jauhiainen M (2009) Avian phospholipid transfer protein causes HDL conversion without affecting cholesterol efflux from macrophages. Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 1791, 781789. doi: 10.1016/j.bbalip.2009.04.005
Saarela J, Laine M, Oinonen C, von Schantz C, Jalanko A, Rouvinen J & Peltonen L (2001) Molecular pathogenesis of a disease: structural consequences of aspartylglucosaminuria mutations. Hum. Mol. Genet., 10, 983-95.
Saarela J, Laine M, Tikkanen R, Oinonen C, Jalanko A, Rouvinen J & Peltonen L (1998) Activation and oligomerization of aspartylglucosaminidase. J. Biol. Chem., 273, 25320-8.