Markus Vähä-Koskela

Markus Vähä-Koskela, PhD, is a Senior Researcher with extensive experience in tumor immunology from working with and applying viruses as cancer immunotherapy. He obtained his PhD from Åbo Akademi in 2007 and spent three years in Ottawa, Canada and four years at the University of Helsinki to specialize in understanding and overcoming innate tumor defenses. As individual oncogenic signaling promotes tumor immune evasion by different mechanisms, large scale and personalized screening approaches are needed. At FIMM, Dr. Vähä-Koskela aims to bridge high-throughput and high-content chemical screening with functional assays to identify new immuno-active cancer therapeutics.

Selected publications

Ruotsalainen J, Kaikkonen M, Niittykoski M, Martikainen M, Lemay C, Cox J, De Silva N, Kus A, Falls T, Diallo JS, Le Boeuf F, Bell J, Ylä-Herttuala S, Hinkkanen AE*, Vähä-Koskela M*. Clonal variation in interferon response determines the outcome of oncolytic virotherapy in mouse CT26 colon carcinoma model. Gene Ther 2014, Sep 18, PMID: 25231172

Vähä-Koskela M, Tähtinen S, Grönberg-Vähä-Koskela S, Taipale K, Saha D, Merisalo-Soikkeli M, Ahonen M, Rouvinen-Lagerström N, Hirvinen M, Veckman V, Matikainen S, Zhao F, Pakarinen P, Jarmo Salo, Kanerva A, Cerullo V, Hemminki A. Overcoming tumor resistance by heterologous adeno-poxvirus combination therapy. Mol Ther - Oncolytics 2015, Jan 07.

Tähtinen S, Grönberg-Vähä-Koskela S, Lumen D, Merisalo-Soikkeli M, Siurala M, Airaksinen AJ, Vähä-Koskela M*, Hemminki A*. Adenovirus improves the efficacy of adoptive T-cell therapy by recruiting immune cells to and promoting their activity at the tumor. Cancer Immunol Res 2015, May 14. PMID: 25977260.

Le Boeuf F*, Batenchuk C*, Vähä-Koskela M, Breton S, Roy D, Lemay C, Cox J, Abdelbary H, Falls T, Waghray G, Atkins H, Stojdl D, Diallo JS, Kærn M, Bell JC. Model-based rational design of an oncolytic virus with improved therapeutic potential. Nat Commun 2013; 4: 1974, PMID: 23764612

Diallo JS, LeBoeuf F, Lai F, Cox J, Vähä-Koskela M, Abdelbary H, MacTavish H, Waite K, Falls T, Wang J, Brown R, Blanchard J, Brown E, Kirn D, Hiscott J, Atkins H, Lichty B, Bell J. A high-throughput pharmaco-viral approach identifies oncolytic virus sensitizers. Mol Ther 2010 Jun; 18(6), PMID: 20389287

*equal contribution, last author

Internal links

External links

+358 44 527 4464

Job title

Senior Researcher

Areas of expertise

Tumor immunology
Molecular biology
Cell biology

Started at FIMM



PhD, Biochemistry (virology), Åbo Akademi, 2007
Docent of virology, University of Helsinki, 2015
Last updated: 31.01.2018 - 15:49