Taija af Hällström

Dr. af Hällström's research interests fall into the broad category of personalized medicine and biomarker discovery. One of her main focuses is to develop systems medicine strategy for solid tumors using prostate and renal cancer as model diseases. To this end her team has created multiple patient-derived living biobank models including tissue slice cultures, 2D and 3D organoid cultures, using contemporary patient samples obtained from the biobank infrastructure. Her team applies novel high-throughput approaches for functional studies of generated patient-derived models in order to systematically identify novel therapeutic opportunities among existing and emerging targeted actionable cancer drugs. Systematic omics profiling of the model systems and clinical tumors, is used to generate detailed understanding of the genomic and molecular changes that underlie the drug response patterns. The overall goal of this translational systems medicine project is to advance the therapy of castration resistant prostate cancer and renal cancer patients. Dr. af Hällströms team is also interested in extracellular vesicles in urological diseases with the aim of finding new biomarkers for diagnostics and treatment follow-up. Dr. af Hällström's works is done in close collaboration with Olli Kallioniemi, Päivi Östling, Tero Aittokallio, Krister Wennerberg at FIMM, industrial partners and collaborators HUS.

Selected publications

Kurki, S., Peltonen, K., Latonen, L., Kiviharju, T.M., Ojala, P.M., Meek, D. and Laiho, M. Nuclear protein NPM interacts with HDM2 and protects tumor suppressor protein p53 from HDM2-mediated degradation. Cancer Cell, 2004, 5: 465-475.

Kiviharju-af Hällström, T.M., Jäämaa S., Mönkkönen, M., Peltonen, K., Andersson L., Medema R., Peehl, D.M. and Laiho M. Human  prostate epithelium lacks Wee1A mediated DNA damage-induced checkpoint enforcement. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2007, 104: 7211-7216.

Peltonen, K., Colis, L., Liu, H., Jäämaa, S., Moore, H., Enbäck, J., Laakkonen, P., Vaahtokari, A., Jones, R., af Hällström, T.M. and Laiho, M. Discovery of novel small-molecule compounds through high-content screen for p53 activators. PLoS ONE 2010, 5:e12996.

Jäämaa, S.,* af Hällström, T.M.,*Sankila, A., Rantanen, V., Koistinen, H.K., Stenman, U-H., Zhang, Z., Yang, Z., DeMarzo, A., Taari, K., Ruutu, M., Andersson, L.C. and Laiho, M. DNA damage recognition via activated ATM and p53 pathways in non-proliferating human prostate tissue. Cancer Research, 2010, 70: 8630-8641. * equal contribution.

af Hällström, T.M., Zhao, H., Tian, J., Rantanen, V., Reese, S., Nolley R., Laiho M., and Peehl D. A tissue graft model of DNA damage response in the normal and malignant human prostate. Journal of Urology, 2014, 191, 3:842-849.

Internal links

External links

Taija af Hällström
+358 50 318 5038

Job title

Senior Researcher

Areas of expertise

Prostate cancer
Renal cancer
Solid tumors
Systems medicine
Patient-derived model systems
Tissue slice culture
Reprogrammed primary cells
3D organoids
Extracellular vesicles
High content microscopy
Project management

Started at FIMM



M.Sci., Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Turku, 1999
Ph.D., Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, 2007
Last updated: 02.06.2015 - 14:53