• Viikinkaari 1, Biocenter 3, Helsinki Institute of Life Science (HiLIFE)

    00014 Helsinki


Organization profile

Organisation Profile

Our research in the Laboratory of Structural Biology (LSB) at the Helsinki Institute of Life Science (HiLIFE) is aimed at understanding the structure and function of biological macromolecules and their complexes, such as molecular machines and viruses. We strive to decipher possible common principles in their assembly and evolution. Detailed mechanistic understanding of structures involved in disease is informing rational design of therapies. 

We apply a broad range of molecular biology and bio-imaging methods in our research. Our core skills centre around cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-EM), a method suitable for structural studies of small proteins, large complexes, viruses, and even organelles or sections of cells. We are active in computational method development for processing data from such targets.

Our research is funded by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (PI's ERC Consolidator grant) and HiLIFE.


International and National Collaboration Publications and projects within past five years.



Assembly of complex viruses exemplified by a halophilic euryarchaeal virus

De Colibus, L., Roine, E., Walter, T. S., Ilca, S. L., Wang, X., Wang, N., Roseman, A. M., Bamford, D., Huiskonen, J. T. & Stuart, D., 29 Mar 2019, In : Nature Communications. 10, 9 p., 1456.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access

Genomic Characterization of Cyanophage vB_AphaS-CL131 Infecting Filamentous Diazotrophic Cyanobacterium Aphanizomenon flos-aquae Reveals Novel Insights into Virus-Bacterium Interactions

Sulcius, S., Simoliunas, E., Alzbutas, G., Gasiunas, G., Jauniskis, V., Kuznecova, J., Miettinen, S., Nilsson, E., Meskys, R., Roine, E., Paskauskas, R. & Holmfeldt, K., Jan 2019, In : Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 85, 1, 19 p., e01311-18.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access

Multiple liquid crystalline geometries of highly compacted nucleic acid in a dsRNA virus

Ilca, S., Sun, X., El Omari, K., Kotecha, A., Haas, F. D., DiMaio, F., Grimes, J. M., Stuart, D. I., Poranen, M. M. & Huiskonen, J. T., 13 Jun 2019, In : Nature. 570, p. 252-+

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access

Structures of enveloped virions determined by cryogenic electron microscopy and tomography: Advances in Virus Research

Stass, R., Ng, W. M., Kim, Y. C. & Huiskonen, J. T., 1 Aug 2019, Complementary Strategies to Study Virus Structure and Function. Rey, F. A. (ed.). Academic Press, Vol. 105. p. 35-71 37 p. (Advances in Virus Research).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Open Access

The structure of a prokaryotic viral envelope protein expands the landscape of membrane fusion proteins

El Omari, K., Li, S., Kotecha, A., Walter, T. S., Bignon, E., Harlos, K., Somerharju, P., Haas, F. D., Clare, D., Molin, M., Hurtado, F., Li, M., Grimes, J. M., Bamford, D. H., Tischler, N. D., Huiskonen, J. T., Stuart, D. I. & Roine, E., 19 Feb 2019, In : Nature Communications. 10, 11 p., 846.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access


Sara Tjossem

Elina Roine (Host)
15 May 201923 May 2019

Activity: Hosting a visitor typesAcademic visit at UH

HiLIFE Symposium: Exploring Cellular Complexity by Cryo-EM

Juha Huiskonen (Chair)
28 Feb 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

Swiss National Science Foundation (External organisation)

Elina Roine (Member)
Oct 2019

Activity: Membership typesMembership or other role in national/international committee, council, board

Antigenic arrangement of the dynamic hantaviral surface

Ilona Rissanen (Speaker)
18 Jun 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Viral dsRNA genome organisation revealed by cryoEM

Juha Huiskonen (Invited speaker)
11 Dec 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


Young Virologist of the Year (2018)

Ilona Rissanen (Recipient), Mar 2018

Prize: Prizes and awards