Thomas McWilliams

Thomas McWilliams

Assistant Professor of Mitochondrial Medicine, Academy of Finland Research Fellow, Principal Investigator, Scholar, FENS-KAVLI Network of Excellence, Docent in Neurobiology

  • PL 63 (Haartmaninkatu 8)



  • Finland


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

My team focuses on understanding the mechanistic and metabolic regulation of physiological autophagy pathways in mammalian tissues. We have a major focus on mitochondrial autophagy (mitophagy) in tissue development, disease and repair. Our lab has been instrumental in defining the clinical significance of macroautophagy in humans, defining the mechanistic regulation and roles of mitophagy in disease and discovering new genetic and metabolic factors that underpin tissue integrity. We have a particular focus on the central and peripheral nervous systems and collaborate with world-class teams to investigate the physiological significance of autophagy and mitophagy in many distinct contexts.

We use a variety of experimental approaches that involve advanced molecular cell biology, biochemistry and microscopy methods in primary mouse neurons, traditional tissue culture and human iPS-derived neurons, and tissue analysis using sophisticated mouse genetics, reporter mice and pre-clinical animal models. We also employ multi-OMICs approaches in genetics and metabolism, availing of neighbouring core facilities in single-cell analytics in Helsinki and work with international leaders in metabolomics. We are also committed to developing the next generation of scientists through in-depth training and mentoring.


Fields of Science

  • 3112 Neurosciences
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Dopaminergic Neurons
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Neurotrophic factors
  • Disease modelling
  • Molecular medicine
  • 1184 Genetics, developmental biology, physiology
  • brain development
  • mouse models
  • brain repair
  • 1182 Biochemistry, cell and molecular biology
  • autophagy
  • mitophagy
  • mitochondrial signaling
  • selective autophagy
  • ubiquitin signalling
  • Signal transduction
  • organelle signalling
  • organelle crosstalk
  • 3111 Biomedicine
  • Metabolism
  • Molecular genetics
  • Molecular Neuroscience

International and National Collaboration

Publications and projects within past five years.