Juha Klefström / Klefström lab

Juha Klefström

Juha Klefström, PhD, is a Research Director in the Medical Faculty, University of Helsinki. He is a vice-Director of Research Programs Unit, which is formed by 40 top quality research groups affiliated with five research programs chosen via international peer review. Klefström is an expert in translational cancer research, breast cancer biology, immuno-oncology, oncogenes and tumor suppressors, cell death, genetically engineered mouse models of breast cancer, mammary gland reconstitution techniques, ex vivo explant cultures and recombinant viral gene transfer methods. He has published in leading journals like Nature Communications, EMBO J, PNAS, Cancer Discovery and Cancer Cell.

Klefström’s research focuses on therapeutic strategies aiming to exploit oncogene-induced vulnerabilities and he has long-term interest in the apoptotic function of MYC protein and more recently in therapeutically intervenable oncogenic functions of transmembrane serine proteases.

He also co-directs Biomedicum Functional Genomics Unit. Klefström obtained PhD at University of Helsinki in 1997 and did postdoctoral with Gerard Evan at ICRF London (1998-1999) and UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco (2000-2002). In 2009, he briefly worked as a visiting Professor in QB3 institute, UCSF.

His laboratory has established variety of three-dimensional culture systems for mammary primary and stem cell-based organoids as well as patient tumor-derived explants for ex vivo target validation and for studies of breast cancer development and translation.


Juha Tapio Klefström

Research Director. Research Programs Unit of the Medical Faculty, Univ. Helsinki

Research Director. Research Programs Unit, Medical Faculty, U. Helsinki
Vice Director. Research Programs Unit, Medical Faculty, U. Helsinki
Vice Director. Translational Cancer Biology Research Program, Medical Faculty, U. Helsinki
Principal Investigator. Translational Cancer Biology Research Program. Research Group (2016): 2 postdocs, 4 graduate students, 2 undergraduates, 2 RAs
Co-Director. Biomedicum Functional Genomics Unit, U. Helsinki.

1990-1994 Undergraduate. University of Helsinki, Finland. With Dr Sakari Knuutila and Prof. Eero Saksela.
1994-1997 Graduate. University of Helsinki, Finland. With Prof. Kari Alitalo. University of Helsinki, Finland.
1997-11/2002 Postdoctoral. Imperial Cancer Research Fund, UK and UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center, USA. Laboratory of Prof. Gerard Evan.
2003-2005 Junior Fellow. Academy of Finland.
2003-2012 Principal Investigator (affiliated) in Genome Scale Research Program. Medical Faculty, U. Helsinki.
2005 (4 mo) University Lecturer (acting). Inst. Biomedicine/Faculty of Medicine, Univ. Helsinki
2006-2008 Director. Biomedicum Genomics, University of Helsinki.
2009 (2 mo) Visiting Professor, California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences  (QB3), UCSF, http://www.qb3.org/
08/2008-07/2013 Academy Research Fellow. The Academy of Finland

1994. M.Sc (Genetics). University of Helsinki
1995. Ph.D. (Genetics). University of Helsinki
1996. Docent (Molecular Genetics). University of Helsinki

Organized Conferences and Symposia
2004 Programme committee member and organizer of BioFinland 2005 conference, Finland
2011 Cell Polarity in Health and Disease Workshop (Organized by Lu, Tapon, O’Neill, Klefstrom), Oxford, UK
2004 – Local minisymposia with international guest speakers: >10
Ad Hoc reviewer for regulatory issues
2007 Board of Gene Technology, Finland – Biosafety Risk Group 2 recommendations for work involving recombinant viruses (under the European law regarding genetically modified organisms)
Scientific Networks – member
2006-2011 (active member 06-07). ENFIN- Enabling Systems Biology, European Network of Excellence. 2011-2014. Nordforsk network “Chromatin, Transcription and Cancer” organized from KI, Stockholm. 2009-2013. Biocenter Finland – Member of Viral Gene Transfer and Cell Therapy Network. 2013-2018. Research Programs Unit, Medical Faculty, UH – Board member

2007-2011. Co-founder, chairman and member in the Fin-QB3 joint steering committee.
2011-2015. Innovative Medicines Initiative – PREDECT. Founding member and WP leader of a consortium of 9 universities, 3 biotechnology companies and 9 pharmaceutical companies.
2010-2012. Biocenter Finland – Coordinator of LentiGEMM Emerging Technology Platform.
2013-2016. Biocenter Finland – Coordinator of Tissue Engineered Disease Models Emerging Technology Platform.
2013-2018. Vice-Director (shared) of Translational Cancer Biology Research Program, Medical Faculty, University of Helsinki.
2015-2016. Vice Director of Research Programs Unit, Medical Faculty, University of Helsinki.
2017-          HiLIFE – Coordinator of GoEditStem stem cell and functional genomics platform.

11/2002-present. Biomedicum Virus Core facility (Biocentrum Helsinki) – Founder and Director.
2006- present. Biomedicum Genomics and (2010 onwards) Biomedicum Functional Genomics Unit (www.biomedicumgenomics.fi) – Research Director. Biomedicum Functional Genomics Unit (Biomedicum Genomics Unit) is a comprehensive functional genomics service provider with Biocentrum Helsinki and Biocenter Finland affiliation. The Unit, which is co-directed by Klefström, has about 10 employees and 0,5 M€ annual cashflow.
07/2007-2009. Biomedicum Genomics Ltd – Chairman of the Board of Directors. 2009- present. Board member.

Research Programs Unit/Translational Cancer Biology
& Medicum, Biomedicum Helsinki 1,
Medical Faculty, University of Helsinki

Haartmaninkatu 8
00290 Helsinki

University of Helsinki internal mailing address
P.O. Box 63
FI-00014 University of Helsinki

Tel. Lab +358 2 941 25494 (room B509)
Office +358 2 941 25493 (room B507b)
Junior office (room B503)
Fax +358 2 941 25610