Dr Sinem Karaman

Individualized Drug Therapy Research Program, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki and Wihuri Research Institute, Finland.


Career background

Sinem began her research career in vascular biology when she joined Prof. Michael Detmar’s laboratory at the ETH Zurich in 2008. Her doctoral studies focused on the interplay of lymphatic vessels, adipocytes, and inflammation in obesity. After obtaining her Ph.D. in 2012, she continued her research as a postdoctoral fellow in the same laboratory as a part of the Leducq Transatlantic Network of Excellence in Lymph vessels in obesity and cardiovascular disease.

In 2016, Sinem joined Prof. Kari Alitalo’s laboratory at the Wihuri Research Institute and the University of Helsinki as a senior-postdoctoral fellow to broaden her expertise in blood vessels and VEGFR-interactions. Here, she mainly studied organ-specificity of VEGFR interactions in endothelial cells. In 2018, she became a Team Leader at the Wihuri Research Institute and obtained her Docentship in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Helsinki. In September 2020, she started her independent laboratory at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, and the Wihuri Research Institute.

Area of research

Sinem is interested in understanding the mechanisms of organ-specific endothelial cell responses in metabolic diseases.

Specialist techniques

Isolation and single-cell and bulk RNA sequencing and bioinformatics analysis of endothelial cells; whole-mount immunostaining and imaging of vasculature in various organs; mouse models of obesity and diabetes; intravital imaging of vascular

Career highlights

In 2015, Sinem was awarded an Advanced Postdoc Mobility Fellowship by the Swiss National Science Foundation to study the role of VEGFR-3 in the regulation of vascular leakage in Prof. Alitalo’s lab. She was selected as an Early Career Researcher at the Faculty of Medicine in 2018 and received funding from University of Helsinki to pursue her independent research. In 2020, Sinem was awarded a 5-year Academy Research Fellow grant from the Finnish Academy of Sciences, which allowed her to start her research group “Organotypic Vasculature lab” at the University of Helsinki.

 Future directions

Sinem’s research team aims to understand the underlying mechanisms of the organotypicity of capillary rarefaction and vascular destabilization seen in obesity and diabetes. To pursue this aim, they combine a multi-omics approach with whole-mount analysis of vasculature in various organs.

Twitter: @karamanlab

LinkedIN: http://www.linkedin.com/in/sinem-karaman-0560a944