Dr. Juha Huiskonen has over 12 years of experience in structural biology, especially electron cryo-microscopy and tomography. In his doctoral project (University of Helsinki, Finland), he used electron cryo-microscopy to study membrane-containing viruses infecting bacteria.
After his doctorate, he started to pursue his current main interest in studying viruses relevant to human health. A three-year grant from the Academy of Finland allowed him to start a project on structure and assembly of Bunyaviruses. As the members of this family are often pleomorphic, their structural studies called for electron cryotomography technique, which was unavailable in Finland. Dr. Huiskonen received an EMBO longterm fellowship and relocated to Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry (MPI, Martinsried near Munich, Germany). There, he spent nearly three years at the department of Molecular Structural Biology. Headed by Prof. Baumeister, this department is one of the leading groups in the world in this field. In 2010, Dr. Huiskonen relocated to the Division of Structural Biology (University of Oxford) to start his independent research group. The main focus of the group is structures and host-cell interactions of emerging viruses causing haemorrhagic fevers. These include members of the families Arenaviridae, such as Lassa virus, and Bunyaviridae, such as Rift Valley fever virus and hantaviruses.