Academy Research Fellow
Doctor of Pharmacy
Adjunct Professor (neuropharmacology)
Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Pharmacy
firstname.lastname@example.org | +358 50 430 3196
My laboratory´s research focuses on two projects: (1) Homeostatic plasticity in the retina, its molecular mechanisms and implications for functional adaptation; (2) investigation of a novel drug repurposing-strategy for the treatment of retinal degenerations (RD). We use the retina as a model tissue for plasticity, pharmacology and drug discovery research for several reasons, such as amenability for noninvasive imaging due to eye’s transparency, finely layered structure and well-characterized structure-function relationships, functional similarity to that of brain due to same neurodevelopmental origin. Arguably, the retina is the best-characterized neuronal system in the body.
I detected retinal adaptability to sensory defect in year 2013 and our first paper related to this was published in 2020 (Leinonen et al., eLife). Next, we aim to solve the molecular pathways enabling retinal homeostatic plasticity. This knowledge will help to find mechanisms how the CNS adapts to injury and malfunction and can guide pharmacotherapies.
Our drug discovery program uses repurposed GPCR drugs. We have shown that a treatment with a combination therapy comprised of three GPCR-drugs slows progressive RD. The next crucial task is to uncover the therapeutic mechanisms of our therapy. This will facilitate further development of the treatment concept and can launch innovative drug development pipelines.
Stress resilience-enhancing drugs preserve tissue structure and function in degenerating retina via phosphodiesterase inhibitionC Luu, Jennings; Saadane, Aicha; Leinonen, Henri; H Choi, Elliot; Gao, Fangyuan; Lewandowski, Dominik; Halabi, Maximilian; . Sander, Christopher; Wu, Arum; Wang, Jacob M; Singh, Rupesh; Gao, Songqi; Lessieur, Emma M; Dong, Zhiqian; Palczewska, Grazyna; Mullins, Robert .; Peachey, Neal S; Kiser, Philip D; Tabaka, Marcin; Kern, Timothy S; Palczewski, Krzysztof. 2023. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 120: . e2221045120
Editorial: Regulation of inflammation and metabolism in retinal neurodegenerative disordersLeinonen, Henri; Zhou, Tianwei Ellen; Ballios, Brian G.; Kauppinen, Anu; Fu, Zhongjie. 2022. Frontiers in neuroscience. 16: . 1102385
Inhibition of ceramide accumulation in AdipoR1–/– mice increases photoreceptor survival and improves visionLewandowski, Dominik; Foik, Andrzej T.; Smidak, Roman; Choi, Elliot H.; Zhang, Jianye; Hoang, Thanh; Tworak, Aleksander; Suh, Susie; Leinonen, Henri; Dong, Zhiqian; Pinto, Antonio F.M.; Tom, Emily; Luu, Jennings; Lee, Joan; Ma, Xiuli; Bieberich, Erhard; Blackshaw, Seth; Saghatelian, Alan; Lyon, David C.; Skowronska-Krawczyk, Dorota; Tabaka, Marcin; Palczewski, Krzysztof. 2022. JCI insight. 7: . e156301
Neural and Müller glial adaptation of the retina to photoreceptor degenerationLeinonen, Henri O; Fu, Zhongjie; Bull, Edward. 2022. Neural regeneration research. 2023; 18: 701-707
Retinoid therapy restores eye-specific cortical responses in adult mice with retinal degenerationHuh, Carey YL; Leinonen, Henri; Nakayama, Taylor; Tomasello, Julia R; Zhang, Jianye; Zeitoun, Jack; Peach, John P; Halabi, Maximilian; Kiser, Jianying Z; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Kiser, Philip D; Gandhi, Sunil P. 2022. Current biology. 32: 4538-4546.e5
Visual System Hyperexcitability and Compromised V1 Receptive Field Properties in Early-Stage Retinitis Pigmentosa in MiceLeinonen, Henri; Lyon, David C; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Foik, Andrzej T. 2022. eNeuro. 9: 1-16
A p97/Valosin-Containing Protein Inhibitor Drug CB-5083 Has a Potent but Reversible Off-Target Effect on Phosphodiesterase-6Leinonen, Henri; Cheng, Cheng; Pitkänen, Marja; Sander, Christopher L; Zhang, Jianye; Saeid, Sama; Turunen, Teemu; Shmara, Alyaa; Weiss, Lan; Ta, Lac; Ton, Timothy; Koskelainen, Ari; Vargas, Jesse D; Kimonis, Virginia; Palczewski, Krzysztof. 2021. Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics. 378: 31-41
An inducible Cre mouse for studying roles of the RPE in retinal physiology and diseaseChoi, EH; Suh, S; Einstein, DE; Leinonen, H; Dong, Z; Rao, SR; Fliesler, SJ; Blackshaw, S; Yu, M; Peachey, NS; Palczewski, K; Kiser, PD. 2021. JCI insight. 6: e146604
Regulation of adrenergic, serotonin and dopamine receptors to inhibit diabetic retinopathy: monotherapies versus combination therapiesKern, TS; Du, Y; Tang, J; Lee, CA; Liu, H; Dreffs, A; Leinonen, H; Antonetti, DA; Palczewski, K. 2021. Molecular pharmacology. 100: 470-479
Restoration of visual function in adult mice with an inherited retinal disease via adenine base editingSuh, Susie; Choi, Elliot H; Leinonen, Henri; Foik, Andrzej T; Newby, Gregory A; Yeh, Wei-His; Dong, Zhiqian; Kiser, Philip D; Lyon, David C; Liu, David R; Palczewski, Krzysztof. 2021. Nature biomedical engineering. 5: 169-178