Dr Minni Änkö joins Hudson Institute

Welcome to Dr Minni (Minna-Liisa) Änkö, who joins Hudson Institute of Medical Research as head of the RNA Biology in Health and Disease laboratory.

Dr Minni Änkö

Dr Änkö is an expert in RNA biology, and joins the Institute from the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) at Monash University.

Dr Änkö’s laboratory will focus on understanding how the complex RNA machinery works and how this contributes to human diseases such as cancer. She has made seminal discoveries in this area and has developed state-of the art methods which are widely used in the RNA field.

“RNA brings the genome to life but how gene regulation is controlled is still largely a mystery. By understanding the basic principles of RNA regulation, we will be able to decipher why dysfunction of the RNA processing machinery frequently leads to human disease such as cancer,” she said.

The expertise in cancer, inflammation and reproductive health at Hudson Institute, combined with its collaborative culture and proximity to Victoria’s largest health service, Monash Health, all provide huge opportunities for rapidly translating research into the clinic, she said.

“Hudson Institute is such a dynamic mix of researchers working on core biological questions to advance human health. The close proximity to clinical researchers at the hospital provides great opportunities for collaboration and translation of our discovery research findings into clinical practice,” Dr Änkö said.

Dr Änkö obtained her PhD from the Åbo Akademi University in Finland. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute of Cell Biology and Genetics, in Dresden, Germany 2006-2011, supported by a Sigrid Juselius Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Dr Änkö moved to Australia in 2011, and worked as a visiting scientist at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, Monash University. She then continued her research as a senior research fellow at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (2012-2013) until establishing her independent laboratory at Monash University in 2014. She has recently relocated her laboratory to Hudson Institute.

She also holds an adjunct appointment at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute. She is the Victorian representative for the RNAoz, a special interest group in RNA biology in Australia.

Dr Änkö supervises students and is involved in teaching Monash University’s Developmental Biology undergraduate courses. She is a passionate advocate for gender equity in science, and participates in mentoring junior female scientists.

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