Merja Niemi

Senior Research Scientist, Desentum

Merja is one of the founders of Desentum. She holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Eastern Finland. Merja started her research career as a doctoral student in the research group of Prof. Juha Rouvinen at the University of Joensuu. From the beginning, she studied the three-dimensional structures of antibody Fab fragments using X-ray crystallography. The most significant part of her doctoral studies was the determining of the three-dimensional structure of a complex between an IgE antibody Fab fragment and the bovine beta-lactoglobulin, the major allergen of cow´s milk. After her doctoral dissertation, Merja continued to work as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Eastern Finland. During this period, she focused on biological mass spectrometry and started to use this new method combined with protein crystallography in her research. She is highly specialized in the structural biology of antibodies and allergens. Since July 2015 Merja has worked full-time for Desentum Oy.