Discoveries in modern health research
Biochemist and cell biologist Ari Helenius researches the physiological mechanisms that regulate the transport of proteins in cells and ensure that proteins can be transported unharmed. He has discovered that viruses also make use of this membrane transit system in order to penetrate cells. Knowing about these mechanisms opens up the prospect of resisting viruses and thus preventing viral infections. Ari Helenius has also shown that there is a system of quality control for newly synthesised proteins. The realisation that defects in these mechanisms are the cause of certain diseases, such as cystic fibrosis and certain forms of diabetes, allows new therapeutic approaches to be developed.