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NextGen Discovery Series – May 11, 2023


The NextGen Precision Health Discovery Series provides learning opportunities for UM System faculty and staff across disciplines, the statewide community and our other partners to learn about the scope of precision health research and identify potential collaborative opportunities. The series consists of monthly lectures geared toward a broad multidisciplinary audience so all can participate and appreciate the spectrum of precision health efforts. 

Information about this upcoming talk, including continuing education, is available below.

For questions about this event or any others in the Discovery Series, please reach out to Veronica Lemme at


"Targeting paracrine factors: from mechanisms to next-generation therapy for vascular anomalies"

Speaker: Johanna Laakkonen, PhD, Associate Professor, Academy Research Fellow, University of Eastern Finland, A.I. Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences

Date: May 11, 2023, noon-1 p.m.



In this presentation, Dr. Laakkonen describes how fibroblasts and endothelial cells communicate to facilitate angiogenesis in vascular anomalies, and why paracrine signaling and cell-cell crosstalk are important to consider when planning anti-angiogenic therapeutic approaches. Dr. Laakkonen also will share insights into how viral vector-mediated gene therapy can be used to modulate growth factor signaling for the treatment of vascular diseases. She also describes new therapeutic strategies for inhibition of venous lesion growth.

About the SpeakerJohanna Laakkonen

Dr. Johanna Laakkonen is a group leader in the A.I. Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences at the University of Eastern Finland where she serves as an Academy Research Fellow and co-principal investigator for a Flagship Consortium Award from the Academy of Finland. She has extensive training and background as a vascular biologist and in vectorology. Dr. Laakkonen did her PhD at University of Jyväskylä in Finland from 2004 to 2008 on cellular targeting of virus vectors. From 2009 to 2011, she worked as a post-doctoral researcher in Professor Stefan Kochanek’s group at the University Hospital of Ulm in Germany on viral vector-mediated endothelium targeting. From 2011 to 2014, Laakkonen did her postdoctoral period in Professor Seppo Ylä-Herttuala’s group on gene therapy and vascular diseases. Currently, her research group focuses on discovering novel molecular targets for the treatment of vascular diseases, particularly for vascular anomalies and aneurysms using vector technologies focusing on the endothelium.


Continuing Professional Education Credit

Successful Completion of this activity, which includes participating in the educational offering, participating in the evaluation process and completing the verification of attendance, enables the learner to satisfy the requirements for continuing education.

Nursing Contact Hours

University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing is approved as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the Midwest Multistate Division, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation (ANCC). 

1.0 contact hour may be awarded.


The University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

The University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine designates this live educational activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Financial Relationships

Current ACCME and Midwest Multistate Division, ANCC rules state that participants in continuing education activities should be made aware of any relevant affiliation or financial interest in the previous 24 months that may affect the planning of an educational activity or a speaker’s presentation(s). Each planning committee member and speaker has been requested to complete a financial relationship reporting form for the NextGen Precision Health Discovery Series. No planning committee member or speaker has a relevant financial interest.