Professor Mikko Karttunen (PhD, Physics)



Welcome to my web space. I lead a computational biological & soft matter group in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Waterloo in Canada.


My research geared towards the interface between materials science, biology & biomedical sciences. I am interested in problems such as lipid diffusion, sterols, bacterial toxins, membrane proteins, antibiotics, translocation of DNA, peptides and sugars. I am also working on magentic materials, pattern formation and non-equilibrium dynamics. Typically, I employ theory and large scale computer simulations.


Most projects are done in collaboration with experimental groups.That provides a fruitful setting benefiting both sides, forces one to think in a new way, and is fun! If you are interested in a collaboration, please don't hesitate to contact me.


Another stream is the self-assembly of nanoparticles and colloids & their separation using electrokinetics, such as dielectrophoresis and electrorotation. Applications include separation healthy cells from, say, cancerous ones. Electrokinetic methods can be used to aid transport and assembly of nanomachines.


On the methodological side, I focus on multiscale modeling and systematic coarse-graing. Current work involves dissipative particle dynamics (DPD), deriving interactions from atomistic molecular dynamics data, and analytical methods. Our latest additions are GPU computing and QM/MM modeling of biosensors.


On the more personal side, I enjoy photography, cooking, running, hiking and biking.



Misc in different languages:


In Finnish: Huippututkijat karkaavat Pohjois-Amerikan yliopistoihin, Helsingin Sanomat, Vieraskynä 18.4. 2008.


Cellular membranes and computational modeling, CSC News, 2/2007. Life on a raft floating on a sea of maple syrup


Interview in Western News, Nov. 2006: Applied math rubs up against biology


In Finnish: Biological physics researchers are modeling cells using computers. Interview of Mikko Karttunen & Ilpo Vattulainen, Polysteekki.


In Finnish: Biologisen fysiikan tutkimus kärkkyy maailman kärkeen. Tekniikka ja Talous,Feb. 26, 2004.


In Finnish: Modeling biological systems, Mikko Karttunen and Ilpo Vattulainen. Tietoyhteys.


In Finnish: Booze on cellular membranes - computer simulations of alcohols on cellular membranes, Mikko Karttunen and Ilpo Vattulainen. ScienceThursday May 2004.


Radio interview by the Finnish Broadcasting Company's (YLE Radio 1) program ``Radiaattori''. Weekly program covering topics in to natural sciences and technology,



All rights reserved. Last modified on Thursday July 17, 2014