Prof. Dr. Mart Saarma

Senior Partner / CSO / Member of the Board of Directors

Prof. Dr. Mart Saarma

Prof. Mart Saarma is the member of the Board of Directors.

Professor Mart Saarma has been a major contributor to GeneCode’s IP portfolio.


Prof Saarma is an internationally renowned neuroscientist working as a research director and professor at the Institute of Biotechnology, HiLIFE, University of Helsinki. In the years 1990-2007, he was the director of the Institute of Biotechnology and from 2008- 2009, director of the Biocenter Finland. He has received several science prizes, including the Lundbeck Nordic Science Prize in 2009. He is a member of the Estonian and Finnish Academy of Science, Academia Europea, the foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the member of EMBO. He was the Vice President of the European Research Council and the member of EMBO Council. Prof. Saarma is one of the most cited Estonian scientists with almost 300 publications and over 34,000 citations.

The research group of Prof. Saarma is investigating the structure, biology and therapeutic potential of neurotrophic factors. They study the GDNF family neurotrophic factors and their receptors in the development of Parkinson’s disease.

Dr. Saarma group has characterized several new GDNF family receptors, discovered a new neurotrophic factor CDNF. His research group is investigating the signalling and biological functions of GDNF family ligands and endoplasmic reticulum located CDNF/MANF neurotrophic factor families, both within and outside of the nervous system. His group recently discovered MANF receptors. He is also interested in the therapeutic potential of these proteins in various diseases, so he is testing their efficacy in animal models of Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, stroke and diabetes mellitus.

Prof. Mart Saarma is an inventor of 18 patent families and holds several patents and affiliate licenses with both domestic and foreign pharmaceutical companies.


Patents of Mart Saarma

Curriculum Vitae of Mart Saarma