Nymark Lab
Biophysics of the Eye
Retina – RPE Interactions


Our research.
  • The overarching goal of our research is to increase the present understanding of the visual system in health and in different disease conditions. Our main interest is in the neural retina and in the underlying retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), which keeps the retina alive.

  • We use electrophysiological and imaging techniques together with cell biology tools to study the functions of these tissues and to determine their interactions. We focus on the functioning of the different ion channels present in the RPE, and our ultimate aim is to dissect out the role of these ion channels in the physiology and pathophysiology of the retina.

  • With state-of-the-art technology, multidisciplinary research environment and our possibility to use stem cell derived RPE, we can also increase our knowledge on different retinal degenerative diseases and aid the development of novel retinal therapies (e.g. transplantation therapies).


Patch Clamp Technique

With patch clamp technique, we study the functioning of the different ion channels in RPE. Recordings are mainly carried out in whole cell or perforated patch configuration. In our setups we can combine the recordings with simultaneous imaging methods, e.g. using calcium sensitive dyes.

Confocal Microscopy

Our institute is equipped with a multitude of imaging systems including confocal microscopes. We use these systems to investigate the localization of different ion channels and other proteins in retina and RPE both in fixed and live cells.

Microelectrode Array (MEA)

We use microelectrode array (MEA) to record the electrical activity of retinal neutrons. Our conventional MEA system allows the recordings of both photoreceptor and ganglion cell activity with moderate resolution (60 electrodes, electrode spacing 200µm and diameter 30µm), whereas our new CMOS-MEA system makes possible the ganglion cell

Cell Culturing

We use cultures of stem cell derived RPE and immortalized cell lines together with freshly isolated tissue in our studies.


Rhodopsin kinase and arrestin binding control the decay of photoactivated rhodopsin and dark adaptation of mouse rods.

Frederiksen R, Nymark S, Kolesnikov AV, Berry JD, Adler L 4th, Koutalos Y, Kefalov VJ, Cornwall MC.  J Gen Physiol. (2016) Jul;148(1):1-11. doi: 10.1085/jgp.201511538. PubMed LINK to abstract.



Effect of Rhodopsin Phosphorylation on Dark Adaptation in Mouse Rods.

Berry J, Frederiksen R, Yao Y, Nymark S, Chen J, Cornwall C.  J Neurosci. (2016) Jun 29; 36(26):6973-87. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3544-15.2016. PubMed LINK to abstract.


Ultrathin Polyimide Membrane as Cell Carrier for Subretinal Transplantation of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Derived Retinal Pigment Epithelium.

Ilmarinen T, Hiidenmaa H, Kööbi P, Nymark S, Sorkio A, Wang J-H, Stanzel BV, Thieltges F, Alajuuma P, Oksala O, Kataja M, Uusitalo H, and Heli Skottman (2015). PLoS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0143669. PubMed LINK to abstract.




Soile Nymark


Soile Nymark, Academy of Finland Research Fellow.

Julia Johansson


Julia Johansson, PhD student.

Iina Korkka


Iina Korea, phD student.

Other researchers involved in our projects

Virpi Alarautalahti, PhD student.

Aapo Tervonen, PhD student.

Taina Viheriälä, PhD student.

Outi Heikkilä


Laboratory technician.

We are hiring.

Graduate students




We are looking for talented, motivated graduate students and postdocs who are interested in electrophysiology and visual science. For further information, please send an email to Dr. Soile Nymark:



If you have a project you would like to discuss,
get in touch with us.

Nymark Lab

Arvo building
Lääkärinkatu 1


+358 40 849 0009