1. de Moerloose, Philippe
Professor of Internal Medicine (Angiology and Haematology), Department of Internal Medicine, University of Geneva, Switzerland
Host: Professor Riitta Lassila
Professor Philippe de Moerloose is the former president of the European Association of Haemophilia and Allied Disorders (EAHAD) and the chief medical officer in his specialty at the University Hospital in Geneva. Professor de Moerloose has made a significant career in basic research within translational medicine and has employed this special knowledge in a variety of ways with his patients. He has strongly advocated for international education in fibrinogen disorders. Professor de Moerloose has been involved in the Twinning Program of the World Federation of Hemophilia, mentoring the centres in Lebanon and Cameroon. His research has focused on the most challenging bleeding and thrombosis disorders, including disorders in the structure and function of fibrinogen and antiphospholipid antibodies.
At the behest of Professor de Moerloose, the 8th annual meeting of EAHAD was organised in Helsinki in February 2015. He has also supported research on rare diseases, such as dysfibrinogenemia, in Finland. In 2016, De Moerloose has been promoting training activities in the Baltic countries together with patient organisations (EHC and WFH) and in collaboration with the Coagulation Disorder Unit at Helsinki University Hospital.
2. Eichelbaum, Michel
Professor Emeritus of Clinical Pharmacology
Dr. Margarete Fischer-Bosch-Institute of Clinical Pharmacology and University of Tübingen, Germany
Hosts: Professor Mikko Niemi, Professor Janne Backman and Professor Emeritus Pertti Neuvonen
Professor Michel Eichelbaum is a pioneer in the field of pharmacogenetics and one of the most cited pharmacologists in the world. His research has primarily focused on the pharmacogenetics of drug metabolising enzymes and transporter proteins as well as on the stereoselective aspects of drug metabolism and drug action, the use of stable isotopes in clinical pharmacology, and the intestinal metabolism and transport of drugs. His pioneering discoveries include the genetic polymorphism of the CYP2D6 enzyme that metabolises drugs.
Professor Eichelbaum has also greatly contributed to researcher education. Many Finnish physicians have completed their postdoctoral education at the Dr Margarete Fischer-Bosch-Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, which Professor Eichelbaum led from 1985 until his retirement in 2006. The quality of the education provided by this institute is evident from the fact that many of these Finns now hold professorships or docentships in their home country.
3. Greenspan, Deborah
Professor, Chair, Orofacial Sciences
UCSF, School of Dentistry, USA
Hosts: Professor Jukka H. Meurman and Docent Hanna Thorén
Professor Deborah Greenspan is one of the leading investigators of oral infectious diseases in the world. She is Professor Emerita in oral medicine at the University of California in San Francisco, where she continues to actively engage in research. Professor Greenspan has conducted trailblazing research, especially among HIV and AIDS patients. She was the first to discover the mucosal lesions associated with HIV infection, which partly led to resolving the puzzle of the immunodeficiency epidemic during its outbreak in San Francisco.
Greenspan has also directed attention to the oral care of HIV and EBV patients, and the results achieved by her research group have helped millions of patients worldwide. Professor Greenspan is a frequent visitor to Finland, where the medical community has benefitted from her expertise in oral pathology in many connections. Her achievements have been recognised through numerous acknowledgements and honorary doctorates. She has also served as the president of the International Association for Dental Research.
Professor Sten-Olof Hansén is an influential social figure in Finland. Besides holding a professorship at the Turku School of Economics and Business Administration, he has had a long career in the pharmaceutical industry by serving as the CEO of Farmos Yhtymä. He also chaired the Turku Chamber of Commerce, the Chemical Industry Federation of Finland and the Board of Kemira Oy, and was a member of the Board and the finance committee of the Finnish Chambers of Commerce, the Board of the Foundation for Economic Education, the Board of the Finnish Foundation for Veterinary Research and the advisory board of the Finnish College of Veterinary Medicine. In addition, he chaired the Lääkevaltuuskunta delegation and served on the Board of the Pharmaceutical Information Centre and as a member of the pharmaceutical numbering committee for the Nordic countries.
Sten-Olof Hansén has completed the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business School. He has also been awarded the decoration of Knight, First Class, of the Order of the Lion of Finland. Hansén is the author of numerous publications related to international business, strategic management and innovation.
5. Helenius, Ari
Professor of Biochemistry
Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zürich, Switzerland
Hosts: Professor Päivi Ojala and Professor Jorma Keski-Oja
Professor Ari Helenius is a highly valued and frequently cited researcher of cell biology and virology, who investigates virus-cell interactions and membrane traffic as well as protein folding. Together with his group, he has discovered how several viruses enter cells, and in doing so, has significantly increased our understanding of cell biology and the transportation and signalling routes used by cells. Professor Helenius has had a long and successful international career, starting in 1975 when he, after completing his doctorate at the University of Helsinki, transferred to the newly established European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany. In 1981 he moved to the United States and Yale University, where he served as professor of cell biology and head of department until 1997, when he transferred to Switzerland and ETH Zürich, where he led the Institute of Biochemistry and a highly successful research group until the autumn of 2014.
Professor Helenius has actively participated in the evaluation and development of Finnish research over several decades. In 2007 he received the decoration of Knight, First Class, of the Order of the White Rose of Finland for his contributions to Finnish science. For ten years he chaired the Scientific Advisory Board of the Institute of Biotechnology at the University of Helsinki and was a member of the University Board from 2009 to 2013. In addition, he has participated in the evaluation of numerous Finnish research institutes, organisations and national centres of excellence. Professor Helenius has trained a number of young Finnish scientists and maintains an extensive and active cooperation network with researchers at the University of Helsinki.
6. Lindén, Aki
Chief Executive Officer
Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, Finland
Host: Professor, Dean Risto Renkonen
CEO Aki Lindén (Licentiate of Medicine, Master of Social Sciences) has led the largest university hospital in Finland since May 2010. The Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS) has over 21,000 employees and cares for 500,000 patients annually in all specialist fields. In addition to managing HUS, Aki Lindén has also led the Helsinki University Hospital area since 2014.
Lindén has solid expertise in public health care and administration and extensive experience in management. Before his employment at HUS, he managed the Hospital District of Soutwest Finland from 2001 to 2010, and from 1994 to 2000 he held the position of provincial medical officer of Western Finland. From 1987 to 1994, Lindén served as medical director of the public health sector of the City of Pori. He has also held many significant elected positions in local government. Lindén chaired the Delegation of Local Government Employers from 2009 to 2013.
Throughout his career, CEO Aki Lindén has strongly advocated on behalf of the Academic Medical Centre Helsinki in close cooperation with the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Helsinki. Teaching and research are close to his heart, as he has witnessed their significance for the development of clinical patient care on the University Hospital campus.
7. Nagy, Andras
Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Stem Cells and Regeneration Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital/University of Toronto, Canada
Hosts: Professor Hannu Sariola and Professor Timo Otonkoski
Professor at the University of Toronto, Andras Nagy is renowned for his high-standard research in developmental biology and stem cells. He has developed a spectrum of new technologies for mouse genetics and plays a central role in an international project which aims to systematically investigate the mouse genome using gene knock-out techniques. The last few years he has dedicated to the study of reprogramming the nucleus and has published a series of ground-breaking studies which finally provide a basis for an overall understanding of the mechanisms that control cell development.
Andras Nagy has long-standing connections with the University of Helsinki. From 2005 to 2009 he was a visiting professor at the Faculty of Medicine and annually gave courses on stem cell and gene mutation. He has co-authored several high-quality articles with the Faculty’s researchers and supervised many postdoctoral scholars. Andras Nagy has made long-time contributions to the research conducted at the Faculty of Medicine and significantly advanced the high level of stem cell research at the University of Helsinki.
8. Sillanaukee, Päivi
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finland
Host: Professor Taina Autti
Päivi Sillanaukee (Doctor of Medical Science, Specialist in Public Health) has served as permanent secretary of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health since 2012. From 2008 to 2012, she was director-general of the Department for Social and Health Services at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. Before her career at the Ministry, she held the position of deputy mayor of the City of Tampere from 2004 to 2006.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is responsible for the planning, steering and implementation of social and health policy. The permanent secretary is the Ministry’s senior official. The central mission of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is to secure sufficient social and health services. In addition, the Ministry is responsible for promoting good health and functional capacity amongst the population, a healthy working and living environment, and equality between the genders.
The current reform of social and health care is one of the major structural overhauls in the Government Programme for 2015–2019. In the planning of this reform, Päivi Sillanaukee has on several occasions directed attention to the quality of medical education and the significance of medical research for the wellbeing of the population. She is especially concerned about the sufficiency of the resources allocated to medical education and research. Sillanaukee has personally advanced and sought increasing interaction with universities, in particular, their faculties of medicine. She understands the social importance of high-quality medical education and research and is ready to promote them through all means available.
9. Tryggvason, Karl
Tanoto Professor in Diabetes Research
DUKE, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Hosts: Professor Kari Alitalo and Professor Irma Thesleff
Professor Karl Tryggvason is highly appreciated by the international scientific community for his research in biomedicine, which focuses especially on basement membranes. He and his group have identified their central components and genes and described the genesis of several basement membrane diseases.
Before transferring to the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm in 1994, Professor Tryggvason had an impressive research career at the University of Oulu. Tryggvason is professor emeritus in medical chemistry at Karolinska Institutet and professor at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore and at Duke University in the United States.
Professor Tryggvason has made significant efforts to promote Finnish research in biomedicine over several decades. He was among the founders of Finland’s first centre of excellence in the biosciences, Biocenter Oulu (1986), which served as a model for similar centres in other Finnish universities. Professor Tryggvason has trained a new generation of researchers in biomedicine. He has supervised 45 doctoral students and 18 postdoctoral researchers, most of whom are Finnish. His extensive collaboration with researchers at the University of Helsinki, which has resulted in more than 60 co-authored publications, continues fruitfully.