Health Sciences (DSHealth)

The Doctoral School in Health Sciences

Elina Pietilä

Since starting as a PhD student in 2016 I have been an active member in the ILS student council where we aim to bring students together in a relax environment and connect students and the doctoral programme. To be able to further bridge the communication between students and the doctoral school it is important to have an active member participating the steering committee meetings speaking both directions. For me it is important to have a possibility to influence our study structure and act as an ambassador for my colleagues. As participating on organizing PhD-run courses and student symposiums as well as activities like TEDxHelsinkiUniversity I am interacting with fellow students across doctoral programs; therefore I feel to have an ability to represent students from all doctoral programs under DSHealth. With the help from representatives of doctoral programmes I would be honored to represent students in the steering committee of DSHealth.


Doctoral Programme in Biomedicine

Mona Christensen

I’m a Finnish 2nd year PhD student in the Institute of Biotechnology.

I did my masters studies in the University of Helsinki as well. During my undergraduate studies I was active in the student organizations and acted as a tutor for both Finnish and international students. I particularly tried my best to help the international students integrate in student life as well as possible. These tasks taught me the importance of student participation.

Acting as a student representative allows one to effectively influence student life in the university. I want to ensure that the voice of the students is heard in the decision making, especially when it comes to courses and teaching. Life as a scientist has never been easy and is not likely to become any easier in the near future. It is important that our programme provides us with the best possible training. If elected, I will take the job with dedication!


Karina Barreiro

I am a third year PhD student at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine, FIMM. My research focuses on searching for biomarkers for Diabetic Kidney Diseases in urinary extracellular vesicles.

I am very happy of having the honor of being a PhD student representative for DPBM during 2018-2019. I see it as a great opportunity for learning about the organization and decision making in the DPBM and for collaborating to improve the doctoral education in our program. I am looking forward to communicate PhD students concerns and ideas to the DPBM board.


Doctoral Programme Brain & Mind

Sanna Koskela

I’m a Finnish 2nd year PhD student working at the Viikki campus. I’m excited about science and love doing research. However, I also realise that not all of us PhD students can continue on the research path and in the academia. I want to help our PhD program to give us the best possible training for all possible challenges we’re going to face, from career advice to subject-specific workshops and courses to networking opportunities. Especially now, when many things are renewed within the University, it is critical that the students are heard in the decision making. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any concerns or ideas that you would wish to bring for the steering group!


Angelina Lesnikova

I’ve been elected as a student representative for B&M Doctoral Programme and I am supposed to send you some info about myself.
I am a second-year PhD student and I’m working in Eero Castren’s group. My thesis focuses on the molecular mechanisms of TrkB signaling modulation by phosphatase PTPRS. I hold a Master’s Degree in Cognitive studies and I am very interested in putting cognitive and molecular sciences closer together. I’m also currently trying to master computational neuroscience tools.
Is any extra information needed? A photo of me is attached.


Doctoral Programme in Clinical Research

Nicolas Martinez-Majander

Valmistuin Helsingin lääketieteellisestä 2013 ja olen ollut neurologiaan erikoistuvana vuodesta 2014. Tällöin aloitin myös tohtorikoulutettavana, aiheenani nuorten kryptogeeniset aivoinfarktit.

Olen myös jäsenenä European Stroke Organisationin (ESO) nuorten kliinikoiden ja tutkijoiden komiteassa (YSPR Committee), mikä on osoittautunut erittäin mielenkiintoiseksi projektiksi. Luotsaamme nuorten jäsenien mahdollisuuksia juurikin tutkimuksen saralla. Apurahoilla tarjoamme myös lisäkoulutusta, klinikkavierailuja jne.

Myös KLTO:n johtoryhmässä pyrkisin parantamaan tohtorikoulutettavien mahdollisuuksia tutkimukseen erikoistumisen ohella. Hieno esimerkki tästä oli vuonna 2015 ensimmäistä kertaa jaetut LTDK-HUS-tutkijakoulutuspaikat, jotka oli suunniteltu Helsingin yliopiston ja HUSin yhteistyönä. Toisaalta näitäkin paikkoja jaettiin vain 20.

Edustajana olisin siis sekä jo jonkin verran kokenut että motivoitunut.

Kollegiaalisin terveisin,
Nicolas Martinez-Majander
LL, tohtorikoulutettava


Veera Ahtiainen

Haluan olla mukana luomassa tavoitteellista, toimivaa ja kaikkia osapuolia tyydyttävää laadukasta työjälkeä. Minulla on lisääntyvää asiantuntemusta ja tunnen erikoisalani ja tohtorikoulutuksen teoreettiset lähtökohdat ja niiden sovellusalueet. Vahvoja osaamisalueitani ovat kokonaisuuksien hallinta, tavoitteellinen työskentelytapa, verkostoyhteistyö ja toimiminen erilaisten sidosryhmien kanssa. Minulle on kehittynyt kyky vastata monimutkaisista teknisistä ja ammatillisista tehtävistä ja projekteista ennakoimattomassa työ- ja oppimisympäristöissä. Olen sitoutunut, joustava ja päämäärätietoinen. Teen töitä ahkerasti, järjestelmällisesti ja ratkaisukeskeisesti. Vaalin tekemistä ja haluan tarjota tiedettä kaikille. Olen sosiaalisesti taitava ja sisäisesti motivoitunut. Haluan hälventää koulutukseen liittyvää epätietoisuutta sekä parantaa ja edistää tohtorikoulutusta. Mielestäni yliopiston ja klinikoiden tulevaisuus riippuu siitä, kuinka hyviä sen työntekijät ja koulutettavat ovat.


Doctoral Programme in Clinical Veterinary Medicine

Paula Bergman

I am a veterinarian with a wide ranging background including farm animal practice, diagnostic tasks and teaching. My enduring goal has been to focus on livestock production and food systems, animal and one health, as parts of our social ecological framework. Epidemiology and statistics offer tools to describe patterns, causes and effects of phenomena around us, and, for me they form a central cornerstone of research; I enjoy exploring and modelling uncertainty in the world. Momentarily, I work on the final stages of my PhD focusing on production animals and epidemiology.

As a student representative I want to participate in the discussions and planning how to make doctoral education aligned to University strategy and that guidelines for processes become consistent across disciplines. Communication of policies and practices needs to be transparent to all candidates.


Kirsi Aaltonen

I am a native of the greater Helsinki area and I have a previous career in marketing. I graduated from the University of Helsinki with MSc from the faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences with a major in Biotechnology in 2017. I have worked in the Viral zoonosis research group under Professor Olli Vapalahti since 2009 working with such variable pathogens as Ebola virus and Bartonella bacteria. I have special skills in molecular microbiology and BSL 3 laboratory work. I started my own PhD Project officially in 2017 but have worked with the project since 2010. My PhD topic is the Fur animal Epidemic Necrotic Pyoderma, epidemiology, pathogens and prevention. I’m working to characterize further the bacterial pathogens involved and attempting to stop the disease by biosafety and containment measures as well as vaccine development.


Doctoral Programme in Oral Sciences

Abdelhakim Salem “Hakim”

I have 4-year experience in student activities, including steering of the doctoral education at FINDOS board; and organizing international conferences and seminars. I hope that we could further enhance the quality and efficiency of the doctoral education at HY by making the student’s voice hearable and deciding!


Rakibul Hasan

Hello Everybody, I am Rakibul Hasan, a PhD candidate and working in the Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases Department belongs to the doctoral programme: FINDOS. Last few years I have been served FINDOS as a deputy student representative and contributed to arrange national FINDOS seminar series and an international conference NYSCO-2016. I have been student host for several times during arranging Biomedicum Helsinki seminars from Prof. David Rice’s research group. Beside this, since 2014 I have been an active executive committee member of Bangladeshi Academic Forum of Finnish Universities (BAFFU), a HYY affiliated student organization and a possible president candidate for the year 2018. I like sports and founded a dedicated club for football and cricket called “Helsinki Legends Sporting Club” (Unregistered). I am a young writer and write occasionally. Recently, I have released an exceptional poetry book named “Insight” in Bengali language. Balancing work and social life is important to achieve better outcomes in each sectors. I will continue to support FINDOS more robustly, more effectively in the upcoming years. Thank you.


Doctoral Programme in Drug Research

Iiro Kiiski

Olen Iiro Kiiski, ensimmäisen vuoden tohtorikoulutettava lääketutkimuksen tohtoriohjelmassa. Väitöskirjatyössäni kehitän prekliiniseen lääketutkimukseen uusia mikrofluidistisia in vitro -menetelmiä.
Tähänastisten opintojeni aikana minulle on kertynyt runsaasti kokemusta yliopiston hallintoelimissä toimimisesta. Olen toiminut mm. Farmasian tiedekunnan tiedekuntaneuvoston opiskelijavarajäsenenä sekä Farmasian tiedekunnan valintalautakunnan opiskelijajäsenenä. Edunvalvontatyöhön jää helposti koukkuun, niinpä haluan jatkaa näitä tehtäviä myös nyt tohtoriopintojeni aikana.
Tohtoriohjelman johtoryhmässä haluan ennen kaikkea toimia aktiivisena linkkinä tohtorikoulutettavien ja yliopiston välillä. Opiskelijoilla on erinäisiä tarpeita ja toiveita tohtorikoulutuksen suhteen, jotka pitää saada myös johtoryhmän kuuluviin silloin, kun tohtorikoulutusta koskevia päätöksiä tehdään. Tämä ei onnistu ilman aktiivista edustajaa johtoryhmässä.


Pedro João Oliveira Martins


Doctoral Programme in Integrative Life Science

Mridul Johari

I have been a part of the doctoral program of ILS as a PhD student since summer 2015.
I am an active student council member in ILS and an active board member of the BiotechClub@ILS. For my fellow doctoral students, I have helped organise many events including visits to companies like McKinsey & Co., PhD meetups and the project that is close to my heart: The annual best mentor recognition. Additionally, I am also a part of TEDxHelsinkiUniversity as the Team lead of Advertising team for 2017 and 2018 and serving in the organising team for the inaugural Helsinki Life Science day organised for the doctoral students of DSHealth.
During these years, organising and working for my fellow doctoral students have been fun but also challenging and being an elected student representative in the ILS doctoral program will give me an opportunity to further advise the ILS board on organising various courses and symposiums that will benefit doctoral education in coming years.

Joni Ollonen

At the level of doctoral program, I am interested in improving the quality and diversity of courses and general co-operation between doctoral programs (even between doctoral schools). At the level of overall doctoral education, I would see a dire need for a major reform of new students’ familiarisation to how university works and what rights they have. Additionally, the current status and legal rights of doctoral students (irregardless whether they have paid contract or grant) need to be improved and monitored more efficiently at our university. I have strong experience of admnistrative bodies of our univeristy: I have been student member of board of bachelor degree of biology and two master degree boards during Big wheel, been member of department counsil of biosciences and also student representative at board of educational affairs of the faculty. During this time I learned how to inform the students, map their opinions on the relevant matters, make well-prepared propositions and vehemently drive students agenda. Through experience I have assumed pragmatic and ruthless approach for advancing interests of students and overall scientific community. I do not seek these positions to get a better CV.


Doctoral Programme in Population Health

Shabbeer Hasan

My name is Shabbeer Hassan, I am a PhD student in Institute for Molecular Medicine (FIMM), Meilahti campus in Prof. Samuli Ripatti’s group. I am from the land of awesome tea – Darjeeling, India. Since my undergrad I have always been involved in organizing conferences, seminars, meetings etc. participated in various student committees.I have been part of the DocPop doctoral group since 2017. I sincerely wish to improve the quality of doctoral education as a whole by communicating students’ voices to the administration. I would like to organise more ethics, writing, future job option related courses/workshops. Also, I would like be a part of making information flow regarding everything from rights to benefits easier for students.


Karolina Tuomisto

I’m a PhD student doing my research at the National Institute for Health and Welfare and doing my PhD in public health epidemiology. I have always been active and enthusiastic about representing my fellow students, listening to their concerns and striving to improve conditions and opportunities for everyone. During my medical studies at the University of Helsinki, I represented students in the Core Curriculum Planning Committee and during my MSc at the London Schools of Economics and Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, I was class representative and therefore representing our programme in several student-staff committees at both schools. I hope to get feedback from my fellow PhD students should there be anything you’d like me to address: together we can ensure that our Doctoral Programme in Population Health puts PhD students first and provides great opportunities for everyone.