Doctoral School in Health Sciences and its programmes (2016-2017)

Doctoral School in Health Sciences

Markku Hakala

I am keen on continue my work as a member of the steering committee of DsHealth. Doctoral schools are still launching their action and the agenda is still more or less unclear. This makes the work of steering committee highly important and interesting. I would like to see doctoral schools as umbrella for their programs. This means that doctoral school supports programs and especially their collaboration, but at same time does not restrict programs too much from making their own decisions. I am fully confident about my ability to represent students from all doctoral programs of DsHealth. With help from representatives of doctoral program we have a great chance to influence many important decisions decided by the steering committee, such as the budget of doctoral school. With my deep and wide experience from all levels of University governance (Steering group of Division of Biochemistry, Faculty council, University Collegium, The Board of Student Union, Steering committee of dsHealth) and with studies on University administration and governance, I am fully capable for running the agenda of all students

Doctoral programme in biomedicine

Zhijia Wang


I’m thrilled to be part of the link between doctoral students and staff members if elected as the new student representative. As i come from China and quite some are in this building with such strong scientific atmosphere and dedicated people to work with,it’s really a honor to among them and i love to communicate with people and talk about what they are doing and explore what’s new or anything with be useful for the science. I have learned and being trained to how to become a real researcher and i like to share and make us more excited about science. Like your vote.

Doctoral programme in clinical research

Suvi Koskinen


I am a medical doctor specialising for radiology in Helsinki University Central Hospital. I am currently registered as a doctoral student in The Doctoral Programme in Clinical Research and on leave of absence from my clinical duties for my PhD research. I have been the doctoral student representative in the board of our programme since the beginning of summer 2014.  In addition to my MD degree from Helsinki University, I have an MSc degree from Aalto University from the Department of Technical Physics, where I majored in biomedical engineering.  I am research-oriented, with set goals to work as a clinician after finishing my PhD thesis. After graduating from medical school I worked as a clinician which gave me clear perspective to the challenges PhD students combining medical duties and research may face on daily bases. My goal as a doctoral student representative has been to actively develop doctoral education in our programme. This includes ideas for new courses, and of course, keeping the board informed about the practical issues that doctoral students are faced with. As many of the students in the programme work partly in the clinic, a set knowledge of the schedules, the leave system, and how and when to organize courses so that clinicians are also able attend, is crucial. Although I have been away from day-to-day clinical work, Im well acquainted with the issues doctoral students with pressing clinical responsibilities face, especially as a resident.  Based on the above, I would gladly offer my candidacy for the position of student representative in our programme for yet another term.

Doctoral programme in population health

Paula Tiittala


I’m a resident and a PhD student at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine, Depatment of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases since 2011. My research interest is in immigrant health in Finland and I focus on infectious diseases such as HIV, Tuberculosis and hepatitis. I’m also the current student representative in the board of Doctoral Program for Population Health (DocPop) since March 2015 – and I’m keen to continue in the task! As the student representative in the board I hope to A) ensure all the DocPop students are aware of the services and possibilities offered by the doctoral schools (for ex. by developing the DocPop-web pages for clarity, by updating the student handbook, by clarifying the travel and conference support process etc.), B) fasilitate the communication between the students and the board (for ex. by supporting students’ ideas on courses) and C) bring “the students’ voice” to all decision making in the DocPop board.

Doctoral programme in oral sciences

Abdelhakim Salem

Doctoral programme in drug research

Sofia Nilsson


My name is Sofia Nilsson. I am a 2nd year student in the Doctoral Programme in Drug Research (DPDR) and my research is focusing on determining reaction mechanisms of chemical reactions with the aid of microreactors and on-line mass spectrometry. I am enrolling as candidate for the student representative position in the DPDR board since I want to get more insight and experience in how decision makings in the university are executed. Furthermore, I want to focus on enlightening the actual needs and requests of PhD students in DPDR (for example which courses that should be organized, social activities, supervision etc.) to the rest of the board the DPDR when decisions are to be made. My aim, as student representative in the DPDR board is additionally to enhance the co-operation and organization of events together with other universities which belong to DPDR/have pharmacy doctoral programmes (for example Kuopio, Turku, Tallin and Stockholm). The argument to vote for me as the DPDR student representative, is if you think that the points which I have brought up to focus above are important. As a student representative in DPDR, I will do my very best to communicate the interests of my fellow students to the rest of the DPDR board, and thus hopefully increase the likelihood that these priorities are savoured and acted accordingly to when the board is taking decisions and is planning.

Doctoral programme in integrative life science

Tuomo Hartonen


I have started as a doctoral student in the Doctoral Program in Integrative Life Sciences (ILS) in the beginning of 2015. I conduct my doctoral studies at the Faculty of Medicine and my study discipline is medical genetics. My background is in physics and I have graduated from University of Helsinki as a Master of Science majoring in theoretical physics. I have also studied translational medicine at University of Helsinki and I am expecting to finish that degree during this semester. I was a student member of the steering committee of the Master’s Programme in Translational Medicine earlier during my studies, so I have previous experience well applicable also for serving in the steering committee of the ILS doctoral Program.

I strongly believe that University of Helsinki should listen not only the opinion of professors and senior staff, but also the undergraduate as well as the doctoral students at all levels of decision making. University is a common effort of all the staff and the students. Therefore I feel it is important for all the doctoral programs to have a doctoral student member in their steering committees.

As a doctoral student representative in the steering committee, I would like to be the link between the doctoral students and the senior staff. I am especially interested in developing the education and course contents to assure that the offered education remains relevant and up to date. I feel that learning excellent communication, presentation and interaction skills along with the science will become more and more important in the future, and that should be one of the focus points of our doctoral program.

All in all, my goal is to be an easy-to-approach contact for other students of our doctoral program. We make better decisions together!

Doctoral programme in brain & mind

Amr Abou Elezz


My name is Amr Abou Elezz, a second-year Egyptian PhD student of the University of Helsinki and Doctoral Programme Brain & Mind. I have been studying neuroscience in the University of Helsinki for the past four years, a period during which I have been actively involved in the student community through several organisations and activities, including a term as a deputy member of the Council of Representatives of the Student Union.

I am looking forward to positively influencing the student community through representing the students of my doctoral programme. I believe the internationalisation efforts of the university should be more strongly reflected in the administrative bodies, and this is possible only through greater involvement of the international students. I am also sure this experience will benefit my career and help me develop as a person.

Personally, I am an outgoing and easy-to-approach person who loves meeting new people and making friends.  Upon becoming a representative, I will do everything I can to make sure the voice of my fellow students is heard and their interests are served.

Doctoral programme in clinical veterinary medicine

Sanna Viitanen