Areas of expertise
I am clinical neurologist and a clinical researher in Turku Univerity Hospital (Tyks) and University of Turku. As my main clinical duty in the Division of Clinical Neurosciences in Tyks, I have worked as the chief physician in the neurology outpatient polyclinic in Tyks Vakka-Suomi Hospital in Uusikaupunki since 2013. I attained my MD degree in 2005 and neurology consultant degree in 2011, both in the University of Turku.
Alongside my clinical duties, I have worked as a part time clinical researcher in professor Laura Airas's research group in Turku PET Centre and Division of Clinical Neurosciences in Tyks since 2009. I defended my doctoral thesis, entitled "Imaging neuroinflammation in progressive multiple sclerosis" in Turku University in 2015. Thereafter, I have continued as a part time postdoctoral researher in professor Airas's group.
In clinical neurology as well as in clinical research, teaching is one of the core responsibilities, and at the same time a great privilege, for the senior doctors. I have participated in teaching of clinical neurology as a clinical teacher for the medical students in the neurology courses in Turku University in 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019. I have also given several lectures in other university courses, such as in the Neurology for Neuroscientists course carried out by the Turku Brain and Mind Center. In addition, I have participated in numerous educational events as an invited speaker, the themes being mainly on clinical neuroimmunology and imaging of neuroinflammation.
In our research group, I am supervising master's and doctoral students alongside our primary investigator, professor Laura Airas.
I have also attained the subspecialty of Medical Education (The Finnish Medical Association) in 2018.
The main topic of my research has been the imaging of neuroinflammation in progressive multiple sclerosis, with the focus on activated microglia and adenosine A2A receptors. The fore mentioned targets can be visualized by the means of specific radioligands and positron emission tomography (PET). Recently, we have also been developing imaging and other biomarker methods for the evaluation of activated astrocytes. Neuroinflammation with astroglial activation (i.e. activation of microglia and astrocytes) is one of the hallmarks of disease pathology in many neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative disorders. Thus, evaluating astroglial activation in vivo by the means of PET and advanced MR imaging will provide further understanding in the mechanisms and temporal evolution of these disease processes, and may provide new targets for developing disease modifying treatments in the future.
The work in our reseach group is highly multidisciplinary including collaboration with radiochemists, radiographers, mathematicians, physicists and clinical doctors as well as basic researchers with various backgrounds from biosciences.