Areas of expertise
• Molecular epidemiology
• Diagnostics and genomic characterization of bacterial pathogens
I finished my M.D.,Ph.D. degrees at University of Helsinki in 1984 and 1987, respectively, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, USA, in 1988-1991. Besides positions at National Institute for Health and Welfare, THL, Helsinki and Turku, I have gained expertise at University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Central Hospital and as visiting researcher at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA, in 1998-99. I became specialist in clinical microbiology in 2004.
At current, I act as full time professor of bacteriology at University of Turku, Faculty of Medicine, since fall 2014. I have also a part-time affiliation at the Turku University Hospital as chief physician in clinical microbiology. My publication record includes around 150 peer-reviewed international scientific publications with ca 8200 citations and 40 text book chapters.
Bacterial infections cause a significant disease burden in humans. We know that the disease spectrum can vary from asymptomatic carriage to life threatening infections.
Our aim is to gain understanding on reasons why certain individuals develop a disease and the others do not, why pathogens spread and cause epidemics and what could be the means to prevent this from happening. My long standing research interest has also resided in antimicrobial resistance, especially in molecular epidemiology and spread of MRSA, VRE and ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae both in health care setting and community.
Our current research areas cover:
- Invasive Group A streptococcal disease
- Molecular epidemiology and disease burden of Group A streptococcal infections
- Molecular epidemiology and spread of MRSA
- Carriage of ESBL in healthy population
- Surveillance of AMR
Research group members:
- Kirsi Gröndahl-Yli-Hannuksela, Ph.D., post doctoral researcher/university teacher
- Emilia Lönnqvist, M.Sc., Ph.D. fellow
- Jenna Junnila, M.D., Ph.D. fellow
- Johanna Vilhonen, M.D., Ph.D. fellow
- Tiina Hirvioja, M.D., Ph.D. fellow
- Mirva Virolainen. B.M, Ph.D. fellow
- Jaakko Silvola, B.M, Ph.D. fellow
- Ville Kaila, M.D., Ph.D. fellow (based at Tampere University Hospital, Tampere)
- Erastus Haindongo, M.Sc., Ph.D. fellow (based at University of Namibia, Windhoek)
- Tuula Rantasalo, laboratory technician