Areas of expertise
I graduated as a licentiate of medicine from University of Turku in 1990. Already as a medical student I became passionately attracted in histopathology and microscopy. I started my specialization in clinical pathology soon after authorization as a clinical practitioner by the Finnish Medical Board in 1991. After finishing my specialist training, I have worked as a clinical pathologist in Turku University Hospital with special diagnostic responsibility in breast pathology. Along with my clinical practice I have been employed in University of Turku as senior clinical lecturer and researcher. My research deals with prognostic biomarkers in breast cancer. On several occasions, I have also been employed abroad as clinical pathologist, clinical lecturer and researcher eg. in the Institute of Molecular Pathology in University of Copenhagen, in Galway University College Hospital in Ireland, in Karolinska University Hospital, and in King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Riyad, Saudi-Arabia. I also have special responsibilities in Histology core facility and development of undergraduate education in the medical faculty of University of Turku.
Medical teaching and supervision as well as developing pedagogical tools in medical undergraduate education is my passion. This enthusiasm originates from the inspiring educational atmospheres which I have experienced in University of Turku and in the various foreign universities where I have worked as a medical teacher in undergraduate and postgraduate programs. I am actively participating in evaluation and development of undergraduate medical education in University of Turku. Over the years, I have also systematically sought to improve my skills in education and my understanding of learning theories by taking several pedagogical courses in University of Turku. In 2012, I also completed a master’s degree in Adult of Education and immediately thereafter registered a doctoral project in the Faculty of education, University of Turku. My ongoing doctoral research is a follow-up study aiming at identifying the initial motives and personality traits of medical students which eventually enable work commitment in the health care professions.
The scope of my research is breast carcinoma, particularly triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) as the main challenge of breast cancer prognostication and treatment today. My research deals with regulation of cell proliferation in breast cancer, focusing particularly at the cell cycle checkpoint proceeding metaphase-anaphase transition. This transition is responsible for the most essential steps of cell division resulting in chromosome segregation. In the normal cell, genetic stability is tightly controlled at this checkpoint through positive and negative feed-back mechanisms. My research concentrates on one of these signaling pathways associated with Securin (PTTG1). My interest in Securin originates from our cDNA-gene chip experiments where, among 4000 cancer-related genes, PTTG1 was revealed with the most differential gene expression level between breast carcinomas and benign breast epithelium. Later, we have witnessed based on immunohistochemistry a significant prognostic value for PTTG1-overexpression in breast cancer and particularly in TNBC. Presently, we are testing and validating the prognostic impact of Securin in multiparametric models to evaluate its clinical applicability in breast cancer prognostication. Moreover, we are investigating the epigenetic regulation of Securin in in vivo and in vitro models.