Areas of expertise
Professor Terho Heikkinen graduated from the Medical School at the University of Turku in 1984, where he also specialized in Paediatrics and Paediatric Infectious Diseases. He defended his thesis on Development and prevention of acute otitis media in children in 1994. Having received the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases Fellowship Award, he worked in 1996-1998 as a post-doc Research Fellow at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, USA. Subsequently, he worked as a Senior Clinical Researcher and Clinical Lecturer at the Department of Paediatrics, University of Turku. Since 2016, he has been Professor of Paediatrics at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Turku.
During the years, Terho Heikkinen has served as the chairman or a board member of several international and domestic societies in the field of paediatric infectious diseases, including the President of the World Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseases. He is currently a board member of the European Scientific Working Group on Influenza (ESWI), a scientific advisory board and executive committee member of the global Respiratory Syncytial Virus Network (ReSViNET), and the chairman of the Nordic Research Network for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (NORDPID).
Since 1999, Terho Heikkinen has worked as a full-time teacher of paediatrics at the Department of Paediatrics, University of Turku. He is also responsible for the organization of the biannual International Course of Paediatrics & Adolescent Medicine for international Erasmus students. He has given 188 invited lectures at various international and domestic academic meetings.
Terho Heikkinen´s major research interest lies in respiratory infections, especially those caused by influenza or respiratory syncytial viruses. In year 2000, he founded his own research group and initiated a long-term research project on respiratory virus infections in children, including the etiology, epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and overall societal impact of these infections and their complications.
Terho Heikkinen has been
actively involved in international research collaboration. In 2014, he was a founding member of ReSViNET, a global respiratory syncytial virus research network.
He is also a principal investigator in RESCEU (Respiratory syncytial virus
consortium in Europe) that in 2017 received 5-year EU/IMI funding for research
on the burden of respiratory syncytial virus infections in Europe. He was also a founding member of the Nordic Research Network for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (NORDPID) that was established in 2018.