International recognition for Professor Irma Thesleff

Thesleff considers international co-operation the cornerstone of research

Irma Thesleff

Professor Irma Thesleff from the University of Helsinki was nominated Honorary Doctor of the Hungarian University of Debrecen. In July, Thesleff received the Isaac Schour Memorial Award, the most important recognition in the field of dentistry.

International recognition is the result of a longstanding career in research.

“For the last 30 years, I have studied intercellular communication, or mechanisms that also regulate the development of a foetus,” says Professor Thesleff. “How cells differentiate, how they regulate each other and how they read messages from their environment.”

Studies have shown that the secret of intercellular communication lies in small signal molecules that regulate cell development or differentiation.

Thesleff is internationally known as the leading expert in tooth development. She actively participates in the development of further education in dentistry and development biology, particularly in the Nordic countries. “International co-operation is also the cornerstone of research,” Thesleff points out.

In addition to teeth, Thesleff’s research team now focuses on organs that develop from the skin: hair and superficial glands. The purpose of the work is to develop a means of diagnosing and preventing genetic diseases.

Thesleff is the Research Director of the Institute of Biotechnology’s Developmental Biology Research Program at the University of Helsinki. She is particularly renowned for her studies on the development of teeth and craniofacial bones.

Text: Sanna Agullana
Photo: Wilma Hurskainen

Translation: AAC Noodi Oy

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