Contact Information

Faculty Office:
Viikinkaari 5 E (P.O. Box 56)
00014 University of Helsinki
Phone +358-(0)294 1911 (University)


Flamma intranet

Welcome to the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Helsinki!

Pharmacy is a multidisciplinary field of science. It specialises in medicinal treatment and studies drugs, medicines and their development, use and effects mainly from the point of view of natural sciences, health sciences, as well as social sciences.

The Faculty of Pharmacy offers Bachelor's, Master's and postgraduate programmes. The Faculty also provides professional postgraduate education in industrial pharmacy for those with a Bachelor or Master's degree in pharmacy and plays an active part in the continuing education in the field.

The Faculty is also nationally responsible for the Swedish-language Master's programmes in Pharmacy.



Yan-Ru Lou

The future of drug development: A stem cell-derived liver (29.9.2015)

PhD Yan-Ru Lou is developing a 3D liver derived from stem cells. Her work could speed up the drug discovery process considerably and eventually pave the way to personalised drugs.



New tools in pharmacy teaching

Blending experiences: new tools in pharmacy teaching (21.9.2015)

Adyary Fallarero's course combines face-to-face and online lectures, audio feedback and online assignments.



Academy of Finland funding decisions

Computer modelling helps creating drugs that reach even the retina (6.9.2015)

Eva María del Amo Páez developed new computer models for systemic and ocular pharmacokinetics and drug delivery. These models will hopefully speed up the development of new medications. It takes usually 12 to 15 years before a drug candidate reaches the market.



Academy of Finland funding decisions

Three innovative projects get "risk-taking funding" from the Academy of Finland (6.9.2015)

The Academy of Finland has launched a funding trial to support particularly innovative and high-quality projects confirmed to involve promising risk-taking in terms of research. Out of the ten projects funded , three belong to the Faculty of Pharmacy. Leena Kontturi (Light triggered and pH sensitive liposomes with gold nanoparticles for posterior eye drug delivery), Yan-Ru Lou (Stem cell-derived, three-dimensional liver: the missing link in drug discovery) and Tapani Viitala (Real-time label-free cell based in vitro models for mechanistic understanding of emerging nanomedicines).



Multifunctional nanocarrier delivering orally taken drugs, type 2 diabetes

Oral medication for type 2 diabetes one step closer (31.8.2015)

A multifunctional nanocarrier holding anti-diabetic drugs slips right through the biological barriers along the gastrointestinal tract and delivers the medicine to the target.



Faculty for the Future Foundation grant

Oluwaseun Oyemade to receive a Faculty for the Future grant (16.7.2015)

PhD student Oluwaseun Oyemade from Nigeria has been awarded a Faculty for the Future grant of the Schlumberger Foundation. The grant is intended for the 2015-2016 academic year to study under Professor Marja Airaksinen. More than a thousand applications were submitted and only 155 grants were awarded. Oluwaseun Oyemade's project concentrates on urban Nigerians and their coping with different health problems.

Schlumberger Foundation >>


Tuomela nanochrystals

Nanocrystals: more tools for delivering poorly water soluble drugs (16.6.2015)

Nanocrystal technologies have been introduced as advantageous formulation approaches for poorly water soluble molecules. Annika Tuomela studied for her doctoral dissertation both liquid and solid nanocrystal dosage forms and prepared high-quality nanocrystal suspensions using wet milling technique. She also developed an in vivo effective nanocrystal suspension formulation for ocular delivery to treat elevated intraocular pressure.



malaria mosquito

Researchers discover weak spot in malaria-causing protozoan (15.6.2015)

The cell membrane of the protozoan that causes malaria has an enzyme that humans lack. Researchers are now designing a drug that would block the functioning of this enzyme in an effort to destroy the protozoan without impacting its human host.



Arto Urtti CRS

Professor Arto Urtti nominated to the CRS advisory board (11.6.2015)

CRS (Controlled Release Society) is an international organisation covering the field of controlled release: scientific and technical efforts to regulate the spatial and temporal effects of agents in for example human and animal health as well as non-pharmaceutical areas.



Kalle Aaltonen doctoral thesis rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis: biologic drugs at least as safe and efficient as methotrexate (28.5.2015)

Rheumatoid arthritis is treated with synthetic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic (sDMARDs) and biologic drugs. More than 20% of Finnish patients with rheumatoid arthritis are using biologic drugs based on the inhibition of tumor necrosis factor, with a majority of them in combination therapy with sDMARDs. Kalle Aaltonen found out in his doctoral thesis that the efficacy and safety of biologic drugs are comparable to methotrexate and only few differences between individual agents could be observed.

To the thesis >>


Amir Akhgari doctoral thesis Rhazya

Rhazya stricta: biotechnological methods developed for alkaloid production (26.5.2015)

Amir Akhgari developed the first simple and efficient gene transfer method  for Rhazya stricta, a traditional medicinal plant in the Middle East and South Asia. Rhazya stricta  produces a large number of terpenoid indole alkaloids, and some of them have important pharmacological properties. He also established new analytical methods which made possible a comprehensive investigation of the alkaloids.

To the thesis >>


Dongfei Liu thesis award University of Helsinki

Best Thesis Award to Dongfei Liu (22.4.2015)

Dr Dongfei Liu has been awarded with the Best Thesis Award of the University of Helsinki. In his doctoral thesis, Porous Silicon-Based Multicomposites for Controlled Drug Delivery, he developed a method for manufacturing medical composite nanomaterials with an ability to control the exact contents of the composites.

To the thesis >>


Mari Hirvinen

Excellence in Research Award by the ASGCT to Mari Hirvinen (15.4.2015)

Mari Hirvinen has been awarded an Excellence in Research Award by the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT). Mari got the award because of her excellent abstract Boosting the Immunogenicity of an Oncolytic Vaccinia Virus By Expression of DAI Can Enhance Anti-Tumor Immunity in Humanized Mice, which was chosen as one of the top six amongst thousands of abstracts submitted for the ASGCT Annual Meeting.

News archive >>


Creating homogenous tunable nanoparticles (8.4.2015)

A microfluidic platform created by Dr Santos' and Dr Sikanen's groups produces homogeneous nanoparticles with tunable properties with the helpo of a high throughput synthesis.

News archive >>


Unique technique helps building innovative nanomedicines for cancer therapy (16.3.2015)

A new multi-stage nanocomposite for cancer therapy has been produced by nanoprecipitation.

News archive >>


New information on Parkinson's disease and GDNF (4.3.2015)

Recent Finnish study overturns results from seven years ago. Neurotrophic factor GDNF is not needed by the midbrain dopamine system.

News archive >>


Testing the possibilities of porous silicon nanoparticles for cancer therapy (24.2.2015)

Anticancer drugs kill the rapidly dividing cancer cells, but they can also cause severe damage to healthy tissues. Nanocarriers can be modified for targeted drug delivery applications. Chang-Fang Wang modified the surface structures of the porous silicon nanoparticles in different ways to enhance their uptake in tumour cells.

News archive >>


nanoparticles entering a cell

Porous silicon nanoparticles: surface modification has significant effects (11.2.2015)

Mohammad-Ali Shabhazi's doctoral dissertation points out that surface structure can affect the toxicological profiles the, cellular interactions and the therapeutic effects of the porous silicon nanoparticles.

News archive >>


photo Veikko Somersalo

Apply now for the right to pursue a doctoral degree! (4.2.2015)

Application period is 4–25 February 2015. The applications are sent through an electric application portal Aava.

News archive >>


Jouni Hirvonen, Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy

Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Guangdong Pharmaceutical University, China (23.1.2015)

Joint research topics, researcher and teacher exchange and educational collaboration have been discussed with the GDPU in China. More detailed mutual agreements on different activities are still needed.

News archive >>


Mohammad-Ali Shahbazi Faculty of Pharmacy

An Iranian research prize for Mohammad-Ali Shahbazi (16.1.2015)

Mohammad-Ali Shahbazi has received prize of the Best Young Researcher of Pharmaceutical Sciences in The 20th Razi Medical Sciences Research Festival, Iran.

Read more (Google Translate) >>
News archive >>


Pharmacy research Top10 index

World-class research in pharmacy at the University of Helsinki (3.12.2014)

Research in pharmacy was rated highly in the Academy of Finland Tieteen tila (The State of Science) report for 2014. Successful recruitments and new technology provide opportunities to further improve the University's international cooperation and funding base.

News archive >>


Hélder Santos

Reward for exceptionally productive research work for Hélder Santos (6.11.2014)

The Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy has decided to reward Dr. Hélder Santos for his exceptionally productive research work in 2014. Dr. Santos has published 29 articles in peer rewied journals by the end of October.

Hélder Santos Lab >>
News archive >>


€ 283.000 grant for a molecular nanomachine for Hongbo Zhang (28.10.2014)

Dr. Hongbo Zhang has been awarded a Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation grant to build a porous silicon-based multifunctional nanoshuttle for cancer therapy. The grant is for three years.

Hongbo Zhang in research database TUHAT >>
News archive >>


Vincenzo Cerullo awarded the Outstanding Young Investigator Award in Gene and Cell Therapy (27.10.2014)


Assistant professor Vincenzo Cerullo has been awarded the Outstanding Young Investigator Award in Gene and Cell Therapy 2014 by ESGCT, European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy. The € 1,000 award is given to a young investigator from PhD through to 9 years post doc.

Vincenzo Cerullo's interview (2012) >>


A PhD position in Supramolecular Drug Delivery (21.10.2014)


A PhD position in Supramolecular Drug Delivery is available at the Division of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology, University of Helsinki, together with the Biohybrid Materials group at Aalto University.



Monitoring steroids and vitamin D: new methods (2.10.2014)


For analyzing steroids, vitamin D and oxysterols, Linda Ahonen has developed new methods based on mass spectrometry. These compounds, members of the lipid group, are important in the function of the human body. In many cases, the monitoring of these analytes can be of high value.
"With some additional development, some of the presented methods could be implemented for example in routine laboratories", says Linda Ahonen in her doctoral thesis.




New tools for cell therapy developed


Leena-Stiina Kontturi found out in her doctoral dissertation that hydrogel made of cross-linked collagen and interpenetrating hyaluronic acid is promising in capsulating cells producing anti-angiogenic protein for the treatment of retinal neovascularization. She also developed a cell-encapsulating device and a PK/PD model that could be used to predict therapeutic responses after intravitreal anti-angiogenic drug delivery.



porous silicon-based multicomposite carrier

Porous silicon-based multicomposites can carry simultaneously different therapeutical molecules


There is a huge interest for creating multicomposites that could carry several different kinds of therapeutic molecules simultaneously for controlled drug delivery. Dongfei Liu's doctoral dissertation shows how a promising porous silicon-based multicomposite carrier was designed, prepared and characterized. Multicomposite systems represent a promising platform for future targeted combination therapies.



nanocellulose hydrogel liver cells

Wood-derived nanofibrillar cellulose hydrogel suitable for 3D culture of liver cells


New organotypic liver cell cultures are needed to predict the metabolism, excretion, and safety of chemical compounds. Melina Malinen has in her doctoral dissertation developed 3D culture methods for licer cells. In 3D structure, the cells can function more normally than in nowadays more typical 2D cultures.



Heikki Ruskoaho

Professor Heikki Ruskoaho a new chairman of the Board of the Academy of Finland


Professor Heikki Ruskoaho has been appointed a chairman of the Board of the Academy of Finland. The term lasts till the end of 2018.

Academy of Finland >>


Finnish research into ocular medication: FDA funding secured for the first time (27.8.2014)

Research into ocular medication carried out in Finland has secured a significant 250 000 dollar funding from the US Food and Drug Administration, FDA, which oversees the use of drugs and drug approval.