Universitas Helsingiensis

Chemist on tour

Chemist on tour The former amanuensis of the Department of Pharmacy, pharmacist Janne Leino, has a second career filling up dance floors.

“We try and keep the number of gigs to a regular ten a month,” says Janne Leino.

Since 2004, he has been the vocalist and guitar player in a dance band called The Charlies, and its biggest hits are climbing the charts. “We have to be careful not to overdo it,” Leino says, “because The Charlies is not just fun, it’s also four people’s jobs.”

The job of the vocalist is to be the face of the band, and it’s a little like running a small business.”

He bases this comparison on his experience. In addition to running the Charlies, he also runs a pharmacy of his own and two other companies.

“You can run business from the tour bus,” he says, “but organising and timing things is quite a challenge.”

The Charlies came into Leino’s life in a summer that brought many other changes in his life, too:

“I changed jobs from a pharmaceutical wholesaler to a retailer and I completed my doctorate.”

The idea for the dissertation emerged over ten years ago, when Leino stayed on in the Department of Pharmacy after completing his master’s degree to work as an amanusensis.

“The dissertation progressed gradually on the side,” he says. “I first took the licentiate.”

The science of pharmacy has now been conquered, Leino thinks, but as the easily excited person that he is, he needs new challenges.

He’s been working on an MBA for a couple of years now.

“Fortunately, my impulsiveness is balanced by my relatively calm temperament,” he says, when I ask him how he manages to find time for everything.

“I wrote the lyrics for the most recent release by the Charlies and composed eleven songs, but now I need to give that side a break.”

Things are busy at the Leino pharmacy, in which he acquired ownership last summer. They are about to move to new premises, next to the largest supermarket in the largest city in Northern Finland. They are doubling the number of staff and busy recruiting.

Leino spends four days a week in Oulu, when he performs his duties as a pharmacist. The rest of the week he spends travelling the length and breath of Finland with his band, or visiting his family near Helsinki.

“I also have my home office in Helsinki, from where I can take care of both the pharmacy and band affairs.”

Leino refuses to prioritise either music or pharmacy. Both have been integral parts of his life ever since he started studying.

“When working on my degree, I was a keen member of The Siberian Mules, a student balalaika orchestra, and we actually did quite a few gigs.”

Janne Leino: The value of hard gelatin capsules as a rectal dosage form in man using ibuprofen and metoclopramide hydrochloride as model drugs. ISBN 952-10-1900-X. University of Helsinki 2004.

Virve Pohjanpalo