Research groups
Research groups in pharmacology and pharmacotherapy
Research groups in pharmacology and pharmacotherapy

Research groups that operate wholly or partly under the Division of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy in alphabetical order.

C

Clinical Pharmacy
Group leader Marja Airaksinen

Clinical pharmacy as a discipline is based on health sciences. The discipline is focused on optimising pharmacotherapy and promoting health. Emphases include rational medicine use and ways to influence it, the development and evaluation of clinical pharmacy services, and medication safety. Clinical pharmacy is based on multidisciplinary collaboration and patients’ involvement in their pharmacotherapy. Clinical pharmacy is a philosophy of practice covering all social and health care settings in hospital and outpatient care where pharmacotherapy is part of patient care (University of Helsinki 2010).

M

Medication Safety and Effectiveness
Group leader Anna-Riia Holmström
Our goal is to develop prospective medication safety risk management methods for healthcare services systems to reduce medication related risks and patient harm. We explore issues such as the role of hospital and community pharmacies and their services in medication safety promotion, the medication safety of neonates and children, the use of healthcare data lakes as a source of medication risk information, and veterinary medication safety. The findings will be used to develop safe medication processes for patients in Finland and internationally. The research is part of the Helsinki One Health Research Network, and the main collaborators are the HUS-Pharmacy Research Center and the Faculty of Veterinary Faculty of the University of Helsinki.

N

Neuroprotection and Neurorepair
Group leader Mikko Airavaara 

We want to develop novel technologies to explore the progression of protein folding failure in age-related brain diseases such as stroke and Parkinson's disease. We investigate mechanisms of how protein homeostasis failure in the endoplasmic reticulum lumen or cytosol contribute to neurodegeneration and inflammation. The findings will be used to develop new quantitative tools to facilitate translation from the bench to the bedside.

Laboratory of Neurotherapeutics
Group leader Tomi Rantamäki
We aim to explore mechanisms of sleep and chronobiology and how they are connected with antidepressant treatments to restore neuroplasticity. We investigate neurobiological mechanisms underlying rapid (ketamine, psilocybin, nitrous oxide) and sustained (SSRIs) antidepressant drug effects. The findings will be utilised to develop novel drugs for depression, a leading causes of disability.

M

PREP in Neurodegenerative Disorders
Group leader Timo Myöhänen
Our goal is to find novel drug therapies for neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. We study and characterize common mechanisms in neurodegenerative diseases to discover novel drug targets and then develop novel small-molecular compounds in collaboration with medicinal chemists. One such target is prolyl oligopeptidase (PREP), and we have developed new PREP inhibitors demonstrating preclinical efficacy in several neurodegenerative disease models.

R

Regenerative Cardiac Pharmacology
Group leader Virpi Talman
We aim to identify new drug targets and to discover new potential therapies for heart diseases, in particular for post-infarction heart failure and cardiomyopathies. We investigate molecular mechanisms of cardiac regeneration and remodelling using modern techniques such as cardiovascular cells derived from human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) and high content imaging and analysis. In collaboration with medicinal chemists, we develop, screen and characterise new compounds that may lead to the discovery of new treatments.

Regenerative neuroscience 
Group leader Merja H Voutilainen
Our goal is to identify the therapeutic potential of novel biologicals for neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson's and Huntington's disease, and multiple sclerosis, and clarify their molecular mechanisms. We use various approaches to study how to overcome the loss of neurons and remyelination failure. In collaboration with companies, we can take our findings to the clinic.

Regenerative pharmacology group
Group leader Raimo K. Tuominen
The research of the Regenerative pharmacology group aims to develop new preclinical tools and approaches to develop drugs for diseases that affect post-mitotic cells. Our focus is on fundamental research on disease-modifying therapies for major degenerative diseases such as heart failure, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke and psychiatric diseases such as addiction and depression. In parallel, by educating next-generation drug research experts and researchers together with our national and international collaborators, we can overcome degenerative processes.