Research groups old

The Faculty of Pharmacy’s research activities focus on drugs. The objectives are to identify new drug targets, create and develop new drugs, establish new drug administration methods, examine the pharmacokinetic and pharmacological properties of drugs, develop new technologies, explore social and economic issues involving drug therapy, and educate leading professionals in the field.


Bioactivity Screening

Group Leader Päivi Tammela

We are experts in antimicrobial drug discovery, exploring new ways to confront the global challenge of emerging drug resistance amongst bacteria.


Group leader Marjo Yliperttula

The focal point of Biopharmaceutics group research is the development of the biomaterials for cell culture, drug delivery, and tissue repair together with the relevant detection technology. The developed materials are based on the nanofibrillated cellulose, nanoparticles, and extracellular vesicles.

Brain Repair

Group leader Mikko Airavaara 

We are interested in mechanisms of neurodegeneration, neuroprotection and brain repair, and we try to find new ways to restore the damaged neuronal circuits and neurotransmission. We focus on studying stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and motivation, with the ultimate long-term goal being to develop disease-modifying therapies. We have a curiosity about endoplasmic reticulum homeostasis, protein aggregates, neural development, and biology of glial cells. We have a passion for excellent level research and high-quality international training. Our mission is to provide the highest quality science-based teaching and training. By finding out what is the thing you are most interested in, and then grasping the opportunity you can shape the future.


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).

Computational Drug Discovery

Unit Leader Henri Xhaard

The ultimate goals of the unit are to discover better, more efficient and safer drug candidates against relevant human diseases, to discover chemical probes for studying biological processes as well as to develop innovative pharmaceutical applications and methods.


Drug Delivery Unit

Group Leader Arto Urtti

Optimal delivery of drugs to their target sites is essential for drug efficacy and safety. Drug delivery unit explores the key pharmacokinetic factors in drug delivery as well as new technologies for delivering drugs, especially to the eyes.


ImmunoViroTherapy Lab

Group Leader Vincenzo Cerullo

Development of novel platforms for cancer immunotherapy.

Industrial Pharmacy

Anne Juppo, Mia Sivén

Industrial pharmacy research includes manufacturing, development, marketing and distribution of drug products and quality assurance of these activities.


Lymphangiogenesis Research and Antibody Development

Group Leader Michael Jeltsch

We do biomedical research in vascular biology (lymphangiogenesis, VEGF-C) and antibody technology development.


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.


Nanomedi­cines and Bio­med­ical En­gin­eer­ing

Group leader: Hélder A. San­tos

Nanomedicine, Biomedical Engineering and Controlled Drug Delivery.

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.


Pharmaceutical and Analytical Technologies (Unit in the Drug Research Progam)

Unit Leader Clare Strachan

The Pharmaceutical and Analytical Technologies (PAT) unit specialises in introducing and advancing synergistic technologies that facilitate industrial drug discovery and development.

Pharmaceutical Biophysics

Group Leaders Tapani Viitala and Al­ex­an­der Bunker

Combining experimental and computational methodologies to generate mechanistic insight into drug action and drug delivery systems.

Phar­ma­ceut­ical Nanotechnology

Group Leader Timo Laaksonen

We work on controlled drug release and delivery using modern methods and materials.

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.


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.

Drug Research Program (DRP)

The Drug Research Program (DRP) is a unique multidisciplinary platform that combines research groups with expertise on different aspects of drug research. See also Drug Research Program Units