Research groups

Our internationally esteemed research groups investigate the development and functioning of the body, its interactions with microbes as well as animal and human diseases. Our research is multi- and cross-disciplinary.
Veterinary Biosciences – Research groups

Research groups that operate wholly or partly under the Department of Veterinary Biosciences in alphabetical order.


Can­ine Mod­els of Hu­man Disease

Group leader: Hannes Lohi

Research in our group focuses on the canine genetic research. The unique population history and breed structure of dogs make them great candidates for genetic research.

Canine Genetic Studies

Group leader: Hannes Lohi

The canine genetic research is done at the University of Helsinki and at Folkhälsan Research Center.

The aim of our research is to identify genetic abnormalities leading to different hereditary diseases, as well as other breed-specific traits, to develop genetic tests for purposes of breeding, and to use the gained knowledge in the study of human diseases. A new genetic discovery opens up possibilities for the better understanding of disease mechanisms and helps us to improve diagnostic methods, treatments and drug development.


Developmental Interactions

Group leaders: Mikael Niku and Antti Iivanainen

Development is regulated by various interactive processes in the immature body, including interactions with the maternal microbiota. Our research focuses on development of two important body systems:

the intestinal immune system and the musculoskeletal system.


Emerging Infections

Group leader: Tarja Sironen

The newly established Emerging Infections Research group at University of Helsinki is led by Associate Professor Tarja Sironen. Our research focuses on emerging infectious diseases in human and animals. The aim of our research group is to accelerate biomedical research on emerging infections and build preparedness for emerging infectious diseases in the future.


Synaptic Plasticity and Neuronal Synchronization

Group leader: Tomi Taira

Our aims are to understand how synaptic networks are fine-tuned by homeostatic and Hebbian mechanisms during the development, and how are these processes associated with the emergent network properties (e.g. synchronous oscillations, network dynamics and criticality) in the brain. We are interested in the roles of developmentally expressed kainate-type glutamate receptors (KARs) critical for synaptic plasticity, axonal development and neuronal synchrony early in development.


Viral Zoonoses

Group leader: Olli Vapalahti

Myös suomeksi / also in Finnish:
Viral Zoonoses: Uusien pa­to­gee­nien met­säs­tys

Hunt­ing emer­ging pathogens

The multidisclipinary viral zoonoses research unit at University of Helsinki is led by Professor Olli Vapalahti. Our research focuses on emerging and re-emerging infections – particularly viral zoonoses, including arboviruses. We study their evolution, epidemiology, diagnostics, ecology and host-virus interactions from molecular to population level.