What are your research topics?
I investigate the link between intestinal bacteria and chronic intestinal and liver diseases. I have also studied the effect of diseases of the liver and gastrointestinal tract on patients’ quality of life.
Where and how does the topic of your research have an impact?
We have been developing faecal microbiota transplantation as a new treatment form for various chronic intestinal diseases. A stool transplant from a healthy individual given to a patient suffering from antibiotic-associated diarrhoea cures the latter. We are also investigating the efficacy and safety of faecal microbiota transplantation in treating other diseases, such as obesity and Parkinson's disease.
What is particularly inspiring in your field right now?
Diseases and symptoms associated with the gastrointestinal tract are very common, and their incidence is increasing, particularly among young adults. The gut microbiota is believed to hold a key role in the onset of these diseases. With currently available techniques, we have better opportunities than before to establish an increasingly accurate understanding of the diversity of gut microbiota, and also influence it, for example, through stool transplantation.
Perttu Arkkila is a professor of gastroenterology at the Faculty of Medicine.