Brain diseases are increasingly common – How can their progression be slowed down?

Professor Mikko Airavaara is looking for new drugs to treat cerebral infarctions and neurodegenerative diseases.

What are your research topics?

I investigate cerebral infarctions and neurodegenerative diseases. Our research is focused on glial cells and the study and prevention of protein agglutination. With the help of the gene scissor technique, we are developing new methods to better measure protein activity, investigate mechanisms and design new therapeutic compounds.

Where and how does the topic of your research have an impact? 

The aging of the population increases the prevalence of brain diseases. Among others, memory disorders, other neurodegenerative diseases and cerebral infarctions are becoming increasingly common. Developing drugs that slow down the progression of these diseases is a great challenge. We academic researchers need to concentrate on entirely novel solutions and approaches, as well as, above all, the quality of research.

What is particularly inspiring in your field right now? 

First of all, I am inspired by the quality of our research group. I am very happy with the high level of our everyday activities. We do not really have any methodological limitations. Instead, we focus on big questions. Secondly, I am inspired by FinPharma, a cooperation and research network in drug development established by three Finnish universities, to which I too was recruited. I'm really looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together.   

Mikko Airavaara is a professor of pharmacology and drug development at the Faculty of Pharmacy.

Watch Mikko Airavaara’s inaugural lecture as a new professor on 27.5.2021 on YouTube.

Read about the other newly appointed professors.