Alumna of the Year 2018 for the Faculty of Medicine is professor Anu Kantele

Believe in yourselves and in a better world, Anu Kantele, a professor of infectious diseases and the Alumna of the Year for the Faculty of Medicine, encourages her students. The announcement on the appointment was made on 31 January, the Faculty’s anniversary.

Alumna of the Year, Professor of Infectious Diseases Anu Kantele is conducting internationally significant research, while bringing her research questions closer to ordinary citizens and their everyday life. Kantele is driven particularly by globally important questions concerning infections, such as resistance to antibiotics, diarrhoeal diseases and vaccinations.

At the moment, Kantele is also working as a visiting professor at the Karolinska Institutet. During her career, she has had the opportunity to evaluate the strengths of Finnish research and education from an international viewpoint.

"We in Finland value education and invest in its quality. In research, our strengths include innovativeness and perseverance. Finnish research is respected and trusted. From the standpoint of social interaction, it is important to understand scientific knowledge and utilise it in decision-making," says Kantele.

Kantele is known for her activity in the fields of teaching and clinical work, as well as in various scientific and expert communities. A dynamic approach and familiarity with the latest developments have kept Professor Kantele in demand as a speaker and participant in public debate.

To the Alumna of the Year, research is a hobby and a passion

Anu Kantele is a former student of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Helsinki. She considers the title of the Alumna of the Year an elevating acknowledgment that increases affinity with her profession, as well as her home faculty.

Professor Kantele finds enjoyment in curiosity, thought, ideas and brainstorming. These factors also surely underlie the fact that her research is perceived as unbiased and topical.

"To me, research is a hobby and a passion. At times, reaching a diagnosis requires real detective work, which fascinates me," says Kantele.

Alumni of the Faculty have a significant role also from the perspective of students, since through them it is possible to examine various career options and the meaning of their personal choices. Professor Kantele urges students to keep their minds open, to maintain their curiosity and to seize opportunities.

"Travel the globe, network, believe in yourselves and in a better world.  Dare to question and change the world!"

Kantele, described as an inspiring teacher and colleague, is an embodiment of how respect afforded to others and cooperation are also significant in professional life.