The team members are more than dedicated to their individual tasks and the matters at hand.

"We have taken upon us to show something that a lot of people, including a lot of our own colleagues, do not really believe in. This requires curiosity, truth seeking, passion and civil courage from my researchers and I love them every day for doing it. " – Anna Hielm-Björkman
Anna Hielm-Björkman

Principal investigator, DVM, PhD, docent, CVA (IVAS)

Anna is the leader of the DogRisk reseaerch group. She works as a senior researcher, PI (principal investigator) and teacher at the department on Equine and Small Animal Medicine at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Helsinki in Finland. 80% of her time goes to research and she works with patients once a week. A lot of her time goes to securing funding for her researchers and the administration of her research group. Her main areas of interest are preventive medicine, why chronic diseases in dogs and humans occur, how the disease process proceeds and the role of nutrition in these both. She also has a strong background in chronic pain management, acupuncture, other "non-conventional" therapies, un-heated dog foods (also called raw, fresh or BARF), lab-meat for pets, and nutraceuticals.

Jo­hanna An­tur­aniemi (nee Roine)

PhD (Animal science), academic agronomist, DVM 

Nutrition Clinic for Dogs and Cats

Johanna has been working in DogRisk group since 2008, and has been working in clinical trials on osteoarthritis, urinart infection, mammary cancer and atopy in dogs. In her PhD study she studied Canine atopic dermatitis in Staffordshire bull terriers, and she has continued gathering different biological samples from Staffordshire bull terriers in a dog life-time study. She finished her veterinary studies in 2023. Her areas of interest are genetics, nutrition, nutrigenomics, and metabolomics.

Manal Hemida

PhD (Animal Nutrition), Veterinarian, Lecturer

Manal has been working in project preparation about canine diabetes. In her master study, she studied rabbit nutrition while her PhD was on poultry nutrition. Her areas of interest are animal nutrition and related risk factors. 

Kristi­ina Vuori

PhD Biology/Animal Physiology

Prior to joining the DogRisk group, Kristiina’s research interests have been antioxidant defence, oxidative stress, transcriptomics, proteomics and transcriptional regulation. She is interested in promoting health and wellbeing of dogs through research related to the effects of nutrition and environment on canine gene expression, transcriptional regulation, metabolomics, immune defence, microbiota and physiology.

Sarah Rosendahl

DVM, PhD student

Sarah is a veterinarian and PhD student that joined DogRisk in 2019. She has a big passion for health and nutrition and her studies so far have mainly focused on trace element and toxic metal status in healthy dogs and dogs with various chronic diseases. She is currently finishing her PhD, which is about trace elements and toxic metals in canine idiopathic epilepsy.

Robin Moore

Master’s Student, Canine Metabolomics / Metabonomics

In the DogRisk atopy project Robin uses statistical and biochemical analysis of metabolomic data in order to study how dietary intake associate with disease risks in dogs. Robin began his studies at the University of Helsinki in Fall 2012, majoring in organic chemistry and minoring in molecular biology. Prior to joining the DogRisk group Robin has participated as a researcher in several other research groups, including a year studying the structures of protein complexes responsible for mediating tick-borne diseases in humans under Prof. Adrian Goldman and Dr. Taru Meri.

Hanna Sinkko

PhD, microbial ecologist 

Hanna is working with microbiomes, focusing on associations between dogs’ microbiota (skin and gut) and dietary factors, lifestyle as well as environment and their role in allergy.

Nona Borgström

Nona Borgström has studied etology on University level in Sweden, has a Bachelor in social work and agriculture and is a vocational teacher. She is also a veterinary nurse, a neuropsychiatric coach and has worked with human-animal interactions in trauma- and social rehabilitation. She is the project planner at DogRisk on the research on dogs that discriminate pain. This project is a multidisciplinary study conducted at the Orton pain hospital in Helsinki, together with DogRisk and the dog training NGO InnoMediDogs ry. There is also an objective to develop the knowledge on the human-animal bond in a multidisciplinary context. Nona is also developing the medical scent dog working strategies for animal assisted interventions and ethics, fitting them into a university setting. Her interests include dressage ridning with her best friend. 

Stella Bar­rouin-Melo

International co-worker, nutrition related immunology. 

Professor, DVM, PhD

Professor Stella Barrouin is a veterinarian, lecturer and researcher in the fields of small animal internal medicine and immunology at the School of Veterinary Medicine of the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil. She participates in nutrition and metabolomic studies in the DogRisk project as affiliated with this research group since September 2013, when she started her postdoc research at the University of Helsinki, which was concluded in August 2014. The correlation between nutrition and immuno-inflammatory aspects of canine diseases, particularly the interactions between food, microbiota, intestinal local immunology and systemic immune responses have been our main subjects of study in collaboration. Among our common objectives is to develop a multicenter study comparing data from different environmental conditions such as the tropical South America and temperate Nordic Europe.

Barbara Royal

Dr. Barbara Royal (DVM, CVA, CIAC) is a Chicago, USA, integrative veterinarian and works as an adjunct member of DogRisk team. She is a IVAS certified acupuncturist, author and lecturer with extensive experience in veterinary care, including zoo, marine and wildlife animals, nutrition, acupuncture, emergency medicine, pathology, conventional practices, herbal remedies, physical rehabilitation techniques and alternative treatments. The author of three books, including The Royal Treatment, A Natural Approach to Wildly Healthy Pets, she has been featured in the film documentary “Pet Fooled”, and in other films, books, television, print and online media publications and is Oprah Winfrey’s “go-to” veterinarian. She is the founder and owner of The Royal Treatment Veterinary Center in Chicago, co-founder of the Royal Animal Health University, CEO of the College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies (, co-owner of the Animal Diet Formulator ( and is an adjunct professor at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo. She is the past-president of both the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association ( and the AHVM Foundation (, and a Board Member of PAWS Chicago, a nationally-renowned no-kill humane animal shelter. She divides her time between her practice in Chicago and her organic farm in Michigan.

Nicole R. Cammack

Nicole works in the USA, as an adjunct member of DogRisk team. She has completed undergraduate work in biological sciences, business and holds an M.S. in Nutrition. Currently Nicole is pursuing a PhD in Comparative Biomedical Sciences (Canine Nutrition/Metabolomics) at the prestigious University of Georgia in the USA. Her background includes experience in the pharmaceutical industry on multiple R&D projects and has had the privilege to learn from leading figures in the human and pet health industries. Nicole has been heavily involved in police canine nutrition within the USA, helping to improve the modern care and feeding of working dogs. She is also the founder & owner of multiple-award winning NorthPoint Pets & Company, in Connecticut, USA. Her interests include working dog nutrition, raw feeding, pathogens, metabolomics, and nutrition’s relationship to disease in humans and canines. Her current research involves exploration of the canine urinary metabolome and the relationship to diet.

Janica Bergström

Janica Bergström is a dedicated dog and feline nutritionist with a passion for promoting health through raw food. Her expertise lies in crafting nutrition plans that prioritize the well-being of dogs and cats, emphasizing the importance of a wholesome and natural diet. With a commitment to the principles of raw food nutrition, Janica works tirelessly to enhance the overall health and vitality of pets, contributing to a happier and more fulfilling life for our furry companions.

Sini Mannila

Sini Mannila works as a technical assistant in the DogRisk research group. Her main objective is to construct the new and improved version of the group's Food Frequency Questionnaire (originally from 2009) using the REDCap research tool.