Centers & People
Our research is conducted in three centers in Finland (Helsinki, Vaasa and Jakobstad) and in Malmö, Sweden.

Botnia-study's research activities (study visits, laboratory work) in Helsinki take place in Biomedicum Helsinki that is located at the Meilahti hospital area.

In Helsinki, Botnia-study's activities are a collaboration between University of Helsinki (Research Programs' Unit/ CAMM and Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, FIMM), Folkhälsan Research Center and HUS abdominal center, department of endocrinology.

Botnia study is part of the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in Complex Disease Genetics - from Discovery to Precision Medicine (2018-2025). The Academy of Finland’s Centres of Excellence (CoE) are at the very cutting edge of science in their fields.


Tiinamaija Tuomi, MD, PhD, Docent

Research director, Chief Departmental Doctor

Tiinamaija Tuomi has led the Botnia Study together with Prof. Leif Groop since 1999. She is a research director at Folkhälsan Research Centre and Institute for Molecular Medicine FIMM, University of Helsinki. She works as a Chief Departmental Doctor at the Department of Endocrinology, Helsinki University Hospital. In addition, she is a vice-director of the “Centre of Excellence of Complex Disease Genetics – from discovery to translation” (FIMM 2018-2025).

Leif Groop, MD, PhD, Professor

Research Director

Leif Groop is the founder and co-director of Botnia Study. He is a Professor (emeritus) in Endocrinology at Lund University and research director at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), University of Helsinki.

Liisa Hakaste, MD, PhD, specialist in internal medicine and endocrinology

Post doctoral fellow, Clinical Coordinator

Liisa hakaste has defended her thesis at Imperial College London, University of London. She works as a Post-doc researcher and clinical coordinator, special interest in PPP-Botnia, hypoglycemia and phenotypes of the new diabetes subgroups.

Jarno Kettunen, MD, PhD

Post doctoral fellow, coordinator of the FinnMody study

Jarno Kettunen is a medical doctor, who defended his doctoral thesis in 2021. He runs the MODY related FinnMODY-project together with Minna Harsunen.

Mikko Lehtovirta, MD, PhD

Postdoctoral fellow (FIMM), Coordinator of the Botnia Zinc- and iPSC-studies

In his research, Mikko Lehtovirta focuses on metabolic human studies with individuals and families with special emphasis on skeletal muscle insulin mediated glucose metabolism and pancreatic insulin secretion.

Om Dwivedi, PhD

Senior reseacher (FIMM)

Vasudha Ahuja, MBBS, MPH, PhD

Postdoctoral fellow

Vasudha Ahuja is a Postdoctoral fellow at the Center of Excellence in Complex Disease Genetics (CoECDG), FIMM. She obtained her PhD in epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh, US in 2015. During her PhD, she conducted research on ethnic disparities between Whites and Japanese related to markers of type 2 diabetes and subclinical cardiovascular disease. Currently, she is studying the accuracy of glucose traits of OGTT in diagnosing type 2 diabetes as a part of an international multi-center project.

Paula Kokko, medical laboratory technologist

Laboratory manager

Paula Kokko works as Botnia Study's laboratory manager in Helsinki. She coordinates the laboratory work, sample handling and logistics of all Botnia centers.

Anu Karhu, registered nurse

Research nurse

Anu Karhu works as a study nurse at the Helsinki Botnia center. She is responsible for the sample handling, recruitment of study participants and study visits especially for the Finnmody project in Helsinki.

Susanna Saarinen, medical laboratory technologist

Laboratory assistant 

Laura Impivaara,  MSSc

Research administration coordinator

Laura Impivaara’s duties include various tasks concerning research administration, such as assisting with the grant applications, permission procedures (ethical approvals, study permissions), data acquisition applications from the register authorities etc. In addition, she is responsible for HR tasks within the group and financial project management.


Study participants:

HUS clinical research unit

Biomedicum 2U, D102a
Tukholmankatu 8, 00290 Helsinki

Tel: +358 504279783

Office and laboratory:

Biomedicum 1, C422b
Haartmaninkatu 8, 00290 Helsinki

Tel: +358 504287811 


Botnia Study has research facilities in the premises of Ostrobothnia Diabetes Unit in Vaasa. Botnia study collaborates closely with the Wellbeing Services County of Ostrobothnia.




Kaj Lahti, MD., Specialist in internal medicine

Chief Physician, Chief medical officer for Botnia study in Vaasa

Kaj Lahti works as a Chief Physician at the Ostrobothnia Diabetes Unit and is the Chief medical officer for Botnia study in Vaasa.

Annemari Käräjämäki, MD, Specialist in general medicine

Chief Physician, Responsible for the DIREVA diabetes register and doctoral student

Annemari Käräjämäki works as a chief physician at Vaasa Central Hospital and as a diabetes physician at the Ostrobothnia Diabetes Unit in Vaasa. She is responsible for the Direva diabetes Register and is a doctoral student at University of Helsinki. In her research she is focused on novel subgroups of diabetes and complications related to them.

Britt Stolpe, medical laboratory technologist

Research nurse 

Britt Stolpe works as a study nurse at the Vaasa Botnia center. She is responsible for the sample handling, recruitment of study participants and study visits especially for the PPP Botnia -project in Vaasa.

Matleena Lamminaho, registered nurse

Research nurse

Matleena Lamminaho works as a study nurse at the Vaasa Botnia center. She is responsible for the sample handling, recruitment of study participants and study visits especially for the Direva follow-up study in Vaasa.

Aleksi Laitinen, MD

PhD student


Diabetes nurses:

Sonja Paulaharju

Gunilla Nyman-Klavus

Botnia Study in Vaasa

Tammikaivontie 4, Building 2,  2. floor
65100 Vaasa

Tel: +358 6 325 1732


Botnia Study have research facilities at the premises of Folkhälsan Östanlid hospital. 


Bo Isomaa, MD, PhD

Diabetes doctor, Botnia Study in Pietarsaari

Leena Sarelin, medical laboratory technologist

Research nurse 

Leena Sarelin works as a study nurse at the Pietarsaari Botnia center. She is responsible for the sample handling, recruitment of study participants and study visits especially for the PPP Botnia -project in Pietarsaari.

Arja Nordström, medical laboratory technologist

Research nurse


Folkhälsan Östanlid
Östanpåvägen 32
68660 Pietarsaari

Tel: +358 6 7247998


The Botnia-study was started in 1990 in Närpes, as a collaboration with Närpes Health Center. The operation of the Närpes Botnia-center ended in October 2020, as the long-time study nurse was retired, but we will continue our collaboration with the health center and possibly conduct some temporary studies at their premises.

We ask study participants to contact Botnia-center in Vaasa or in Helsinki.


Some of the Botnia study's genetic analyses take place in Malmö. Research activities are located at the Clinical Research Centre, Skåne University Hospital in Malmö and Botnia study collaborates with Lund University Diabetes Center (LUDC).

Botnia study in Malmö:

Clinical Research Centre

Jan Waldenströms gata 35, 91:12
Skåne University Hospital Malmö
SE-205 02 MALMÖ


Ulrika Blom-Nilsson
Tel: +46 40 39 12 01