Our team is very diverse in several ways. The field of spectroscopy applied to pharmacy is interdisciplinary by nature and requires people from different disciplines. This is exactly what characterizes our team. Not only do our members differ by discipline, our team is also international and involves people from several countries. This is what we like to call a true “broad spectrum” perspective.
Clare Strachan, Group leader

Clare has a background in pharmacy and pharmaceutics, with strong interdisciplinary crossover with chemistry and physics. She obtained her PhD from the University of Otago (New Zealand) in 2005, after collaboration with The Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge and TeraView Ltd (UK). She embarked on postdoctoral research at the University of Helsinki in 2005, and is currently a Professor in Pharmaceutical Analysis at the University of Helsinki (since 2020) and Honorary Associate Professor at the University of Otago (since 2012). Prof. Strachan has particular experience in the application of advanced forms of Raman, terahertz, and infrared and non-linear optical spectroscopy and imaging, as well as pharmaceutical preformulation and solid dosage form development, including formulation approaches to optimise the delivery of poorly soluble drugs. Recently, she has focused on employing multimodal coherent Raman microscopy to understand and optimise drugs and dosage form behaviour, and currently leads the Finnish Research Infrastructure (FIRI), Quantitative Chemically Specific Imaging for Material and Life Sciences (qCSI).

Jukka Saarinen

Jukka obtained a PhD (Pharm) from the University of Helsinki in 2018 and currently is affiliated as University Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Chemistry in the Division of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology. Jukka has experience on Raman spectroscopy (spontaneous and coherent Raman) and vibration spectroscopic imaging in pharmaceutical applications including solid-state analysis of pharmaceutics as well as in biological analysis. Currently Jukka’s research is focusing on Raman spectroscopic imaging aiming for quantitative analysis of cellular drug uptake. Jukka is also part of Finnish Research Infrastructure (FIRI), Quantitative Chemically Specific Imaging for Material and Life Sciences (qCSI) consortium.

Teemu Tomberg

Teemu has a strong background in optical instrumentation based on laser spectroscopic techniques. He obtained is PhD from the University of Helsinki (Finland) in 2020, where his work at the Department of Chemistry focused on the development of ultra-sensitive trace gas detection methods based on photo-acoustic and interferometric techniques. For his postdoctoral research, Teemu stepped to the Faculty of Pharmacy to expand his skillset in the field of non-linear optical spectroscopy and imaging with focus on coherent Raman microscopy and its applications in pharmacy. Currently, he has a role of as the main developer and operator of a new multimodal coherent Raman microscope for the new Quantitative Chemically Specific Imaging for Material and Life Sciences (qCSI) Finnish infrastructure in Helsinki.  

Jaakko Teppo

Jaakko defended his PhD (Pharm) thesis in the University of Helsinki in 2020, and is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher. His field of expertise is mass spectrometry-based proteomics, including both method development and application, primarily to preclinical drug discovery and development. Besides these, Jaakko has experience in integrating data from different omics modalities. His postdoctoral research focuses on method development for single-cell proteomics. Currently, Jaakko is on a 1-year postdoctoral visit in Karolinska Institutet until the end of the year 2022.

Juha-Pekka Hieta

Juha-Pekka has a strong background in science and technology due to his extensive chemical engineering studies in Aalto University and his gained experience from various research projects in the fields of physical, electro-, radio- and analytical chemistry over the past decade. In 2022, J-P obtained his PhD in University of Helsinki, where his research has focused on mass spectrometry and its ionization techniques, especially for imaging purposes. He is currently developing mass spectrometry imaging methods for the analysis of biological samples in their native state and expanding his expertise to other imaging methodologies. His role is to apply these methods for single cell analysis and imaging of tissues with high spatial resolution.


Alba M Arbiol Enguita

Alba is a pharmacist graduated from San Jorge University (Saragossa, Spain). For the year 2019-2020, she received an Erasmus+ grant to complete her Master’s Thesis in the University of Helsinki, with Clare Strachan as her main supervisor. After graduating, she started doctoral studies in 2020 within the same research group. She belongs to the Doctoral Programme in Materials Research and Nanoscience (MATRENA) and her research topic aims to create a novel analytical platform to study the process of drug cellular uptake at a nanometric scale.

Elina Harju

Elina got her Master’s degree in Pharmacy from the University of Helsinki in 2021 and started her PhD studies in the Doctoral Programme in Drug Research (DPDR) in 2022. Her main research interest is the characterization of biological specimens with Raman spectroscopic techniques. In her doctoral project, Elina is investigating different variants of Raman spectroscopy for detection of chemoresistance in ovarian cancer.


Rashmi Mishra (previous member)

Rashmi did her Ph.D. in 2014 at the University of Lucknow, India in a specialized area of computational physics/chemistry and vibrational spectroscopy. She has gained expertise in state-of-the-art technologies and tools like quantum chemical calculations, spectroscopic characterization techniques, etc. She has worked on a couple of interconnected problems in pharma (APIs, natural products, bioflavanoids) and material science (conducting polymers).

She was working as a Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki. Her role was to synthesize amorphous solid dispersions and characterize them utilizing the latest advanced multimodal nonlinear optical techniques.