Steering committee

Sleepwell programs Principal Investigators and as­so­ci­ated clin­ical re­search­ers.
Principal Investigators
Program Director Tiina Paunio

Professor of Psychiatry, University of Helsinki and Research Professor, National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). Leader of the research group "Sleep and Health" at UH and THL.

Our research is focused on understanding mechanisms behind interindividual variability in susceptibility to immediate and late effects of environmental stress and sleep insufficiency.

Hanna Antila

Hanna Antila, PhD, Academy Research Fellow, Helsinki Institute of Life Science, Neuroscience Center, University of Helsinki.

Our aim is to elucidate the neuronal circuitries involved in the regulation of the sleep microarchitectural features that compose the dynamic structure of sleep. The sleep microarchitecture determines the quality of sleep, and understanding better its regulation would be essential for optimizing and individualizing the treatment of sleep disturbances.

Marko Elovainio

VTT, Dos. Professor of Psychology, University of Helsinki / Research Professor, THL. 

The focus will be on analysing the effects of psychosocial stress on sleep problems and health outcomes across the life course.

Psychosocial Factors and Health  

Iiris Hovatta

PhD, Associate Professor in Neurogenomics, Department of Biosciences.

We investigate gene-environment interactions in psychosocial stress-induced anxiety, with special interest in finding factors that confer resilience to stress-induced anxiety.

Neurogenomics Laboratory

Eija Kalso

MD, PhD, Professor of Pain Medicine, University of Helsinki.

We investigate the role of sleep in the triad of chronic pain, anxiety, and depression with focus on how different interventions may mediate their effects on pain, quality of life, and function through improved sleep.

Vinko Palada
Anu-Katriina Pesonen

Docent,  Vice-dean in charge of Research, University of Helsinki 

The focus is on psychosocial treatments of sleep regulation problems in youth and on the individual variation in plasticity-related sleep microstructures.

Sleep and Mind

Tarja Stenberg (Porkka-Heiskanen)

Adjunct professor, Leader of the research group “Sleep Team Helsinki”, Department of Physiology, Medicum.

Our group studies the basic mechanisms of sleep and insufficient sleep mostly using animal models. We are particularly interested in the role of sleep in brain plasticity mechanisms and inflammatory reactions.

Sleep Team Helsinki

Tomi Rantamäki

Docent, Professor, Head of Unit Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki

The focus is to understand the role and interconnections of neuronal plasticity, sleep and circadian rhythms in the mechanisms of action of biological treatments of depression (prescription antidepressants, ketamine, ECT).

Laboratory of Neurotherapeutics

Sampsa Vanhatalo

Sampsa Vanhatalo, Medicum, Professor in Physiology

We perform our research in BABA center (BAby Brain Activity), focusing on different kinds of early brain activity. For more details about our projects, see

Sleep is a key context of infant brain studies, because many topics are best studied while the infant is in a natural sleep. In addition, we have developed novel methods for non-invasive monitoring of infant sleep in the neonatal intensive care units (NICU) and at homes.

Co Principal Investigator



Associated clinical researchers
  • Hanna Harno
  • Katinka Tuisku
  • Annina Norrkniivilä
Hanna Harno

MD, PhD, neurologist, subspeciality in pain medicine.

The focus will be to study treatment responses and neuromodulatory mechanisms to rTMS interventions in mild traumatic brain injury patients with headache and sleep problems, headache and other pain patients, especially by brain imaging and monitoring sleep microstructure changes.

Katinka Tuisku

MD, PhD, Docent in Psychiatry, Special Competence in Sleep medicine.

Anniina Norrkniivilä

MD PhD, Adj. Prof. Specialist in clinical neurophysiology, special competence in sleep medicine

Research topics: narcolepsy, sleep and mood