People

Transplantation Laboratory is an internationally well-known unit of translational research in heart and lung transplantation. All the senior members of the group hold a clinical position in the heart and lung transplantation and mechanical circulatory support program at the Heart and Lung Centre, Helsinki University Hospital.

Principal Investigator, MD, PhD

  • Head of Research Group, Transplantation Laboratory, University of Helsinki
  • Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Clinicum, University of Helsinki
  • Section Chief and Director of Heart and Lung Transplantation and Mechanical Assist Device Program, Cardiac Surgery, Heart and Lung Center, Helsinki University Hospital

 

  • MD, University of Helsinki, 1992
  • PhD,  University of Helsinki, 1995
  • Docent in Transplantation Immunology, University of Helsinki, 1997
  • Docent in Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Helsinki, 2010
  • Professor of Transplantation Surgery and Immunology, University of Helsinki, 2012–2016

Publications in TUHAT →
ORCID →
PLUMX →
LinkedIn →

Karl Lemström is the principal investigator of the Transplantation Laboratory research group. He is Section Chief and Director of Heart and Lung Transplantation and of the Mechanically Assist Device Program, Heart and Lung Center, Helsinki University Hospital. Additionally, he is the Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery, and Director of Cardiothoracic Training Program at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki.

Post-doctoral research fellow, MD, PhD

  • Lung Transplant Fellow, Toronto General Hospital – University Health Network, Toronto, Canada
  • Consultant in Cardiothoracic Surgery, Cardiac Surgery, Heart and Lung Center, Helsinki University Hospital

 

  • MD, University of Helsinki, 2001
  • PhD, University of Helsinki, 2007
  • Docent in Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Helsinki, 2017

Publications in TUHAT →

Antti Nykänen, MD, PhD, is a Docent in Cardiothoracic Surgery and a senior scientist in the cardiopulmonary research group. He works as a cardiac surgeon in the Heart and Lung Center in Helsinki University Hospital and did clinical and academic Fellowships in the Toronto Lung Transplant Program in 2017-2020. His research interests include clinical heart and lung transplantation, chronic rejection, Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion, and translational therapeutic approaches involving the vasculature, stem cells, and gene therapy.

Post-doctoral research fellow, MSc, PhD

  • MSc, University of Helsinki, 2002
  • PhD, University of Helsinki, 2015

Publications in TUHAT →

Rainer Krebs is a postdoctoral researcher in the Cardiopulmonary Research Group. He is currently investigating the possibilities of monitoring the well-being of transplanted organs via analyis of the recipient's platelet RNA contents, as well as the transcriptomic changes in the transplanted heart immediately after reperfusion. Apart from that, he is the group's contact for handling all sorts of administrative and practical issues in research and everyday lab life.

Post-doctoral research fellow, MD, PhD

  • Clinical Researcher
  • Pediatrician, Fellow in Pediatric Cardiology

Maria Hurskainen wants to understand on a single cell level, how the heart is damaged and repaired. In particular, what are the cellular mechanisms driving the processes leading to allograft failure after heart transplantation? Which pathways should be targeted for prevention or to allow the heart to shift back to homeostasis? This knowledge will help to monitor and treat patients with heart transplants optimally. She also loves working in a happy team!

Biomedical laboratory technologist, BHc

  • Bachelor of Health Care, Biomedical Laboratory Scientist,  university of applied sciences of Metropolia, Helsinki 2001
  • Specialized studies of cell and molecular biology, university of applied sciences of Stadia, Helsinki 2007

Eeva Rouvinen  (BHc) is a biomedical laboratory scientist. She coordinates laboratory purchases and collects, processes, and analyses patient samples.

Researcher, MD, PhD

  • Principal Investigator, Helsinki Retina Research Group (HRRG)
  • Chief Physician, Department of Ophthalmology, Kymenlaakso Central Hospital, Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS)
 
  • MD, University of Helsinki, 2008
  • PhD, University of Helsinki, 2014
  • Docent in Ophthalmology, University of Helsinki, 2015

Publications in TUHAT→

Post-doctoral research fellow, MD, PhD

  • Registrar in Cardiothoracic Surgery, Heart and Lung Center, Helsinki University Hospital
  • MD, University of Helsinki, 2011
  • PhD, University of Helsinki, 2015

Publications in TUHAT→

Simo Syrjälä (MD, PhD) is a postdoctoral researcher in the Cardiopulmonary Research group. His research interests are transplantation immunology and clinical heart and lung transplantation. He is currently working in Helsinki University Hospital as a resident in cardiothoracic surgery. Simo has also been involved in the European Association for Cardiothoracic Surgery Residents Committee in 2017-2020.

Researcher, MD, PhD

  • Consultant in Cardiothoracic Surgery, Cardiac Surgery, Heart and Lung Center, Helsinki University Hospital

 

  • MD, University of Valencia, Spain, 2006
  • PhD, University of Turku, 2008
  • Docent in Experimental Surgery, University of Turku, 2011

Publications in TUHAT→

Jan Kiss received his MD in 2006 from the University of Valencia, Spain, and his PhD in 2008 from the University of Turku, Finland, for studies in systemic inflammation. He specialized in cardiac surgery 2008-2014 in Freiburg, Germany. After becoming a board certified cardiac surgeon in 2008, he became a consultant surgeon for the Department of Cardiac Surgery at Helsinki University Hospital and joined the heart failure team. He became adjunct professor for experimental surgery in 2010 and adjunct professor for cardiothoracic surgery in 2018. His clinical and research interests include cardiothoracic transplantation and mechanical circulatory support. 

 

Doctoral student, MD, PhD

  • PhD student, Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki

 

  • MD, Helsinki University of Helsinki, 2014
  • PhD, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, 2016

Publications in TUHAT →

Bioinformatician, PhD

  • PhD, University of Helsinki, Finland, 2014-2018
  • MSc, University of Pune, India, 2010

Publications in TUHAT→
ORCID →
LinkedIn → 

Kishor is a bioinformatician in the Transplantation Laboratory who received his PhD from the University of Helsinki in January 2020. He is specialized in computational genomics with ten years of experience in the bioinformatics field. Kishor’s research efforts are focused on the discovery of molecular targets and biomarkers in the transplantation setting through functional multi-omics data analysis. He is responsible for clinical data statistical analysis and big data management, as well as for development and maintenance of high-throughput next generation sequencing data analysis pipelines.

When not geeking out, Kishor spends his time traveling, cycling, cooking Indian food, and playing cricket.

Doctoral student, MD

  • MD, University of Helsinki, 2016

Doctoral student, MB

  • MB, University of Cologne, Germany

Rasmus Lehikoinen started studying medicine in 2014 and graduated as MD from the University of Helsinki in 2020. He joined the Transplantation Laboratory as a PhD student in 2018, and is currently studying transplantation immunology.

Doctoral student, MSc

  • M.Sc. Translational Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland 2019
  • B.Sc. Microbiology, Pukyong National University, Busan, South Korea 2015

SeoJeong Joo (MSc) finished her Master’s Degree in translational medicine at the University of Helsinki in August 2019, and is now pursuing a Doctoral Degree in clinical research. Currently, she investigates the roles of extracellular vesicles (EVs) in heart and lung transplantation. Her aim is to discover predictive biomarkers for allograft rejection by analyzing whole transcriptomic profiles of circulating EVs from organ donors and recipients.

Olli Ainasoja, MSc, graduated in biomedicine at the University of Eastern Finland. He then came to work in the Transplantation Laboratory, first as a laboratory technician, then starting his doctoral studies. Olli’s current work is focused on single cell studies of transplanted human hearts to elucidate the cellular mechanisms behind ischemia-reperfusion injury and acute graft rejection. 

Medical student

  • University of Helsinki

Teemu Suominen is a medical student at the University of Helsinki and joined the Transplantation Laboratory in 2018. His main focus revolves around the clinical point of view in transplantation research, and he is currently investigating transplant recipient metabolomics.

Medical student

  • University of Helsinki

Arttu Lahtiharju has been studying medicine in Helsinki since 2017 and joined the Transplantation Laboratory in autumn 2018. His research focuses on using artificial intelligence in determining the onset and development of transplant rejection.

Sofie Westerberg is a second-year medical student studying at the University of Helsinki. She started working in the Transplantation Laboratory in Summer of 2020, and is at the moment doing her advanced studies on transcriptomic profiling of EVs.