As you step into our world, we're thrilled to introduce you to the wonderful individuals who form the heart and brain of our group. Diverse in backgrounds, expertise, and passions, each member brings a unique perspective and invaluable contributions to our collective journey.
Klaus Hedman

MD, PhD, Professor emeritus in clinical virology, Consultant in clinical microbiology, Researcher at HUS Dx Ctr.

In Web of Science (March 2024): Hirsch-index 52, Publications 244, Citations ~9200.

Teamleader-Servant, Pathfinder-Innovator, Diagnostics-Creator, Sociable Hermit, Nature-loving citydweller, Husband of one, Father of three, Grandpa of seven, Dog-owner of several, Electric-car driver-adorer. 

Awards and honours

  • In 2017: J.W. Runeberg Award by The Medical Society of Finland (FLS), (for ‘Successful Scientific Activity’)
  • In 2015: European Society for Clinical Virology Award, (for ‘Leadership in Syndromic Infectious Disease Testing’)
  • In 1999: First-Prize Award of the Foundation for Finnish Invention 
  • In 1995: Instrumentarium Science Foundation Jubilee Award
  • In 1992: Murex Diagnostics Int’l Research Award

You can contact me

Maria F. Perdomo

MD, PhD, Docent, Clinical Instructor

I am a medical doctor from Colombia with a PhD in Clinical Virology from Karolinska Institutet. My journey is defined by an enduring passion for scientific inquiry. Thriving amidst complexity, I am at my best while troubleshooting. Rooted in curiosity, creativity, perseverance, and skepticism, I draw inspiration from both the lab and interacting with people of multiple backgrounds.

As a devoted mother of two and an ardent dog lover (or spoiler, depending on whom you ask), I find solace in swimming, films (the old fashion way, at the theater), ballet and opera or in the world of literature (especially historical novels and biographies).

You can contact me:

Lea Hedman

Lab Manager

Medical laboratory technologist, Group mother, Team goddess, Financial officer (uncrowned), Expert in immunodiagnostics (unsurpassed).

I have been described as hardworking, diligent and modest. I am dedicated to both research and my large family. I spend a large part of my free time with our family’s Finnish Lapphunds and I often take care of our youngest grandchild as well. I spend my holidays usually with my family at our summer cottage in Asikkala, where I thrive in rescuing the local bird population with a peanut stock.

In Web of Science (April 2024): Hirsch-index 23, Publications 54, Citations ~1680. 

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Zachery Dickson

PhD, Bioinformatician

I am a postdoctoral researcher coming to the group from Canada. I studied bioinformatics at McMaster University. There I developed skills and tools in projects at the intersection of phylogenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metagenomics. More specifically, I specialized in designing tools for probing samples with complex compositions, and integrating data from multiple sources. In general, I love problem solving, working to squeeze signals out of noisy data, and learning new things. All of these may also explain my interest in games of almost any kind. If you wish to distract me, mention dinosaurs (no, pterodactyls don't count)!

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Lari Pyöriä

MD, Doctoral Researcher

I graduated from the University of Helsinki with a medical degree in 2018. I have been working as a doctoral researcher, initially part-time since 2014 and full-time from 2019. In the first years of the PhD, I gained expertise in DNA work, particularly in qPCR, culminating in the development of our in-house multiplex qPCR for all human herpesviruses. In recent years, I have focused on genomic analyses of the DNA virome in tissues, transforming into a poor-man’s bioinformatician. I hope to someday be a conduit between the worlds of bioinformatics and clinical virology, although I am reluctant to admit I am growing fonder of computers than pipettes. Willing to discuss superhero-movies, games and technology. I don’t like coronaviruses.

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Visa Nurmi

MD, BSc, Doctoral Researcher

Once there was a boy who attended something called International Biology Olympics and thought science is pretty cool. Now I have medical and Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Helsinki. I have previously worked with RNA splicing. Currently, I work as a doctoral researcher focusing on the detection and clinical significance of anti-viral antibodies, including the development of assays used by Helsinki University Hospital and potentially revolutionizing non-invasive antibody diagnostics. I have also worked at the University of Oxford, UK, investigating convalescent plasma treatment of COVID-19 patients. I have the questionable honor of being the lead actor on several karonkka plays and it’s never too cold for ice cream as the warmth of summer comes from within you.

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Leo Hannolainen

BSc, Master´s student

I work full time as a researcher while pursuing my master’s thesis on the human virome of healthy individuals. I primarily focus on investigating the clinical implications of the human virome in transplantations, with a particular goal of unmasking the true impact of inherited herpesvirus 6 in transplantation outcomes. I have been fortunate to be part of many collaborative projects on the side, studying virus-disease relationships like Epstein-Barr virus and multiple sclerosis. My typical workweek is spent in the wet lab, where I perform various tasks such as DNA extraction, qPCR, RNAscope, EIA and NGS, but I am also looking forward to learning bioinformatics in the future. 

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Diogo Pratas

PhD, Visiting Bioinformatician, affiliated to the University of Aveiro, Portugal 

I am a University of Aveiro graduate (2008), and undertook an Erasmus program at the Pontifical University of Salamanca, Spain. After private sector experience (2008-2010), I obtained a PhD in Informatics (2016), specializing in genomic sequence compression and analysis. Following a post-doctorate at University of Aveiro, in 2019 I joined the University of Helsinki as Bioinformatician. Currently, I serve as Auxiliary Researcher at the University of Aveiro and Visiting Researcher at the University of Helsinki. Since 2019 I teach Algorithmic Information Theory at University of Aveiro and research on Informatics, Medicine, and Biology.

You can contact me