The Zoonotic Antimicrobial Resistance Group consists of the group leader, DVM, PhD Annamari Heikinheimo, three PhD students Venla Johansson, Viivi Heljanko, and Ahmad Al-Mustapha, and postdoctoral researcher DVM, PhD Satu Olkkola.

The group is located on Viikki campus.

Annamari Heikinheimo

Olen eläinlääketieteen tohtori Annamari Heikinheimo, Zoonoottinen mikrobilääkeresistenssi -tutkimusryhmän johtaja. Olen erittäin kiinnostunut mikrobeista. Yritän ymmärtää bakteerien käyttäytymistä hyvin monitahoisessa ilmiössä ja vakavassa, globaalissa terveysuhassa; mikrobilääkeresistenssissä (antimicrobial resistance, AMR). Olen innostunut bakteerien genotyypeistä ja fenotyypeistä, sekä lisääntyneen mikrobilääkeresistenssin takana olevasta ihmisten käyttäytymisestä. Miten säilyttää mikrobilääkkeiden teho ja estää bakteerien kehittyminen resistenteiksi?

Vaikka rakastankin työtäni, on jotain, mitä rakastan vieläkin enemmän – perhettäni. He tekevät minut onnelliseksi ja kiireiseksi töiden ulkopuolella. Pidän myös ulkoilmassa urheilusta, partiosta ja tanssimisesta.

Annamari Heikinheimon Helsingin yliopiston TUHAT-profiili

Venla Johansson

I have graduated as DVM in 2019 and I worked as an official veterinarian for a while before starting my PhD project in the beginning of 2020. My professional scope of interest lies in global health challenges and epidemiology. In my PhD work I focus on the diffusion of multidrug-resistant bacteria between animals, humans and food at the household level.

As a researcher I find my work very meaningful. In my free time I relax by going outdoors and doing sports, such as open water swimming and road biking.

Venla Johansson's Helsinki University research portal profile

Viivi Heljanko

I graduated as a DVM in 2019. After my graduation, I worked as a slaughterhouse veterinarian and in small animal practice. During my veterinary studies, my main interest was in food hygiene and in public health issues. I have also been very interested in how infrastructure affects public health, especially in developing countries. I started working on my PhD in August 2021 and will focus on carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE).

Ahmad Al-Mustapha

I bagged my DVM in the year 2011. I obtained a Master's degree in Veterinary Public Health from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria in 2015. I was also an Erasmus+ Scholar who received the International MSc. In Infectious Diseases and One Health (IDOH) in 2020. My research interests are in infectious diseases epidemiology, the molecular basis of Antimicrobial resistance, and in one-health control of zoonoses.

Currently, I work on the WASTPAN project evaluating the utility of wastewater-based surveillance as an Early Warning tool for bacterial disease detection and control.

Satu Olkkola

I have graduated as DVM in 2008 and ever since worked with antimicrobial resistant bacteria in Prof. emerita Marja-Liisa Hänninen’s research group until 2016 when I finished my PhD thesis on antimicrobial resistance mechanisms in campylobacter. I currently work as a senior researcher at the Finnish Food Authority (Ruokavirasto). My tasks include for example data collection and compiling of the annual report in the Finnish resistance surveillance programme FINRES-Vet, and involvement in various resistance-related research projects as well as basic upkeep of the laboratory routines for resistance-related duties.   

My professional interests include the epidemiology and mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria and I feel fortunate to be able to work in an era that sees the transition from traditional phenotyping methods to modern technologies such as whole-genome sequencing.

When I am off work, I enjoy spending time with my two children that also keep me busy from immersing too deeply into the fascinating world of antimicrobial resistance.  

Zanres alumni - Ananda Tiwari