Centers & People

Botnia Study's research activities in Helsinki (study visits, laboratory work) take place in Biomedicum Helsinki that is located at the Meilahti hospital area.

In Helsinki, Botnia Study's activities are a collaboration between University of Helsinki (Research Programs' Unit/ CAMM and Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, FIMM), Folkhälsan Research Center and HUS Abdominal Center, Department of Endocrinology.

Botnia Study is part of the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in Complex Disease Genetics - from Discovery to Precision Medicine (2018-2025). The Academy of Finland’s Centres of Excellence (CoE) are at the very cutting edge of science in their fields.



Tiinamaija Tuomi

Tiinamaija Tuomi, MD, PhD, Docent

Research director

Tiinamaija Tuomi leads Botnia Study together with Prof. Leif Groop. She works as a Chief Departmental Physician at the Department of Endocrinology, Helsinki University Hospital. She is a group leader at  Folkhälsan Research Centre and a research director at Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), University of Helsinki.  In addition, she is a vice-director of the “Centre of Excellence of Complex Disease Genetics – from discovery to translation” (FIMM 2018-2025).

Leif Groop

Leif Groop, MD, PhD, Professor

Research Director

Leif Groop is the founder and co-director of Botnia Study. He is a Professor (emeritus) in Endocrinology at Lund University and research director at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), University of Helsinki.

Liisa Hakaste

Liisa Hakaste, MD, PhD, specialist in internal medicine and endocrinology

Postdoctoral fellow, Clinical Coordinator

Liisa hakaste has defended her thesis at Imperial College London, University of London. In Botnia Study she works as a Post-doc researcher and clinical coordinator, special interest in PPP-Botnia, hypoglycemia and phenotypes of the new diabetes subgroups.

Jarno Kettunen

Jarno Kettunen, MD

Doctoral student, coordinator of the FinnMody study

Jarno Kettunen is a medical doctor graduated in 2014. He runs the MODY related PhD project FinnMODY.


Mikko Lehtovirta

Mikko Lehtovirta, MD, PhD

Postdoctoral fellow (FIMM), Coordinator of the Botnia Zinc- and iPSC-studies

In his research, Mikko Lehtovirta focuses on metabolic human studies with individuals and families with special emphasis on skeletal muscle insulin mediated glucose metabolism and pancreatic insulin secretion.

Om Dwivedi

Om Dwivedi, PhD

Postdoctoral fellow



Vasudha Ahuja

Vasudha Ahuja, MBBS, MPH, PhD

Postdoctoral fellow

Vasudha Ahuja is a Postdoctoral fellow at the Center of Excellence in Complex Disease Genetics (CoECDG), FIMM. She obtained her PhD in epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh, US in 2015. During her PhD, she conducted research on ethnic disparities between Whites and Japanese related to markers of type 2 diabetes and subclinical cardiovascular disease. Currently, she is studying the accuracy of glucose traits of OGTT in diagnosing type 2 diabetes as a part of an international multi-center project.

Minna Harsunen, M.D., Ph.D., pediatrics

Postdoctoral fellow

In her research, Minna Harsunen focuses on characterization of autoantibody negative pediatric diabetic patients and defining subgroups of type 1 diabetes: evaluation of the beta-cell function and progression of insulin deficiency and genetic characterization of patients within the FinnMODY-project.  In addition, she examines the role of a mild pancreatitis in the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes.

Iiro Karhiaho, MD

Doctoral student

Paula Kokko

Paula Kokko, medical laboratory technologist

Laboratory manager

Paula Kokko works as a laboratory manager in the Botnia Study. She coordinates all the Botnia centers’ laboratory work, sample handling and logistics from Helsinki.

Laura Impivaara

Laura Impivaara,  MSSc

Research administration coordinator

Laura Impivaara’s duties include variety of tasks concerning research administration, such as assisting with the grant applications, permission procedures (ethical approvals, study permissions) and data acquisition applications from the register authorities. In addition, she is responsible for HR assistance within the group and financial project management.

Stina Uusitalo, nurse

Research nurse

Stina Uusitalo works as a study nurse at the Helsinki Botnia-center. She is responsible for the recruitment of study participants and study visits especially for the FinnMody and PPP2 projects in Helsinki.

Medical students and research assistants:

Peik Pietilä, B.M.

Iina Elfving, B.M.

Karolina Kivimäki, medical student, Research Assistant

Emmi Saksela, medical student, Research Assistant

Elias Mattila, medical student, Research Assistant

Botnia-center in Vaasa is located at the premises of Vaasa municipal diabetes clinic. Botnia-study has a close collaboration with Vaasa Central Hospital and Vaasa Health Center.



Kaj Lahti

Kaj Lahti, MD., Specialist in internal medicine

Chief Physician, Chief medical officer for Botnia study in Vaasa

Kaj Lahti works as a Chief Physician at the Diabetes Clinic of Vaasa City and is the Chief medical officer for Botnia study in Vaasa.

Annemari Käräjämäki

Annemari Käräjämäki, MD, Specialist in general medicine

Chief Physician, Responsible for DIREVA register and Doctoral student

Annemari Käräjämäki works as a chief physician at Vaasa Central Hospital and as a diabetes physician at the Diabetes Clinic of Vaasa City. She is responsible for the Diabetes Register in Vaasa (DIREVA) and is a doctoral student at University of Helsinki. In her research she is focused on novel subgroups of diabetes and complications related to them.

Britt Stolpe

Britt Stolpe, medical laboratory technologist

Research nurse 

Britt Stolpe works as a study nurse at the Vaasa Botnia center. She is responsible for the sample handling, recruitment of study participants and study visits especially for the PPP and PPP Trio projects in Vaasa.

Matleena Lamminaho, nurse

Research nurse 

Matleena Lamminaho works as a study nurse at the Vaasa Botnia center. She is responsible for the sample handling, recruitment of study participants and study visits especially for the Direva and PPP projects in Vaasa.


Diabetes nurses:

Sonja Paulaharju

Gunilla Nyman-Klavus

 The Botnia-center in Jakobstad is located in the Folkhälsan Östanlid Hospital.



Bo Isomaa

Bo Isomaa, MD

Diabetes doctor at the Botnia-center in Jakobstad

Bo Isomaa works as a doctor at the Botnia center in Jakobstad. Before he was the coordinator for the PPP Botnia- and Exercise intervention studies in Ostrobothnia region.

Leena Sarelin

Leena Sarelin, medical laboratory technologist

Research nurse 

Leena Sarelin works as a study nurse at the Pietarsaari Botnia center. She is responsible for the sample handling, recruitment of study participants and study visits especially for the PPP, PPP Trio and Zinc projects in Pietarsaari.

The Botnia-study was started in 1990 in Närpes, as a collaboration with Närpes Health Center. The operation of the Botnia-center in Närpes ended in October 2020, as the long-time study nurse was retired, but we will continue our collaboration with the health center and possibly conduct some temporary studies at their premises.

We ask study participants to contact Botnia-center in Vaasa or in Helsinki.




Some of the Botnia study's genetic analyses take place in Malmö. Research activities are located at the Clinical Research Centre, Skåne University Hospital in Malmö and Botnia study collaborates with Lund University Diabetes Center (LUDC).

Botnia study in Malmö:

Clinical Research Centre

Jan Waldenströms gata 35, 91:12
Skåne University Hospital Malmö
SE-205 02 MALMÖ


Ulrika Blom-Nilsson
Tel: +46 40 39 12 01