People

Timo has a background in both chemistry and pharmaceutical research. He got his PhD from Helsinki University of Technology (now Aalto University) in 2007 and has since concentrated on studying nanomaterials for drug delivery. He is a Professor of Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology at the Faculty of Pharmacy since 2019 and a former Professor of Chemistry at Tampere University (2016-2020). Prof. Laaksonen has experience in fundamental physical chemistry, pharmaceutical technology, various nanomaterials, and has in particular look at how to use nanocellulose in drug release formulations. Recent work has concentrated on biophotonics, the use of advanced light-triggered reactions for drug release, and new method development such as the use of fluorescence life-time microscopy for pharmaceutical sample analysis.

Timo
Laaksonen
Professor
Division of Pharmaceutical Biosciences
Field of science Pharmacy, Nano-technology, Chemical sciences

Tatu got his PhD in Pharmacy from University of Helsinki in 2016. He works on drug delivery to challenging target sites, for example posterior segment of the eye, tumors and central nervous system. Tatu has diverse international research background through working in Santen Pharmaceuticals in Japan as well as Kyoto University and Tokyo University of Pharmacy & Life Sciences. He holds a shared position in University of Helsinki and University of Eastern Finland. The current focus of his research is the utilization of nanoparticle drug delivery systems for targeted treatment of diseases with biomacromolecules. With the help of his international network of collaborators, the work continues to progress the field towards better medications.

Tatu
Lajunen
University Researcher
Division of Pharmaceutical Biosciences
Field of science Pharmacy, Nano-technology

Patrick has been a university lecturer at the Division of Pharmaceutical Biosciences at the University of Helsinki since 2019 and the current director of Bachelor’s degree study programme. He defended his PhD thesis on nanofibrillar cellulose in biomedical applications in 2018 at the Faculty. The thesis was awarded the Best thesis of the year award by the Doctoral School in Natural Sciences (DONASCI). Patrick’s main interest in the research field is the design and use of biomaterials in drug delivery. 

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Patrick
Lauren
University Lecturer
Division of Pharmaceutical Biosciences
Field of science Pharmacy

Jaakko Itkonen received his PhD in Pharmacy from the University of Helsinki in 2020.  He has a strong background with biological drugs and therapeutic proteins, with his earlier work focusing more specifically on their clinical applications in ophthalmology. Upon graduation joining the Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology group, Jaakko’s research as a post-doctoral researcher is centered on developing light-activated liposomal carriers for the delivery and targeting of peptide-based drugs in oncologic diseases.

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Jaakko
Itkonen
Postdoctoral researcher
Division of Pharmaceutical Biosciences
Field of science Pharmacy

Shirin received her Pharm.D degree from Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Iran in 2013. She started her doctoral studies in 2016 by working on NANOMED project (H2020-MSCA-ITN). Her research is focused on drug delivery and targeting to retina by nanomedicines.

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Shirin
Tavakoli
Doctoral Student
Division of Pharmaceutical Biosciences
Field of science Pharmacy

Vili has been studying how to encapsulate pharmaceutically relevant materials in nanocellulose. Vili finished his master’s degree at Aalto University in 2017 and started his PhD studies in 2017.

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Vili
Auvinen
Doctoral Student
Division of Pharmaceutical Biosciences
Field of science Pharmacy

In her doctoral project, Eija is looking at how to use multi-compartmental flow systems to better predict the targeting efficiency of nanoparticles. She is interested in enhancing anticancer drug delivery and in developing better in vitro platforms to support the research. Eija received her MSc in Pharmacy from University of Helsinki in 2020 and started as a PhD student in 2021.

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Eija
Mäki-Mikola
Doctoral Student
Division of Pharmaceutical Biosciences
Field of science Pharmacy

We are in active collaboration with the Supramolecular chemistry of bio- and nanomaterials -team at Tampere University. The team there is working on photochemistry and time-resolved spectroscopy/imaging, and support many of the activities and projects in Helsinki. The affiliated people are Dr. Nikita Durandin, Dr. Ekaterina Lisitsyna, Kaisa Rautaniemi, Jussi Isokuortti, Iida Haapalehto, and University lecturer Elina Vuorimaa-Laukkanen.

Please visit the web site for more information about current activities in Tampere!

Domestic collaborators

Prof. Arto Urtti - School of Pharmacy, University of Eastern Finland
Prof. Marjo Yliperttula - Division of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, University of Helsinki
Prof. Olli Ikkala - Department of Applied Physics, Aalto University
Dr. Tapani Viitala - Division of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, University of Helsinki
Dr. Kirsi Rilla - School of Medicine, University of Eastern Finland
Dr. Veikko Linko - Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Aalto University
Dr. Alex Bunker - Division of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, University of Helsinki
Dr. Astrid Subrizi - School of Pharmacy, University of Eastern Finland
Dr. Marika Ruponen - School of Pharmacy, University of Eastern Finland

International collaborators

Prof. Yuuki Takashima - Tokyo University of Pharmacy & Life Sciences, Japan
Dr. Xavier Le Guevel - Institute for Advanced Biosciences, Grenoble, France