About MedEngine

MedEngine bridges medical science with business.

We provide our customers with the science-based tools, knowledge, and support they need to thrive in their global marketplace.

Our adept team combines academic expertise with industry know-how and creative flair. Insight, zest, and attention to detail are our strongest assets, and we move nimbly from endeavor to endeavor—be it a multi-year research project, scientific advisory for a medical education program, or conceptualization for a health-tech startup.

With every project our project managers apply the highest scientific standards and creativity to build something that inspires. We consider ourselves the luckiest bunch of scientists ever!

Our People

Tero Ylisaukko-oja, PhD

CEO, Founder

Tero Ylisaukko-oja built a successful career first as a scientist and then through various medical and marketing positions within the pharmaceutical industry. In 2010 Tero realized a long-held dream of combining entrepreneurial drive with insider knowledge by forming the first Finnish personalized medicine company, Genecodebook Oy. In 2011 he founded medical science agency Idea Engine, upon which MedEngine was built. Known for his creative thinking and passion for complex projects, Tero seeks out clients who are willing to innovate and challenge both him and themselves.
Outside of MedEngine Tero enjoys everything Italian, be it food, wine, soccer, the Mediterranean sea, or small cars with character. His family includes his wife Niina, two sons, and dachshunds Gunnar and Bruno.
+358 40 9012 975

Anna Grönholm, PhD

Senior Scientific Project Manager

Anna received her PhD in immunology from the University of Tampere in 2015. During her doctoral studies, she worked on a wide range of projects varying from basic immunology to diagnostic biomarkers, both in Finland and in the US. In addition to her biomedical training, Anna has a few extra feathers in her cap, having also studied communication, data journalism, and marketing.

Anna is passionate about learning new things—whether they are related to new treatments for inflammatory diseases or innovative ways to utilize data. Apart from science, she enjoys mountain hikes, traveling and photography, or relaxing at home with her family and some good books. Anna is an honorary member of MedEngine’s rabbit owner division, although she currently doesn’t have rabbits of her own.
+358 40 3524 911

Heidi Loponen, PhD

Scientific Project Manager

Heidi Loponen has extensive background in biomedical research. She holds a PhD in genetics from the University of Helsinki and has experience in a wide range of hands-on laboratory techniques as well as in research project planning and execution. Heidi also has experience as a teacher - both of biology students and swimmers, at different levels.

Heidi is excited about applying the scientific skills she has gathered during her research career in a completely new context. This, combined with her endless passion to challenge herself, makes Heidi a great match for MedEngine’s research team. If not at work, Heidi spends time with her friends and family, or enjoys physical activities like swimming, gym, or downhill skiing in the winter.
+358 44 0190 699

Aino Vesikansa, PhD

Scientific Project Manager

A passion for understanding the mystery of the human brain led Aino to become an expert in neuroscience. After receiving her PhD from the University of Helsinki, Aino has worked as a post-doctoral scientist and as a coordinator at the Scandinavian Physiological Society. Aino is also known for her popular scientific blog postings.
Aino enjoys pushing herself outside the comfort zone, let it be challenging herself at work, seeking out new perspectives, or training endurance sports. For balance, she loves to design and bake imaginative cakes, which are highly appreciated by her colleagues.

Tiia Luukkonen, PhD

Scientific Project Manager

Tiia has an extensive background in genetics with years of experience in academic research, as well as commercial experience in genetic diagnostics. Her core competencies are medical and molecular genetics as well as content creation and marketing.
As a dedicated crossfitter, Tiia will most likely be found at the gym outside of working hours. She loves spending time at her summer cottage enjoying the outdoor sports opportunities and peace while surrounded by nature.
+358 50 3686 138

Juha Mehtälä, PhD

Lead Data Scientist

Juha holds a PhD in statistics and has extensive experience in observational register studies. Prior to MedEngine, Juha worked for several years as a Senior Statistician and Team Lead in a contract research organization and was responsible for challenging international real-world evidence (RWE) projects. Earlier in his career, he has worked on mathematical and statistical modeling of infectious diseases. He has also taught statistics at the University of Helsinki.

Juha’s free time is divided between a mixture of various sports: he enjoys fishing and outdoor climbing in the summer, and indoor climbing and hitting the gym throughout the year. Juha likes spending time on his motorbike, but when he wants to slow down and relax, he explores the latest news in astronomy and cosmology.

Erika Gröhn, MSc

Scientific Project Manager

Erika’s passion for health-related topics led her to complete two Master’s degrees at Aalto University: first in biomedical engineering, and later in information and service management. During and after her studies, she worked as a research engineer in a health tech startup and gained a solid background in knowledge-based management while working as a consultant and data strategist in several different industries.

Ben Alasuvanto

Graphic Designer

Niina Saarinen

Business Development Director

As a young graduate, Niina made the tough decision to leave her promising studies in genetics to pursue a career in business. This proved to be the right decision, however, as Niina now has more than ten years of executive experience in the pharmaceutical, health tech, and healthcare industries. Niina has more than 100 pharmaceutical marketing campaigns under her belt, and as a CEO has lead companies ranging from an innovative health-tech start-up to a health- and social-care company with more than two thousand employees.

When not working on the development of MedEngine’s business in Finland and abroad, Niina enjoys relaxing travels in warmer climates like southern Italy, and spending time with her husband Tero and dogs Gunnar and Bruno.
+358 40 3500 065

Helena Henno, MSc

Senior Scientific Project Manager

Inspired by problem solving and learning new things, Helena is always on the lookout for innovative ways to combine her two passions: medical science and business. Helena holds an MSc in Biotechnology, and her research experience ranges from antibody development to computer-aided drug design. In addition to her scientific training, Helena is currently studying Strategy at Aalto University.

As a creative extrovert known for her ever-positive attitude, Helena also enjoys ideation, brainstorming, and big-picture thinking. When not at work, Helena divides her time between cooking, various forms of sport, as well as different networking activities.
+358 44 7451 560

Hanni Uusi-Kerttula, PhD

Scientific Project Manager

Hanni has worked on a wide range of research projects, varying from vaccine development to gene therapy—in Finland, UK, Chile and US. She holds an MSc in biotechnology and received her PhD in cancer virotherapy from Cardiff University, Wales in 2017. Besides doing research, Hanni has worked as a freelance scientific writer and runs a photography studio with her husband.

With an open-minded and curious personality, Hanni is eager to facilitate problem-solving and communication between science, patients and medical experts. In her free time, she enjoys life at full intensity: exploring the wilderness by horseback, learning about psychology and culture, volunteering at solidarity trusts, and jogging with her dog Ropo, among other things.
+358 44 7712 179

Inkeri Spoljaric, PhD

Scientific Project Manager

Inkeri has worked in one of the leading neuroscience laboratories in Finland for six years, specializing in developmental neuroscience. Two months into her career at MedEngine, she defended her doctoral thesis at the University of Helsinki. In addition to her love of life sciences, Inkeri has a long-lived passion for scientific communication. She also loves learning and discovering new things and enjoys tasks with a creative aspect.

Outside of work, Inkeri enjoys sports and spending time in the nature. Although a very mediocre cook herself, Inkeri is a food enthusiast and believes that the best weekends and holidays revolve around good food.
+358 44 7600 755

Jari Jokelainen, MSc

Senior Data Scientist

Jari ended up in the biomedical industry almost by accident: he studied statistics during summer courses, and the following summer he found himself working as statistician at the department of psychiatry. Since then he has worked in the field of biostatistics, and currently works at Oulu University health Science Institute, for the University Hospital, for his own company that offers statistic science services, and as statistician for MedEngine.

In the evenings you can spot him in Oulu at the Cultural Centre VALVE, escorting his daughters to and from their ballet class. His hobbies are very “northern-Finnish” — hunting in the fall, downhill skiing in the winter and disc golf in the summer.

Ona Saarnisalo, MSc

Scientific Project Manager

Ona is a curious scientist fascinated by human diseases and biomedicine. She holds an MSc in physiology and neuroscience. During her studies, she dove into the mysteries of biomedical physiology and infectious microbes in the Universities of Helsinki and Glasgow.
Ona has a passion for modern ways of visualizing science, and audiovisual projects in particular spark her interest.

To keep life out of the ordinary, the extroverted Ona can often be found trying out new activities and sports or planning her next explorations out in the world. In her free time, she enjoys learning new skills like photography, dancing, and making art with various materials.

Miika Linna

External Advisor

Disa Långström, MSc

HR & Office Manager

With her everlasting positivity, un-Finnish talkativeness and her sailing hobby, Disa fits your typical Fenno-Swede stereotype perfectly. Disa holds an MSc in pharmacology and has worked in pharmacies, academia and pharmaceutical industry. At MedEngine she has been able to combine her passion for science and human resources. As HR Manager she can pursue her dream of building the best workplace for people and see people grow.

Disa loves summer, laughter, and sparkling wine. In her spare time, she relaxes by climbing on a wall or doing sun salutations—preferably on the sunny quay of her family’s summer cottage.
+358 40 7034 981

Miika Fadjukov

Scientific Project Manager

Miika has his background in biotechnology and he has specialized in biological imaging and image analysis. Imaging is close to Miika’s heart also outside the lab: He has been running his own photography and creative media business for a decade. As a creative person with an endless fascination for science, Miika enjoys combining his scientific background with his love for creative thinking in projects that can actually improve patients’ quality of life.
+358 44 7731 815

Katja Sahlstedt, DVM

Scientific Project Manager

Katja’s educational background and work experience is an exceptional cocktail: she holds degrees in Journalism and Veterinary Medicine, and has worked both as a journalist, editor, small animal veterinarian and service manager. Her track record includes conceptual design for both magazines and veterinary services. Katja's search to combine experience in hard science and creative content landed her at MedEngine, striving for the best outcomes for both patients and clients.

Besides high-quality contents and perfect spelling, Katja enjoys scuba diving and anything marine-related. As a firm believer in compassion, Katja shares her home with two rescue rabbits and the former Spanish street dog, now Finnish office dog, Malú.
+358 44 9673 239

Ilona Iso-Mustajärvi, MSc Pharm

Scientific Project Manager

Ilona’s path to studying pharmacy was paved already at childhood: both her grandparents and her aunt owned pharmacies and she loved the smell of an old pharmacy. After graduating from the University of Helsinki, Ilona has gained experience from both preclinical and real-world studies as well as regulatory work at the Finnish Medicines Agency. With her cheerful and easily approachable character, Ilona is right at home at MedEngine.

In her free time, Ilona enjoys weekend getaways with her family, making handicrafts and singing in the sixth best female choir in the world. Her newest passion is pottering around in the garden while her two sons are playing in the yard.
+358 50 3226 115

Harlan Barker, MSc

Data Scientist

Harlan has always been fascinated by the natural world and spent his childhood exploring the forests near his home. After receiving a BSc in Biology at Indiana University, Harlan progressed from biology to bioinformatics at the University of Tampere. Data science became a passion once he saw its ability to derive impressive insights from large biological datasets. During his current doctoral studies, Harlan has collaborated on a number of manuscripts. For him, the appeal in scientific writing and editing is making research understandable and thus improving its utility.

At MedEngine, Harlan enjoys bringing new and exciting technologies to market. Outside of work, he devotes his free time to reading, biking, studying blockchain technologies, and learning Finnish with his son.

Emmi Joensuu, PhD

Scientific Project Manager

Emmi holds a PhD in Medical and Clinical Genetics, and has several years of postdoctoral research experience in translational cancer biology and individualized drug therapy.
In her work, Emmi is eager to contribute to the intersecting fields of scientific data analysis, communication and digital marketing. She is determined to upgrade her skills, and is currently studying programming, software development and digital service design.

Outside of the office, Emmi enjoys different sports and is passionate about aerial acrobatics. At home, she relaxes with her children by building robots, playing PlayStation or by parkouring around nearby neighborhoods.

Joni Turunen

External Medical Advisor

Our Office Dogs


Chief Office Dog

Gunnar was born as a miniature wire-haired dachshund but soon grew to become the larger-than-life character loved by his family, friends, and colleagues alike. Gunnar is an independent thinker with big heart and personality. He is known for his warm welcomes and extravagant birthday parties. Gunnar’s education includes the Future’s Hopes training program, and tracking courses for wounded game and chanterelles.


Chief Office Supervisor

Four-year-old Bruno is a miniature dachshund with golden hair and heart shaped nose. Thanks to his angelic appearance and playful character, Bruno is still mistaken as a puppy. Bruno’s hobbies include light catching, stick fetching, and long walks on the beach with his Uncle-Gunnar and human family.


Chief Snack Supervisor

Penny is a sweet and smart Jack Russel Terrier who accompanies Helena to our office every now and then. Except for some occasional bursts of energy, Penny spends most of her office days warming someone’s lap. She is a highly qualified office dog with more than 20 tricks in her repertoire. Penny’s educational background includes the Canine Good Citizen program, as well as tracking and agility courses. No wonder this adorable and talented lady is Gunnar’s not-so-secret crush.