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

Saku Torvinen, PhD

Market Access Director

Saku Torvinen has extensive experience in demanding market access positions, both internationally and within Finland. He joined MedEngine from Takeda, where he was the Head of Patient Value and Access & Public Policy, a unit known for groundbreaking data-driven access projects. Prior to that, he was European Director of Pricing and Market Access at Teva Europe, where he was responsible for innovative respiratory products at the European level.
+358 40 5511 119

Heidi Loponen, PhD

Scientific Consultant, Medical Data Science

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

Tiia Luukkonen, PhD

Scientific Project Manager, Scientific Content & Digital Engagement

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

Emmi Joensuu, PhD

Scientific Project Manager, Scientific Content & Digital Engagement

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.

Maaria Palmroth, MSc

Medical Advisor

Maaria's interest in life sciences led her to acquire an MSc in biotechnology from the Tampere University, where she is currently finalizing her PhD in molecular immunology. Maaria is inspired by learning and transforming ideas into action. At MedEngine, she enjoys the possibility to utilize her scientific know-how in a whole new way.

Maria Grönman, PhD

Scientific Project Manager, Scientific Content & Digital Engagement / Market Access

Maria loves people. She gets joy out of helping others and is ready to do everything for the people she cares about. Maria says she’s been interested in the world of medicine since childhood and somehow always knew that she wanted to be involved in helping others live their best life.

Maria studied Biomedicine in the University of Turku, majoring in Drug Discovery and Development. After graduating, she started PhD studies in the Turku positron emission tomography (PET) Centre and defended her dissertation on imaging myocardial injury and angiogenesis.

Mirkka Koivusalo, PhD

Scientific Project Manager, Medical Data Science

Mirkka Koivusalo, is a biochemist with over 18 years of experience in scientific research and communication. After receiving her PhD from the University of Helsinki, Mirkka completed two post-doctoral research periods in Helsinki and in Toronto, Canada. She also has a significant experience in the Finnish Biobank ecosystem. Outside of research, Mirkka has gained experience as an entrepreneur — she ran a company offering dog training services in Toronto.
As an analytical problem-solver, Mirkka enjoys developing systematic approaches which benefit the customer and, at the end of the day, promote human health. In her free time she can mostly be found in the woods hiking with her two energetic Australian Shepherds or riding a horse.

Joni Turunen

External Medical Advisor

Niina Saarinen


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

Anna Grönholm, PhD

Managing Consultant, Scientific Content

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

Inkeri Spoljaric, PhD

Scientific Consultant, Scientific Content & Digital Engagement

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

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.

Sanna Hellberg, PhD

Scientific Project Manager, Scientific Content & Digital Engagement

A deep interest in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases has driven Sanna Hellberg in her scientific career. After finishing her PhD in PET imaging of atherosclerotic plaque inflammation at the University of Turku, Sanna spent three years as a postdoc at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm. From the beginning of her career she has been motivated by the possibility to be a part of finding solutions to health problems, and eventually enabling better cures.

Sarah Smith, MSc

Scientific Project Manager, Medical Data Science

Sarah draws inspiration from deriving insights for better healthcare, understanding the mechanisms of different diseases, and determining how to fight them most effectively.

Sarah has worked in various research groups, contributing to research on multiple sclerosis and breast cancer. Additionally, she has significant experience in the Finnish Biobanking ecosystem, coordinating the national biobank studies at FINBB.

Riikka Viitanen, PhD

Scientific Project Manager, Scientific Content & Digital Engagement / Market Access

Riikka describes herself as a determined, loyal, and social person. She is well known for her optimism, and her friends have noted that if her good mood disappears, things have really taken a turn for the worse!

Riikka studied Biomedicine at the University of Turku and did her Master thesis at the Turku PET Centre before continuing to PhD studies. She completed her PhD in the field of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, with her research focused on PET imaging of inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis and melanoma.

Lasse Ruokolainen, PhD

Senior Data Scientist, Medical Data Science

Lasse is a kind soul. Like most Finns, he says he appreciates openness and people expressing their feelings.

A lifetime interest in nature took Lasse first to study biology at Joensuu University, Finland. He did his state-required civil service at the Finnish Forest Research Institute and working with plant community data inspired him to learn the R programming language for data science. He finished his studies on ecology in Turku and graduated in 2005. After graduating, he undertook a PhD project in theoretical ecology and filled his head with systems of differential equations.

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.

Disa Långström, MSc

People & Culture Lead

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

Managing Consultant, Digital Engagement

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

Aino Vesikansa, PhD

Scientific Consultant, Medical Data Science

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.

Ona Saarnisalo, MSc

Scientific Project Manager, Scientific Content & Digital Engagement

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.

Sonja Granroth, MSc

Scientific Project Manager, Scientific Content & Digital Engagement

From the beginning of her biomedicine studies at University of Turku, Sonja Granroth has been excited by exploration of different medical specialty fields. Even though Sonja always knew that she wanted to work in the field of medicine, she has also had a strong passion for more creative projects and scientific communication. In addition to her Master´s degree in biomedical imaging, Sonja’s long-lasting art hobby has evolved into jobs in online marketing material production, web design, and scientific content creation.

Laura Mäntylä, MSc

Scientific Project Manager, Scientific Content & Digital Engagement

Laura is an outgoing person who brings a positive attitude wherever she goes. She’s interested in science, communications, and graphic design, having art as a passion from a young age.

Laura’s curiosity about science eventually led her to study Biomedicine, where she earned a BSc, and gained her MSc in Drug Discovery and Development with a minor in Business. During her studies she has gained work experience from involvement in various projects: she’s conducted research on extracellular vesicles and prostate cancer, for instance.

Ulrika Hänninen, MD, PhD

Medical Advisor

Ulrika is a team player. She feels like the type of person who can always see the positive side of things. Resourceful and patient, she says she just enjoys listening to and helping others.

Ulrika has studied Medicine at the University of Helsinki. After graduating as an MD, she received her PhD from the University of Helsinki, Department of Medical Genetics. She has worked in various research projects studying small bowel and colorectal cancer genetics, the topic of her dissertation.

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.

Ben Alasuvanto

Graphic Designer

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.