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.

tero@medengine.fi
+358 40 9012 975

Hanna Ventola, MSc

Senior Scientific Project Manager

Ever since receiving her MSc in biotechnology at the University of Helsinki, Hanna has been driven by the opportunity to make the most out of health data. Hanna doesn’t hide her enthusiasm when talking about the advantages of private—public partnership in medical research and the implementation of real-world data for optimizing treatment practices and improving patients’ quality of life. Hanna is currently finishing her PhD thesis on hemophilia.

As a positive and easily inspired person, Hanna is always ready for a new challenge. Outside of work, the football enthusiasm of her two sons makes up most of her free time.

hanna.ventola@medengine.fi
+358 40 0240 858

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.

miika.fadjukov@medengine.fi
+358 44 7731 815

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.

hanni.uusi-kerttula@medengine.fi
+358 44 7712 179

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.

aino.vesikansa@medengine.fi

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.

Miika Linna

External Advisor

Heini Kallio, PhD

Medical Writer

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.

niina@medengine.fi
+358 40 3500 065

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.

anna.gronholm@medengine.fi
+358 40 3524 911

Hanna Ala-Hongisto, MSc

Scientific Project Manager

A career in biomedical sciences was an obvious choice for Hanna, as her endless curiosity led her to carry out experiments already at a young age. Hanna holds an MSc in Biotechnology and her background is in molecular biology and research, focusing on breast cancer and mitochondrial diseases. Besides research, Hanna has several years of experience as a project coordinator in the core unit providing functional genomic services at the University of Helsinki.

Inspired by her continuous search for new knowledge, Hanna’s easily excited and cheerful character suits the MedEngine team perfectly. Outside of work Hanna enjoys travelling, good food and outdoor activities accompanied by Usva, the Shetland Sheepdog.

hanna.ala-hongisto@medengine.fi
+358 44 7332 090

Mirkka Koivusalo, PhD

Scientific Project Manager

Mirkka Koivusalo, is a biochemist with over 15 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. 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.

mirkka.koivusalo@medengine.fi
+358 44 4774 195

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.

inkeri.spoljaric@medengine.fi
+358 44 7600 755

Sauli Herrala, MSc

Senior Data Scientist

Sauli comes from a mathematics and statistics background, and has specialized primarily in medical statistics. With his versatile programming language skills and his passion for data visualization, Sauli is your go-to guy for projects that require a bit more data wrangling than your typical studies. Besides MedEngine, he is working as a biostatistician for the faculty of medicine at the University of Oulu.

As a data science enthusiast, Sauli also enjoys recreational programming during his free time and sometimes finds himself participating in data science competitions. When not in front of his computer, Sauli can be found on a summer cottage construction site or shuffling through his fathers’ vinyl collection, dreaming of one of his own.

Joni Turunen

External Medical 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.

disa.langstrom@medengine.fi
+358 40 7034 981

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.

helena.henno@medengine.fi
+358 44 7451 560

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.

heidi.loponen@medengine.fi
+358 44 0190 699

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.

katja.sahlstedt@medengine.fi
+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.

ilona.iso-mustajarvi@medengine.fi
+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.

Ben Alasuvanto

Graphic Designer

Our Office Dogs

Gunnar

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.

Usva

Chief Activity Supervisor

Usva is a young and energetic Shetland Sheepdog who has recently started her professional career as an office dog. Although this fluffy and curious Sheltie loves action, her favourite time of the day is the lunch break. In her free time Usva enjoys agility and playing with her canine friends and human family.

Bruno

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.

Malú

Chief Nap Supervisor

Of Iberian descent, Malú spent the first part of her life on the streets of Alicante, Spain, before relocating to Helsinki, Finland, in 2009. Her education consists of pure street smarts, which has given her near-telepathic human- and dog-reading skills. In her free time, Malú enjoys sunbathing and taking endless walks—literally endless, since no one has ever been able to walk her until she’s tired.

Penny

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.