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MedEngine Warmly Welcomes: Katariina Kiviaho


Well into the year, we’re excited to continue welcoming new talent to our teams. Please let us introduce you to Katariina Kiviaho, joining our Market Access team, based in Helsinki.

Katariina is positive, extroverted and smiles a lot. “My husband describes me as funny and adorable. I do like to welcome people with a big smile and a warm hug! However, in the professional realm my colleagues often portray me as determined and goal oriented.”, Katariina says, beaming with joy.

At the age of 13, Katariina embarked on an unconventional career path as an assistant in a mortician establishment and a flower shop. “In addition to perfecting the art of crafting a spectacular bouquet, I also acquired the delicate skill of employing black humor—a facet of my experience that I hold dear”, Katariina says. One might say this hasn’t gone unnoticed at the office!

The world of all things tiny has interested Katariina for a long time.

Hence, Katariina has harbored a thorough interest in nature and biology since childhood. Eventually this fascination paved the way for her career in science. “I pursued my studies in cell and molecular biology at the University of Jyväskylä, obtaining my MSc in 2017 with minors in pharmacology and chemistry. Following this, I continued further to my PhD studies, familiarizing myself with the intricate realms of microbial interactions and antimicrobial resistance. After completing my PhD in 2021 at the University of Jyväskylä, I continued my research career as a doctoral researcher focusing on protein-level formation of muscle dystrophies”, she summarizes.

The world of all things tiny has interested Katariina for a long time. Katariina has been fascinated by the microscopic world since she was nine years old, sparked by her first glimpse of a bacterial cell through microscopy. This early curiosity led her to explore cells and molecules in detail, and eventually, to consider their implications for human health. Her academic career featured a notable project using helium ion microscopy, a technique primarily used for non-biological samples. Collaborating with physicists and chemists, Katariina worked on developing a novel drug encapsulation method for lung cancer virotherapy, refining imaging procedures for biological specimens. Although the technique is not yet clinically available, the experience was profoundly rewarding for her, blending her passion for the micro-world with practical health science applications.

One of the toughest choices I’ve actually faced was the decision to pursue a career in science over visual arts!” 

Katarina truly enjoys working at MedEngine. “From the moment I applied to MedEngine, it has felt like a place I belonged. What I appreciate most about MedEngine is its people. My colleagues and overall atmosphere have proven to be exceptionally inspiring, mirroring the tasks I have undertaken thus far. The prospect of personal and professional growth, finding my niche among such highly talented individuals, genuinely motivates me to strive for excellence”, Katariina vividly describes her impression of the company and its people.

After all the well-detailed passion for biology, it might come as a surprise to one that initially Katariina had other professional interests as well. “One of the toughest choices I’ve actually faced was the decision to pursue a career in science over visual arts”, she says and reveals that she once had a dream of becoming a visual artist. “Painting remains one of my dearest hobbies and occasionally keeps me busy. Writing’s also a consistent way of self-expression for me, and I’m thrilled to implement a creative touch on my daily tasks”, she explains.

Each year, I experiment by adding new species to see how well they adapt to the climate.

Katariina describes her family’s garden as her sanctuary. “A year-around hobby that comes with its challenges in central Finland!”, she laughs. “Each year, I experiment by adding new species to see how well they adapt to the climate. Our shared love for gardening has successfully been passed down to our daughter, turning it to a growing family hobby. The garden also serves as a venue for parties, during which I take pleasure in cooking and serving food for family and friends”, Katariina tells us. It’s easy to imagine those parties: the smell of delicious food, cozy illumination and kids running around the garden.

When the need for more action arises, Katariina says she finds solace in horseback riding. “Horses and equestrian sports have been a lifelong passion of mine, and I act as a steward in competitions to ensure animal welfare and adherence to rules. Animals, in general, hold a special place in my heart and our most beloved family member is a rescue cat. Raised by a dog, our cat often emulates canine behavior—a perfect choice for those who enjoy cuddles but prefer to skip the morning walks!”

Too cute! Great to have you on board, Katariina! A warm welcome.

Klaus Elfving

Klaus Elfving

Klaus Elfving is MedEngine's Digital Content Lead.