We have the pleasure of welcoming yet again a new team member! Tiira Johansson has joined the Scientific Content & Digital Engagement team in Finland.
Tiira is an analytical and systematic person. She says she may seem a bit dry and serious at first, but once you get to know her a bit better, she’s a bubbly and humorous person. No doubt, I think we’ve already seen a glimpse of that!
Tiira’s background is in immunology and genetics. She has two master’s degrees, one in biosystems and biomaterials engineering from Aalto University, Espoo, and the other in microbiology from University of Helsinki. “I did my PhD in a joint project between the R&D department of Finnish Red Cross Blood Service and Translational Immunology Research Program at University of Helsinki,” she tells us. “Before my PhD years, I have worked as a lab manager in a research lab of molecular neurology and as a product specialist focusing on selling and marketing products for customers in clinical, environmental, and industrial laboratories in Finland.”
“I am fascinated about different biomaterials and how they could be used in various innovations.”
Tiira says she’s always been interested in science, technology, and business. “In science, I’m especially passionate about immunology and its role in cancer, different autoimmune diseases, and novel therapy areas. There’s a small tech enthusiast inside me and I believe that’s why I chose a PhD project which was very focused on method development and enabled me to combine both immunology and technological aspects”, she admits.
Amazing! We love enthusiasm!
Simultaneously with her PhD studies, Tiira says she got interested in different biosystems and biomaterials. “I think the idea of substituting animal models with an organ-on-a-chip mimicking human tissue or a disease model to do, e.g., drug testing is fantastic,” she says ever-so-enthusiastically. “Additionally, I am fascinated about different biomaterials and how they could be used in various innovations in the medical, food, and textile industry, e.g., to replace plastics and thus conserve natural resources and environment. To improve my business knowledge, I included a minor in economics and business administration in my MSc Tech degree”, she adds.
“New sequencing platforms and methods allowed me to be a part of the methodological revolution in biomedical sciences.”
Tiira started her PhD at the advent of next-generation sequencing. You readers probably remember the human genome was sequenced 20 years ago, in 2003, right? Well, we’ve come a long way since. “Testing of new sequencing platforms and methods allowed me to be a part of the methodological revolution in biomedical sciences,” Tiira starts, “I think the coolest thing I did in my PhD years was a project where we designed a method to study allele-level mRNA expression of human leukocyte antigens in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. The expression level of these complex genes is relevant, e.g., in designing immune cell therapies and in donor selection for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation”, she sums.
We here at MedEngine use a considerable amount of resources to make sure our recruitment process produces the best possible match for everyone. What’s remarkable is our impressive track record of success. Like many others, Tiira says she chose MedEngine because she felt that it’s a place where she can utilize her wide array of skills.
“And I must say that MedEngine is the whole package! Everyone has been so nice and helpful from day one, and I like the dynamic atmosphere and the spirit of reaching goals by doing things together. I am inspired by the fact that I get to help our customers in challenging projects and, in this way, turn my expertise into concrete deliverables with actual value.”
“Tiira confesses that she’s confident that she was born in the wrong decade.”
In her free time Tiira says she reads novels, plays badminton, and goes to the gym. “Nowadays, with two small kids, I have become a more outdoorsy person as well. We unfortunately do not have any pets, but I love animals and I used to have two marvelous bunnies, who both lived over ten years”, she reveals. No way—yet another MedEngine employee with a history with bunnies! “Also, our 3-year-old son keeps constantly suggesting different pets for us and I believe when the kids are a bit older, we will get a dog,” she says. Tiira says she likes sailing and spending time in the Finnish archipelago with her family in the summer. Off to the MedEngine sailing team, then! ⛵
Peculiar fact: Tiira loves interior design. The Bauhaus and Mid-Century Modern styles are especially close to her heart, she says. To conclude our interview, Tiira confesses that she’s confident that she was born in the wrong decade. Why? She’s super into 70’s music!
Perfect, that’s the way (uh-huh, uh-huh) we like it! Welcome aboard! 🕺
P.S. I’m just going to quietly attach this here.. https://youtu.be/O0_H3F84Yjk