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MedEngine warmly welcomes: Lasse Ruokolainen

 

We are happy to announce that our Medical Data Science Team is growing with yet another professional.

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.

Lasse’s first postdoctoral position was at the University of Toronto. The resulting period of research — on theoretical problems, as well as bats and chironomids — won him the title Adjunct Professor of the Year 2012. The work done at this time also shifted his focus more towards microbiology and inflammatory disorders.

”The coolest thing I’ve taken part of, in terms of research, is a set of manipulative experiments, where we showed that skin-exposure to a certain bacterium leads to a systemic immune tolerance.”

“The coolest thing I’ve taken part of, in terms of research, is a set of manipulative experiments, where we showed that skin-exposure to a certain bacterium leads to a systemic immune tolerance. We learned that the living environment modifies individual microbiota, which can in turn be linked to alteration of immune function and tolerance. The excitement was particularly great, as the results were perfectly in line with those from observational studies.”

“I’m probably more drawn to interesting problems than specific subjects.”

Lasse’s extensive work experience and research-like mind shows in the way he sees the world: “I’m probably more drawn to interesting problems than specific subjects!”, he says.

In 2018 Lasse cut his Academy Fellowship short and changed hats, becoming a full-time data scientist and an AI-consultant. The past three years Lasse has been spending time coding in Python and building cloud-based machine learning solutions. While learning tons about digital technology on the job, he somehow felt it was time to move on.

“I joined MedEngine because I want to find my work meaningful and motivating.”

“I joined MedEngine because I want to find my work meaningful and motivating!”, he laughs. “The possibility to better utilize my specific skills was a clear deciding factor in joining the company. I find the field very important — and like the idea of working in a group where I can feel a personal attachment and really see my impact”, Lasse sums up.

Lasse’s family includes three kids, and he is a passionate cyclist. Also, just this year, he’s had the time to try the new clubsport hit padel, kayaking, and bouldering. In addition to definitive areas of sports, he enjoys going out in the woods, loitering in art exhibitions, cooking, and reading.

We warmly welcome Lasse as part of the team and look forward to working with him!

Klaus Elfving

Klaus Elfving

Klaus Elfving is a Helsinki-based content producer, science communicator, and broadcast journalist.