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MedEngine welcomes Maria Grönman, Ulrika Hänninen, Riikka Viitanen, and Mirkka Koivusalo!

 

We’re excited to introduce four new members to our Market Access, Scientific Content & Digital Engagement, and Medical Data Science teams.

Maria GrönmanMaria 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 last autumn.

“The coolest thing in my career so far has been the possibility to work with truly translational studies and with multidisciplinary teams. It has been great to see the new PET tracers that we have tested in tissue and animal models eventually move on to be tested with patients — it has shown concretely the importance of preclinical research and how it can help patients! I love research, but now I am looking forward to learning new ways to combine my scientific background with business.”

”I took notice of MedEngine and the positive atmosphere that radiates through the company’s presence during my PhD studies, and dreamed about working there someday”.

“I took notice of MedEngine and the positive atmosphere that radiates through the company’s presence during my PhD studies, and dreamed about working there someday. Nice colleagues are one of the most important things for me at work, and now after my first weeks at MedEngine I feel that I am in the right place!”

Maria’s family includes her husband and two teenagers. In her free time she reads, and goes wandering or running in the forest with her Australian Labradoodle Pulmu. She does yoga and exercises at home. She loves inviting people over and spending a night with good food — and who wouldn’t!

Some years ago, with her family, she took up a house building project despite having no prior experience whatsoever, and saw it through with great success. She also says house number two is already on its way, and most likely will not be the last one.

Ulrika HänninenUlrika 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.

“I highly appreciate making research understandable and thus more valuable in our society. I’m inspired about the possibilities to utilize my scientific and clinical background in various ways at MedEngine”.

Before joining MedEngine, Ulrika has worked as a clinical doctor. She says curiosity about science, and biomedicine especially, is a big part of who she is. “One of the most intriguing things was to discover what a vast amount of data is packed in our DNA — and then have a chance to study and try to understand it. I highly appreciate making research understandable and thus more valuable in our society. I’m inspired about the possibilities to utilize my scientific and clinical background in various ways at MedEngine.”

Ulrika is the owner of two endearing huskies. “They have charming and adventurous characters and I love spending time with them”, she laughs. She also enjoys hiking and wandering in nature, challenging herself in different ways, and doing various sports, from BodyCombat to church boat rowing. “I also really enjoy taking moments to admire all the small wonders of our surrounding nature.”

Riikka ViitanenRiikka 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!

“I have known since I was young that I want to work in the medical field. I have always been interested in science, especially human biology, and that’s why I also studied in a science-focused high school. Although before applying to university my ambitions changed from wanting to be a medical doctor to a biomedical expert instead.”

Riikka studied Biomedicine at the University of Turku and did her Master thesis at the Turku PET Centre before continuing to PhD studies. She recently 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.

“By far the most exciting thing I have been able to participate in is performing a first-in-human study as part of my PhD. We showed how an imaging agent that targets areas of inflammation was safe and effective in humans for the first time. Before this first-in-human study, I had performed preclinical studies with this same imaging agent. It was very cool to see the whole development path of a new imaging agent!”

“I’m inspired by learning new things and finding solutions to health problems, which will eventually lead to better treatment for diseases.”.

“I spent many years in academia, so I wanted to see what it’s like to work in business. I chose MedEngine because I wanted to combine my science skill set with business. I can already say that I love MedEngine’s friendly and encouraging atmosphere. I’m inspired by learning new things and finding solutions to health problems, which will eventually lead to better treatment for diseases. Moreover, I look forward to the opportunity to utilize my scientific expertise in a variety of projects and all the new challenges this position offers.”

In her free time, Riikka enjoys dancing, the tennis-like ball game Padel, knitting, sewing, running, and spending her summer weekends in the Finnish archipelago at sea with her husband.

Mirkka KoivusaloMirkka you might already know, as we are welcoming her back to our team! During her time away she was gaining significant experience in the Finnish Biobank ecosystem before returning back to MedEngine. Mirkka is looking forward to utilizing her analytical skills and systematic problem-solving approaches to promote human health. We are excited to have Mirkka back, we truly missed her down-to-earth personality and great sense of humour!

A warm welcome to the family Maria, Ulrika, Riikka and Mirkka!

Klaus Elfving

Klaus Elfving

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