Tampere is well known for its strong technology background, however its speciality fields are not limited to engineering alone. Nevertheless, this strong engineering-mindset, and the multi-disciplinarity that seems to come naturally with it, are the core ideas we at Tampere Brain & Mind also draw strength from. Tampere Brain & Mind is part of the national Neurocenter Finland research network.
This is a start of an article series that will introduce all the members of our multi-disciplinary steering group. In this first article, we will introduce Antti Ronkainen from Pirkanmaa Hospital District and Jari Hyttinen from Tampere University.
Chief physician in neurosurgery, Antti Ronkainen (MD, PhD, docent) has been doing research on the genetics of brain aneurysms for over 20 years, and has published around 100 articles on the topic. Although the main focus of his research has been in brain aneurysms, Antti has actively collaborated with numerous other clinical fields, including vascular surgery, rheumatology, intensive care, and neurology.
Antti has supervised numerous PhD-students in his career, but wants to specifically highlight Tiina Ihalainen, whose thesis, the Incidence, risk factors and recovery of laryngeal penetration-aspiration after traumatic spinal cord injury was approved with distinction. It was also one of the two theses receiving the city of Tampere Research Fund award for doctoral dissertations 2018. The thesis was co-supervised by docent in neurotraumatology, Teemu Luoto, from Tampere University Hospital.
For the last 10 years, Antti has focused on clinical and administrative work, but is still happy to share his expertise, and to support research when needed.
Antti says that the most important point about Tampere Brain & Mind-network is to ease the joining of forces in research, as the network enables easier finding of new collaboration. As a representative of the Pirkanmaa Hospital District, Antti will look after the interests of the Tampere University Hospital, as we develop the Tampere Brain & Mind operations.
Head of the BioMediTech unit and Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Jari Hyttinen, brings in the engineering perspective from the Hervanta-campus to our steering group. Jari leads the Computational Biology and Imaging-research group, where the focus is on biomedical technology research, and neuronal signals and data analysis, eg. detecting signals from different areas of the brain. The group is also part of the Centre of Excellence in Body-on-Chip-research, which combines the know-how in biological and engineering sciences, aiming to develop new “body-on-chip” platforms.
Jari’s research group also collaborates with clinical researchers. Currently they are studying brain- and other physiological signals from patients who have suffered subarachnoid haemorrhage. In this study, these different signal types are analysed together, when in the clinical setting each of the signals are generally followed individually.
The main aim of Jari’s research group is to develop new information and methodologies for the use in personalised medicine in the future. The group has numerous interesting measuring tools available for the study of biophysics, especially in the study of electrophysiology and biomechanics, such as bioimpedance, patch clamp and MEA-equipment.
Tampere Brain & Mind has already shown that there is a huge potential for collaboration in Tampere on brain and neuronal research. I look forward to the increase in our local collaboration that will contribute to better science, visibility and funding, Jari says.