Professor Pihlajaniemi is a leading scientist in the field of collagen research. She has published 175 original research articles and a number of them in top level journals. She has received the Science Prize of the State of Finland (shared with Kari Kivirikko and Leena Ala-Kokko), the highly prestigious Anders Jahre´s Nordic Medical Prize, and the the Matti Äyräpää Prize of The Finnish Medical Society Duodecim. She was Chairman of the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 1991-2007 and Co-Director/Director of the Collagen Research Unit, a CoE in 1999-2005. The research areas of the Collagen Research Unit were broadened and the group composition was enlarged from 3 to 10 in 2008 when the former Unit was replaced by the Oulu Centre for Cell- Matrix Research, with Pihlajaniemi as its Director.
Pihlajaniemi has been the Scientific Director of Biocenter Oulu (BCO), the spear head of research in biosciences and molecular medicine at the University of Oulu, as well as the Director of its Graduate School in 1996-2009. She has also been strongly involved in the establishment of Biocenter Finland, a network of the Finnish bioinstitutes and was its first Director in 2006-2007. Since 2010 Pihlajaniemi is the Rector (Provost) responsible for research at the University of Oulu. Moreover, she heads the Finnish participation in the pan-European mouse archiving and phenotyping infrastructure (http://www.infrafrontier.eu/) and the Nordisk Infrastructure for Mouse models (www.norimm.org), and has participated in the process whereby Oulu will become the Finnish EMMA node. She is also a member of the Finnish Academy of Sciences and Letters and is one of the founding scientists of the US-based biotech company FibroGen Inc.
Last updated: 27.6.2016