Professor Maritta Jaakkola received the Environmental, Occupational and Population Health John Peters Award from the American Thoracic Society

Professor Maritta Jaakkola showing a photograph of three generations of researchers taken in 2012: The year 2012 John M. Peters Awardee and Maritta's thesis supervisor, professor Margaret R. Becklake with her husband professor Maurice McGregor, Maritta and Jouni Jaakkola and their doctoral student Sirpa Heikkinen.

Maritta S. Jaakkola, Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University of Oulu, Finland, has been awarded the 2015 John M. Peters Award for outstanding contributions to environmental or occupational health through leadership in research, education, or public health by the American Thoracic Society’s Assembly on Environmental, Occupational and Population Health (EOPH). The award is recognition for Professor Maritta Jaakkola’s prolonged, internationally recognized high-quality research and educational work.

Professor Maritta Jaakkola’s main research topics have been to investigate the role of occupational, environmental and clinical factors for the prognosis of lung diseases, with special interest in obstructive diseases (asthma and COPD) and allergies. Further, her research focusses on the evaluation of the effects of active and passive smoking and of occupational and environmental exposures as well as other lifestyle factors on respiratory and occupational health and on respiratory diseases, including the onset of asthma.

Professor Jaakkola has developed both the theory of respiratory diseases and the related research methodology. In addition, she has lately studied the heredity of asthma and the influence of regular exercise on the health of adult asthmatics.

Maritta Jaakkola has published about one hundred peer-reviewed scientific articles, including several review articles and editorials both in English and in Finnish. Professor Maritta Jaakkola has also been an important supervisor for junior researchers. During her career she has supervised several doctoral theses and she is currently supervising several doctoral students. In addition, she has supervised many post-doctoral researchers.

Professor Maritta Jaakkola has an extensive international career. Before coming to Oulu she worked in the United Kingdom as a Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Birmingham and an Honorary Consultant in Respiratory Medicine at the Heart of England NHS Trust, Heartlands Hospital, Birmingham, and in the United States as an Assistant Professor and Visiting Associate Professor at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, and in Canada as a Research Fellow at the McGill University, Montreal.

Professor Maritta Jaakkola was appointed the Professor of Respiratory Medicine in the University of Oulu in 2005, and she has been the Vice Director of the Center for Environmental and Respiratory Health Research (CERH) since 2011. She has received several awards prior to this, for example her research group received the British Thoracic Society’s Silver Jubilee Award in 2007.

The award was presented to Professor Maritta Jaakkola on 18 May 2015 at the 2015 American Thoracic Society (ATS) International Conference in Denver, USA. The Award was handed to her doctoral student Sirpa Heikkinen who participated in the Conference by presenting her poster supervised by Professor Jaakkola.

Last updated: 19.5.2015