The Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine celebrates its 100th thesis defence
The faculty’s 100th doctoral candidate is Jari Jukkola, M.Sc. In his doctoral thesis, he has studied the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. In his dissertation, Jukkola shows how acute blood pressure lowering and whole-body vibration enhance the clearance of circulating brain macromolecules via the cervical lymphatic pathway in mice. According to Jukkola, the discovery may have clinical significance in preventing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.
The Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine was established in 2014. It currently has 200 employees, about half of whom are foreigners. The faculty has around 80 doctoral researchers.
The faculty’s first doctoral thesis was published in 2014. In total, the faculty produces around 11 doctoral theses each year. The peak year was 2016, when 18 doctoral theses were completed. This year, there will be 15 doctoral theses. A little more than half of the faculty’s doctoral candidates have been women.
Most of the faculty’s doctoral theses are monographs containing published data. In addition to this, article-based theses are published, usually consisting of 3–5 scientific publications and an accompanying abstract. The language of the theses is English.
It usually takes years to complete a thesis. “Biomedical experimental research is long-term and time-consuming, which is why the four-year timeframe set by the University of Oulu Graduate School is usually not feasible for an article-based thesis,” Peppi Karppinen, Dean of the Faculty says.
Research at the international forefront
Research in the Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine focuses on extracellular matrix and hypoxia, protein science and structural biology, including drug discovery, as well as cellular regulatory and metabolic networks and related diseases. Other areas of increasing interest include cancer genomics, biological imaging and biosensoring. The faculty’s research is at the international forefront in many areas.
Faculty graduates typically find employment in academic careers abroad and in Finland. The faculty also actively collaborates with the biotech industry both domestically and internationally as well as promoting entrepreneurship in the field and the application of research discoveries. Some of the graduates also end up working in the biotech industry. On the other hand, most of the doctoral candidates with a medical background pursue a clinical career after obtaining their doctorate.
The faculty’s 100th doctoral ceremony will begin in the Leena Palotie Hall at the Kontinkangas campus on Friday 9 December at 12 noon. Jari Jukkola’s opponent at the event will be Assistant Professor Erik. N.T.P. Bakker of the University of Amsterdam and the presiding official will be Professor Lauri Eklund of the University of Oulu.