University of Oulu’s Alumn of the Year 2023 is vaccine researcher Mika Rämet
Mika Rämet earned the degree of Licentiate of Medicine from the University of Oulu in 1996 and Doctor of Medicine in 1998. He went on to become a paediatrician in 2006 and a neonatologist – a doctor who specialises in caring for babies, newborns and premature babies – in 2007.
Rämet has worked as Professor of Experimental Immunology at the University of Tampere since 2008. He worked as Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Oulu in 2013–2020, after which he became Director of the Vaccine Research Centre at Tampere University. His current position is Chief Medical Officer of Finnish Vaccine Research.
“Mika Rämet has represented exceptional excellence in both clinical work and research. He has worked in the laboratory of a Nobel Prize-winning immunologist and his work has focused especially on understanding and preventing the most significant diseases, premature birth and infections in newborns and children. His research has contributed to the development of several new forms of contraception. His work has promoted children’s health and the prevention of diseases around the world,” says Eva Maria Raudasoja, Chair of the Board of the University of Oulu Association.
Mika Rämet has extensive experience in basic immunology research and vaccine development, such as tuberculosis vaccine research. In addition to international research and development tasks, he has worked as a teacher and actively engaged in social discussion. Mika Rämet has participated in more than 100 television or radio interviews and given hundreds of interviews to the press. He has received awards such as the Apple of Good Information from the Association of Health Journalists in 2022 and Tampere University’s Societal Impact Award in 2022.
The University of Oulu Association has named the Alumn of the Year every year since 1999. The first Alumn of the Year was President Martti Ahtisaari. This year, the University Gala honoured President Ahtisaari’s memory and life’s work.
At the gala, the University of Oulu Association also named the Student of the Year 2023. This award was given to medical student Jerry Nguyen. He is a second-year student who supports other early-stage students with his presence and study tips, helping them get engaged in their studies and in the university community. Jerry Nguyen cheers people up spontaneously in everyday encounters with nice surprises. This goal-oriented student has accumulated an admirable number of study credits in his first year, and he aims to join a research group and pursue a doctoral dissertation alongside his medical studies.