Center for Environmental and Respiratory Health Research (CERH) - Understanding the Changing Global Health.

CERH comprises a multidisciplinary group of researchers with expertise in epidemiology and biostatistics, clinical medicine, biology, genetics, environmental sciences, ecology, geography and anthropology.
CERH provides basic training related to public health, epidemiology and environmental health for medical students and systematic training for doctoral students.
Tree figure with symbols presenting different research topics of the center

Contact information

Research group leader

  • Professor
    Jouni J. K. Jaakkola

Research group description


Adjunct Professors (Docents)

Postdoctoral Researchers

Doctoral Researchers

  • Sirpa Aalto
  • Salla Alavaikko
  • Samu Hernberg
  • Hamudat Balogun
  • Elina Mäkikyrö
  • Rasmus Valtonen
  • Ilkka Mehtonen
  • Simo-Pekka Kiihamäki
  • Abate Bekele Belachew
  • Marine Savouré (Visiting Researcher)

Project Researcher

  • Meaza Girma Degefa


  • Riitta Aittamaa

Research Assistants

  • Suvi Juntunen
  • Kalle Pikkarainen (advanced studies)
  • Janina Pietikäinen (advanced studies)
  • Ella Pääkkönen
  • Ella Jokinen

Staff email addresses firstname.lastname @ oulu.fi.



The overall aim of CERH research is to assess the health impact and burden of disease from environmental exposures directly or indirectly related to global environmental change.  Specific research themes include studies on the effects of air pollution, temperature and housing factors on respiratory infections and chronic diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and reproductive health, including application of genetic methods to address gene-environment interaction in asthma to investigate mechanisms conveying susceptibility. One important theme is to study the effects of extreme temperatures in combination with indoor and other outdoor exposures on symptoms, morbidity and mortality from the most common chronic diseases.

The ground-breaking approach of CERH is to apply multidisciplinary complementary research methodologies by conducting broad nationwide registry-linkage studies, follow-ups of large population-based epidemiologic studies, controlled experimental studies, and by synthesizing the evidence applying meta-analyses and burden of disease assessment. The obtained results of empirical research are applied to future scenarios that can be extrapolated to different parts of Europe and to other parts of the world.

The produced research results enable to develop evidence-based mitigation and prevention measures, thus supporting health policy planning as well as developing health care systems to manage the arising health problems.

A Part of the Biodiverse Anthropocenes, Biocenter Oulu and Medical Research Center Oulu (MRC)

CERH is one of the Biocenter Oulu Spearhead projects - Life-long health 2020-2023:
Molecular and Environmental Basis for Asthma in a Changing Climate, PI:s Jouni J. K. Jaakkola and Maritta S. Jaakkola 

CERH is a part of the Biodiverse Anthropocenes Research Programme of the University of Oulu supported by the Academy of Finland PROFI6 funding (2021-2026). 

CERH is one of the Medical Research Center (MRC) Oulu Focus Area Research Groups:
Jaakkola Jouni ja Maritta: Genes and environmental exposures in the etiology and prognosis of adult asthma and its subtypes

Contact information

Center for Environmental and Respiratory Health Research (CERH)
Research Unit of Population Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu

Mailing address: P. O. Box 5000, FI-90014 University of Oulu, FINLAND
Visiting address: Kontinkangas Campus, Aapistie 5 B, 1st floor, Oulu, FINLAND
Internal address: 5CERH
Email: cerh (a) oulu.fi
Staff email addresses: firstname.lastname (a) oulu.fi