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.

Starting from June 2022 CERH is a part of the new Research Unit of Population Health at the Faculty of Medicine.
Tree figure with symbols presenting different research topics of the center

Research group information

Contact information

Research group leader

Research group description


Adjunct Professors (Docents)

Visiting researchers

Postdoctoral Researchers

Doctoral Researchers

Project Researcher


  • Riitta Aittamaa

Research Assistants

  • Janina Pietikäinen (advanced studies)
  • Ella Pääkkönen (advanced studies)
  • Ella Jokinen (advanced studies)
  • Joona Maaranen (advanced studies)

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.


CERH is responsible of teaching public health discipline at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu. CERH provides basic training related to public health, epidemiology and environmental health for medical students and systematic training for doctoral students.

If you are interested in doing your advanced studies at CERH, please contact the researchers.


CERH co-operates actively with national and international partners operating in the field of environmental health. An important activity of CERH is the close co-operation with WHO, which has resulted in designation to WHO Collaborating Centre on Global Change, Environment and Public Health for the period May 2014-May 2022.

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

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.

CERH was also 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, a part of the MCC Collaborative Research Network and the Health-Earth (H-Earth) network

The MCC Collaborative Research Network is an international collaboration of research teams working on a program aiming to produce epidemiological evidence on associations between environmental stressors, climate, and health. CERH director Professor Jouni Jaakkola is a member of the Scientific Committee of MCC Collaborative Research Network.

The Heath–Earth is an international and interdisciplinary network of institutions and individuals which aims to build knowledge about global change and health and develop capacity for effective responses by policymakers, practitioners and communities thereby ensuring long-term population health. Recognising, assessing, forewarning, minimising and adapting to the risks brought by global ecological and social change is vital if global population health is to be improved and to endure. The teaching of this material in schools and universities, at all levels, and to all health workers (i.e. beyond public health) is an important H-Earth goal. Understanding the adverse health consequences of unchecked adverse global environmental change is also important for many other disciplines, professions, policy makers and people of all faiths.

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Contact information

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

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


Selected publications

  • Jaakkola JJK. Planetaarinen terveys ja tulevaisuuden kansantaudit. In: Miten Suomi voi nyt ja tulevaisuudessa? Näkökulmia hyvin- ja pahoinvoinnin sekä kansantautien kehitykseen. Eduskunnan tulevaisuusvaliokunnan julkaisuja 6/2022. Helsinki: Grano; 2023. Available from: https://www.eduskunta.fi/FI/naineduskuntatoimii/julkaisut/Documents/TUV…

  • Kivimaa P, Heikkinen M, Huttunen S, Jaakkola JJK, Juhola S, Juntunen S, Kaljonen M, Käyhkö J, Leino M, Loivaranta T, Lundberg P, Lähteenmäki-Uutela A, Näkkäläjärvi K, Sivonen MH, Vainio A. Ilmastopolitiikan oikeudenmukaisuuden arviointi. Suomen ilmastopaneelin raportti 1/2023. Suomen Ilmastopaneeli; 2023. Available from: https://www.ilmastopaneeli.fi/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Ilmastopaneeli…

  • Furman E, Siivonen K, Linnanen L, Halme M, Jaakkola JJK, Mönkkönen M, Saari J, Salonen AO, Toivonen T, Tolvanen A, Soini K, Schönach P, Lyytimäki J. Six paths towards sustainability: a tookit to promote systemic transformation towards sustainability in Finland. Finnish expert panel on sustainable development, publications 1/2020. Helsinki: Natural Resources Insitute Finland, Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science, Finnish Environment Insititute; 2020. Available from: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-326-921-7

  • Näkkäläjärvi K, Juntunen S, Jaakkola JJK. SAAMI – Saamelaisten sopeutuminen ilmastonmuutokseen -hankkeen tieteellinen loppuraportti. Valtioneuvoston selvitys- ja tutkimustoiminnan julkaisusarja 2020:25. [in Finnish, includes abstract in North Saami, Inari Saami, Skolt Saami, Swedish and English] Available from: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-287-930-1

  • Liu C, Chen R, Sera F, Vicedo-Cabrera A, Guo Y, Tong S, de Sousa Zanotti Stagliorio Coelho M, Hilario P Saldiva N, Lavigne E, Matus Correa P, Valdes Ortega N, Osorio Garcia S, Pascal M, Stafoggia M, Scortichini M, Hashizume M, Honda Y, Hurtado M, Cruz J, Nunes B, Teixeira JP, Kim H, Tobias A, Íñiguez C, Forsberg B, Åström C, Ragettli MS, Guo YLL, Chen BY, Bell ML, Wright CY, Scovronick N, Garland R, Milojevic A, Kyselý J, Urban A, Orru Aaron H, Indermitte E, Jaakkola JJK, Ryti NRI, Zanobetti A, Schwartz J, Cohen A, Gasparrini A, Kan H. Ambient particulate air pollution and daily mortality in 652 cities. N Engl J Med 2019; 381:705-715. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1817364.