Kaarteenaho Riitta

Mechanisms of fibrosis in respiratory diseases


Research unit: Internal Medicine


Group leader

Riitta Kaarteenaho (MD, PhD) is currently working as a professor and physician-in-chief in the University of Oulu (UO) and Oulu University Hospital. She is an experienced researcher of pulmonary fibrosis, lung development and lung cancer. She has acted as a professor and physician-in-chief of respiratory medicine in the University of Eastern Finland in 2013-2016.


What do we do

Fibrotic mechanisms relate to many lung diseases like idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and other types of lung fibroses, lung cancer as well as airway diseases like asthma and COPD. Our study group investigates fibrogenesis in severe lung diseases using both experimental and translational methods as well as clinical and epidemiological data.


Our team

  • Kaarteenaho Riitta Kaarteenaho, Professor, Group leader
  • Harju Terttu, MD, PhD, docent (project: COPD – from cells to clinics)
  • Lappi-Blanco Elisa, MD, PhD, docent (project: lung fibrosis and lung cancer)
  • Mäkitaro Riitta, MD, PhD (project: lung cancer)

Post doc researchers

  • Karvonen Henna, PhD
  • Merikallio Heta, PhD

PhD students

  • Kreus Mervi, MSc
  • Salonen Johanna, MD
  • Keskitalo Eerika, Med.Cand.

Graduate students

  • Heikkiniemi Laura, Med.Cand.
  • Härkönen Janita, Student of medicine 

Study group in University of Eastern Finland & Kuopio University Hospital

  • Ikonen Ella, MSc, PhD student
  • Kärkkäinen Miia, MD, PhD student
  • Nurmi Hanna, MD, PhD student
  • Purokivi Minna, MD, PhD, docent


Where are we headed

Our following studies will focus on the expression of biomarkers that have been chosen on the basis of our microarray and proteomic results on stromal cells. In addition to the retrospective lung tissue materials and patient cohorts, prospective study protocols will be initiated in which serum, BAL and lung tissue samples will be collected for research purposes from patients with pulmonary fibrosis.


Our main collaborators

Docent, PhD Siri Lehtonen, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
Professor Arto Mannermaa, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
Professor Boris Hinz, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Professor Magnus Sköld, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Professor Marjukka Myllärniemi, University of Helsinki & Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
Associate professor Åsa Wheelock, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden


How to find us

Research Unit of Internal Medicine

Last updated: 9.7.2019