Dr. Saarakkala currently acts as Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Research Group of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Finland. He is also a Scientific Director of the Infotech Oulu Focus Institute, University of Oulu, Finland. Prof. Saarakkala holds an ERC Starting Grant for 2014-2018.
Prof. Saarakkala has published over 130 peer-reviewed scientific articles on different aspects of musculoskeletal imaging and biomechanics, particularly focusing on osteoarthritis. He is an internationally recognized researcher in the field of osteoarthritis imaging. Prof. Saarakkala's research group is focusing on diagnostics and imaging of osteoarthritis at different levels, i.e. from tissue and cell level up to the clinical level. The primary goal in his research is to better understand the etiology and progression of osteoarthritis as well as to develop novel methodologies to diagnose the disease at early phase, and predicts its clinical progression, when there would still be treatment options for patients.