Honory lecture: Klaus P. Hedman

MD, PhD, Department of Virology, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Finland

Klaus Hedman, MD, Professor of Clinical Virology and Chief Physician, has elucidated the pathogenesis of infectious diseases and invented methods for their diagnosis. His team introduced the measurement of IgG-avidity into virus and parasite diagnostics. They currently work on (i) newly discovered human DNA viruses, (ii) a revolutionary FRET-based homogenous (wash-free, single-step) point-of-care serodiagnostic concept, and (iii) the occurrence of viral nucleic acids in ancient human tissue remains (archeovirology).

Erik Boll

PhD, Researcher, Statens Serum Institut, Denmark

I have a PhD in human health sciences from University of Copenhagen studying intestinal pathogens with focus on inflammation. Subsequently, I have done two year of post-doctoral work at the University of Massachusetts also focused on intestinal inflammatory pathogens. In my current post-doctoral project, I study the prevalence-, function of- and transfer of a cluster of stress response and heat shock proteins uniquely found in bacteria.

Olli Vapalahti

MD, PhD, professor of zoonotic virology at University of Helsinki, Finland

Olli Vapalahti is affiliated both at the medical and veterinary faculties, as well as the Helsinki University Hospital Laboratory (HUSLAB), and runs a research group of 20 people targeting viral zoonoses and arboviruses (e.g. hanta-, arena-. alpha,- and flaviviruses); molecular epidemiology, evolution, host-virus interactions from molecular and cellular to population level, disease associations and diagnostics.

Otto Cars

Senior professor, Uppsala University, Sweden

Otto Cars is a senior professor in infectious diseases at Uppsala University, Sweden. His research has focused on pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of antibiotics, resistance epidemiology and antibiotic policies. He was the chair of Strama (the Swedish strategic programme against antibiotic resistance) from its inception in 1995 until 2011. He has been involved in numerous European and international initiatives on antimicrobial resistance and is the founder of international network ReAct, Action on Antibiotic Resistance (

Jan Kristian Damås

Professor and Senior Consultant in Infectious Diseases, Centre of Molecular Inflammation Research Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway

Jan Kristian Damås is a professor in Infectious Diseases at the Centre for Molecular Inflammation Research at NTNU and a Senior Consultant at the Department of Infectious Diseases, St. Olav's Hospital in Trondheim, Norway. He is author on more than 140 papers in infectious diseases, cardiovascular disorders as well as in clinical immunology. Today his main research interest is in HIV-infection, rickettsioses and sepsis.

Willem de Vos

Professor, Wageningen University, the Netherlands

Willem M. de Vos is over 25 years Professor at Wageningen University, holds there the Chair of Microbiology, and serves as Professor of Human Microbiomics at the Medical Faculty of the University of Helsinki. His research aims to understand and exploit microbes using molecular, (meta)genomics and systems approaches. His current interest is focused on the human intestinal tract microbiota and its relation with health and disease.

Jamie Findlow

Dr, Vaccine Evaluation Unit, Public Health, UK

Dr Jamie Findlow is the Deputy Head of the Public Health England (PHE) Vaccine Evaluation Unit (VEU). He joined the VEU as a Clinical Scientist in 2000 and subsequently undertook a PhD in candidate serogroup B N. meningitidis vaccines. He is responsible for the maintenance of a clinical service to the National Health Service in addition to provision of clinical trial serology.

Thea Kølsen Fischer

Professor, Senior medical consultant and Head of national virology surveillance and research at Statens Serum Institut, Denmark

Dr Thea Kølsen Fischer is a public health virologist heading the Virology Surveillance and Research Unit at the Statens Serum Institut (SSI) and a Professor in Global Health and Infectious Diseases. She specialised in epidemiology and laboratory outbreak management as an EIS Officer at CDC (2003-2005). Her research has focused on global high-incidence viruses such as influenza, EVs and rotavirus combining epidemiology, molecular profiling and vaccinology.

Tari Haahtela

Specialist in Pulmonary Medicine and Allergology, Professor of Clinical Allergology, emeritus, Skin and Allergy Hospital, Helsinki University Hospital, Finland

Tari Haahtela is professor emeritus from Helsinki University, Finland. He is the former Head of Skin and Allergy Hospital, Helsinki University Hospital. He is Chairman of the on-going Allergy Programme 2008-2108. He is a Board Member of Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) and was a Board Member of World Allergy Organization (WAO) 2010-2013. His research interests are the environmental determinants of allergy and asthma. He is leading the Karelia Allergy Research Programme exploring the origin of allergies.

Antti J. Hakanen

Specialist, Microbiology and Genetics, Turku University Hospital, Finland

Antti Hakanen is a specialist in clinical microbiology and he is currently working as the head of Microbiology and Genetics of Turku University Hospital. He has been the chairman of the Finnish Study Group for Antimicrobial Resistance, FiRe since 2014. Also he is the Finnish representative in the EUCAST general committee. His main research interest is focused on the epidemiology and mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance.

Sander Herfst

PhD, Department of Viroscience, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Dr. Sander Herfst is a molecular virologist at the ErasmusMC Rotterdam. He completed his PhD in 2008, under joint supervision of Prof. Ron Fouchier and Prof. Ab Osterhaus, with a dissertation that focused on vaccination approaches to combat human metapneumovirus infections. Currently, his studies focus on the pathogenesis, virulence and transmissibility of influenza A viruses, with special emphasis on genetic and phenotypic viral factors involved in the emergence of new pandemics.

Karin Holm

Skåne University Hospital, Lund, Clinic of Infectious Diseases and Lund University, Department of Infection medicine, Sweden

I am an infectious diseases specialist at Lund University hospital since 2013. I defended my PhD thesis in December 2015. During the PhD programme I have experimentally investigated interactions between Fusobacterium necrophorum and the human plasma systems for coagulation and inflammation. I later expanded my research to involve clinical studies of invasive infections with F. necrophorum and Lemierre’s syndrome.

Dr. Jari Jalava

National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland

Jari Jalava, PhD has graduated from the University of Turku in 1993. He has been working with molecular identification of bacteria and molecular epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance. At the moment he is working at the National Institute for Health and Welfare. He is author of more than 80 scientific papers.

Brian Kristensen

MD, PhD, National Center for Infection Control, Statens Serum Institut, Denmark

Brian Kristensen is the Head of the National Center for Infection Control in Denmark. His main research activities are surveillance of hospital-acquired infections, testing of disinfectants, infection control, antibiotic-resistant microorganisms and, management of antibiotic treatment of severe infections.

Bart-Jan Kullberg

MD, PhD, FRCP, FIDSA, Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Radboud University Medical Center, the Netherlands

Bart-Jan Kullberg is Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases, at the Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands, and Chair of the training programme in infectious diseases at Radboud University Medical Center. His research concentrates on treatment of invasive fungal infections, as well as the pathogenesis and immunogenetics of fungal infections. He has served on the IDSA, ESCMID, and ECIL guidelines committees for invasive mycoses, and he serves on the executive board of the International Mycoses Study Group (MSG-ERC). He has published over 400 papers in peer-reviewed journals and he is a reviewer for a large number of international journals.

Pentti Kuusela

MD, PhD, Specialist, Helsinki University Central Hospital, HUSLAB, Finland

Pentti Kuusela (b. 1948) got his MD PhD degrees in University of Helsinki, Finland. He is a specialist in clinical microbiology and docent in University of Helsinki. Presently he is a chief physician in division of clinical microbiology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, HUSLAB. The research interest of Kuusela has focused mostly on molecular adhesion and invasion mechanisms of microbes as well as on development of early diagnostics of microbial infections.

Adam Linder

MD, Associate Professor, Clinic for Infectious Diseases Skånes Universitetssjukhus, Lund and the Department of Infection Medicine, Lund University, Sweden

His research interest lies in early diagnostics, treatment and long-term outcomes of sepsis. He has several international collaborative projects and has led two large international multicenter studies evaluating heparin-binding protein (HBP) as a biomarker for early sepsis identification in the ED. Also, he is the founder of a Swedish network for translational sepsis research (, and the Swedish Sepsis Trust (

Camille Locht

Research Director at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm), founding director of the Center for Infection and Immunity of Lille at the Institut Pasteur de Lille (IPL)

Camille Locht has obtained his PhD at the Catholic University of Leuven. After a 3-years post-doctoral stay at the NIH, USA, he joined SmithKline–Beecham, and is since 1989 at IPL, where he was the Scientific Director from 2002 to 2013.

Andreas Matussek

Director of Laboratory Medicine and Associate Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Region Jönköping County, Sweden

His research is translational and focuses mainly on clinical microbiology and infection control. The objectives are to minimize nosocomial infections, optimize diagnostics and enhance clinical outcomes and patient safety. In the field of Laboratory Medicine he works process oriented enabling new innovative strategies to deliver cohesive laboratory results.

Jukka-Pekka Pietilä

University of Helsinki, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Department of Infectious diseases, Finland

Jukka-Pekka Pietilä (M.D.) is writing his Ph.D. on the enteroparasite Dientamoeba fragilis in Helsinki University, Finland. His doctoral thesis focuses on the epidemiology, diagnostics, clinical features and treatment of dientamoebiasis. He is specialising in internal medicine and later on in infectious diseases.

Sigridur Julia Quirk

University of Iceland, Iceland

I am a Biomedical Scientist and PhD-student in Public Health Sciences at the University of Iceland. I first started working with pneumococci in 2011. I begun my PhD-program in 2013 at the Department of Clinical Microbiology, Landspitali-University Hospital, Iceland in collaboration with the University of Oxford and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge. We are studying pneumococcal molecular epidemiology before and after vaccine implementation in Iceland.

Dr. Fredrik Resman

Infectious Diseases Research Unit, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Malmö and Skåne University Hospital, Sweden

Dr. Resman is a specialist in infectious diseases and works as an infectious diseases consultant at Skåne University Hospital in Malmö, Sweden. His main research interest concerns antimicrobial resistance epidemiology and the different drivers of antimicrobial resistance locally and globally.

Ørjan Samuelsen

PhD, Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Detection of Antimicrobial Resistance, University Hospital of North Norway and Department of Pharmacy, UiT – The Arctic University of Norway

Ørjan Samuelsen is a senior scientist at the Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Detection of Antimicrobial Resistance and associate professor at UiT – The Arctic University of Norway. His main research focus is on antimicrobial resistance in Gram-negative bacteria and in particular β-lactamase-mediated resistance. This includes molecular epidemiology, diagnostic methods, biochemical and structural characterization of β-lactamases, β-lactamase inhibitors, in vivo evaluation of treatment options, and the transmission dynamics of resistance plasmids.

Professor Gavin Screaton

Imperial College London, UK

Gavin Screaton is the Dean of Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London. After completing his first degree from Cambridge he went on to Oxford to complete his medical studies and DPhil in General Medicine. He is a member of the MRC Strategy Board, Academy of Medical Sciences, Association of Physicians, a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and sits on funding committees at the Wellcome Trust and MRC.

Jaana Syrjänen

MD, PhD, Head of Infectious Disease Unit at Tampere University Hospital, Finland

Jaana Syrjänen, MD, PhD, is Head of Infectious Disease Unit at Tampere University Hospital. Her department treats patients with infectious diseases and immunodeficiencies as well as it is responsible for infection control in University Hospital and Pirkanmaa Health District. Her clinical expertise is in HIV infections and infections in immunocompromised patients and prevention of hospital acquired infections. Her research work has focused on severe bacterial infections.

Ursula Theuretzbacher

Principal of the Center for Anti-Infective Agents (CEFAIA), Austria

Dr. Theuretzbacher is founder and principal of the Center for Anti-Infective Agents in Vienna, Austria, since 1988. A microbiologist by training, she dedicated her professional life to antibacterial and antifungal drug R&D as well as appropriate and optimized usage of these drugs. She focuses on resistance and dosing issues from the early development phase to the use of old and new drugs in clinical practice.

Garth Daryl Tylden

University Hospital of North Norway

Garth Tylden was born in New Zealand in 1973. He immigrated to Tromsø in Northern Norway in 1993 and began studies at the University of Tromsø, completing a degree in civil engineering, gene technology in 2000 and a medical degree in 2004. Tylden has worked as a doctor in the department of microbiology and infection control since 2006 and defended his PhD thesis in clinical virology in December 2015.

Olli Vapalahti

Professor, Infectious Diseases, Virology, University of Helsinki, Finland

Timo Vesikari

Professor (emer.) and Director of Vaccine Research Center at the University of Tampere, School of Medicine, Finland

Dr. Timo Vesikari is Professor (emer.) and Director of Vaccine Research Center at the University of Tampere, School of Medicine. His appointments at the University of Tampere include Professor of Pediatrics in 1981–1987 and Professor of Virology in 1991–2012. Dr. Vesikari’s research interest has focused on vaccine development and trials. With the Vaccine Research Center, Dr. Vesikari has conducted clinical trials on a number of vaccines, including rotavirus, influenza, varicella and zoster vaccines.

Anni Virolainen--‐Julkunen

MD, PhD, Specialist in Clinical Microbiology, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Department for Promotion of Welfare and Health, Finland

Anni Virolainen-Julkunen, MD, PhD, is working as a Senior Medical Officer at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, responsible for national coordination of issues relating to communicable diseases. Prior to this, she completed her post-doctoral studies on pneumococcal pathogenesis and immune responses with professor David Briles in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, specialized in Clinical Microbiology at the Helsinki University, and worked as a researcher and Chief Physician at the National Institute of Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.

Jaana Vuopio

Professor, University of Turku, Finland

Jaana Vuopio, MD, PhD, is Professor of Bacteriology at Medical Faculty, University of Turku with a part-time affiliation at National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). She gained her MD and PhD degrees at University of Helsinki followed by postdoctoral training at Stanford University School of Medicine and a research visit to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta. She has published 150 peer-reviewed publications and 40 text book chapters on severe bacterial infections and antimicrobial resistance.

Herve Zeller

Senior expert, Head of the Emerging and Vector-borne disease programme, European Centre for Disease Surveillance Prevention and Control, Stockholm, Sweden

Worked for more than 25 years in different Pasteur Institutes in Africa and America, and in CDC (USA) with special focus on emerging vector-borne viral disease epidemiology, ecology, and laboratory investigation. Author or co-author of over 150 publications on a large variety of health topics including surveillance, laboratory diagnostic, ecology and control of vector-borne diseases.

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