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Contact information

Faculty Office:
P.O. Box 66
00014 University of Helsinki

Visiting address:
Agnes Sj÷bergin katu 2

phone +358-(0)2941-911
fax +358-(0)2941-57161

Annual Report 2013

Nova University Network


Strategy 2013-16


Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine safeguards the health and wellbeing of animals and people. It is the only institution of higher education in Finland to educate veterinary surgeons. The Faculty’s operations are located at the Viikki Campus and Saari in Mäntsälä.


Visitors from the University of Nairobi

Uni Nairobi

Professor Eric Mitema and Associate Professor George Gitau from University of Nairobi visited the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine for two weeks in March and April. The visit was part of the ongoing HESONA VetNet Cooperation project under the North-South-South Higher Education Programme funded by the Finland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Its main aim is to map various cooperation opportunities in teaching and research.

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Spotlight nominee article on Applied and Environmental Microbiology journal


The article "The CLO3403/CLO3404 Two-Component System of Clostridium botulinum E1 Beluga Is Important for Cold Shock Response and Growth at Low Temperatures" published by Mascher et al. was selected as spotlight in the issue of January 2014 of Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

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David Argüelles Capilla is in charge of the Equine Surgery Service at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital

David Arguelles

David Argüelles Capilla is working as equine surgeon at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Viikki since 2012. David brings top expertise in the field of veterinary equine surgery to the Equine hospital as he is the only board certified veterinary equine surgeon currently working in Finland.

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Dogs recognize familiar faces from images

Dog eye tracking

Facial recognition is an important skill for humans and other social animals. Humans have specific brain mechanisms involved in face processing, which focuses attention to faces and recognizes the identity of faces remarkably quickly and accurately. However, the face recognition mechanisms of dogs are weakly understood. Professor Outi Vainio's research group studied how dogs look at facial images by using eye movement tracking. The results show that dogs are able to recognize faces in the pictures; dogs focus their attention especially on the eye area and look at familiar faces more often than strange ones. The article was published on 5 December 2013 on the scientific journal Animal Cognition.

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Paula Larenza Menzies brings world-class expertise on veterinary anesthesia

Paula Larenza

We talked to Paula Larenza Menzies who started working as assistant professor of anesthesia at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Viikki in 2013. Paula brings world-class expertise in the field of veterinary anaesthesia to Finland as she is the only Board Certified Veterinary Anesthesiologist currently working in Finland.

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New dwarfism mutation identified in dogs

Norwegian Elkhound with dwarfism mutation

Professor Hannes Lohi's research group has identified a mutation in ITGA10 gene, causing chondrodysplasia in two dog breeds, the Norwegian Elkhound and the Karelian Bear Dog. The research revealed a new chondrodysplasia gene in dogs, and a candidate gene for human chondrodysplasias. The finding has implications on bone biology as well as canine health. The study was published on the scientific journal PLOS ONE on 25 September 2013.

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Professor, Vice-Rector Johanna Björkroth nominated as Applied and Environmental Microbiology journal's Scientific Editor

Johanna Björkroth

Professor,Vice-Rector Johanna Björkroth has been nominated as Scientific Editor of the Applied and Environmental Microbiology (AEM) published by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) for a five-year period.

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New PRA gene identified in Phalenes and Papillons


Professor Hannes Lohi's research has identified a mutation in CNGB1 gene, causing progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) in the Phalene and Papillon dog breeds. PRA is one of the most common causes of blindness in dogs and in human. CNGB1 mutations have been previously associated with the corresponding human disease, human retinitis pigmentosa. This study highlights the shared genetic etiology of many canine and human genetic disorders, and provides new tools to investigate PRA mechanisms while the beloved dogs benefit from genetic testing. The study was published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE on August 28, 2013.

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Giant cows and high-quality equipment

veterinary students from Tanzania

Erick Mosha and Gwakisa Aroni, two veterinary students from Tanzania, spent 3 months in practical training at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. The size of the cows, the high-quality equipment of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital as well as the warm connections between the students and the staff impressed the students.

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