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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 Review


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.


Defence: Bartonella and other arthropod borne diseases in dogs and moose


The incidence of arthropod-borne infections is increasing worldwide and Fennoscandia is no exception. Ixodes ricinus, the sheep or castor bean tick, which is the most common tick in North-Western Europe, is widely distributed in Finland. Cristina Pérez Vera's research for PhD thesis aims at investigating the epidemiology of selected tick- transmitted infections, with special interest in those caused by Bartonella spp, among dogs. She also studied whether moose carry this infection and if the deer ked (moose fly) can transmit it. In her study, Pérez Vera discovered that dogs with Bartonella infection are usually seronegative and have similar clinics signs as dogs with other tick borne diseases. Dogs living in Finland are exposed to tick borne diseases, but so far, no Finnish dog has been diagnosed with Bartonella spp infection. In contrast, a large number of Finnish moose are infected with this organism.

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Defence: More mutagenic and oestrogenic activities of commercially processed food items and water samples found in Nigeria than in Finland

Commercially processed food, drinking-water sources and effluent waters discharged into bodies of water from wastewater treatment plants are putative but yet poorly delineated sources of human exposure to chemical mutagens and oestrogen-like chemicals globally. MSc Matthew Omoruyi's research for PhD thesis aims at determining the current situation both in a European country (Finland) and an African country (Nigeria) for comparison. In his study Omoruyi discovered that the Nigerian food items and drinking-water sources are more likely to contain mutagenic and oestrogenic chemicals than their Finnish counterparts.

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Prominent figures will be inaugurated during the doctoral conferment ceremony of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

Doctoral conferment

The second doctoral conferment ceremony of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, of the University of Helsinki, will take place on 5 June 2015. 68 Doctors of Veterinary Medicine and Doctors of Philosophy will have their ranks bestowed on them at the ceremony, as well as 10 Honorary Doctors and one Jubilee Doctor. The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine has chosen to bestow Honorary Doctorates on ten individuals distinguished in their own fields, among them the President of the Republic of Finland, Sauli Niinistö. An Honorary Doctorate is the most the esteemed distinction that the University can bestow.

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Public defence: Intestinal microbiota is unique to each human being and individuals can be separated by their specific faecal protein profiles


Human physiological processes are complemented by those of the microbiota, the collection of all microbes living in and on our body. The human intestinal microbiota is one of the most prominent representative and many associations with a wide spectrum of human diseases have been identified. These genes provide an enormous additional genetic potential to the human genome, but little is known about which of these genes can be expressed into proteins and the conditions under which the protein synthesis occurs. The focus of MSc Carolin Kolmeder thesis work was to increase the knowledge of the biological processes taking place in-vivo, and to establish a baseline of these functions in the intestine of a healthy adult.

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Novel neurodegenerative disease and gene identified with the help of man's best friend

Lagotto Romagnolo

A breakthrough study performed in an international collaboration led by Professor Tosso Leeb from the University of Bern and Professor Hannes Lohi from the University of Helsinki together with the veterinary neurologists and neuropathologists at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine has identified a gene mutation that causes a novel type of neurodegenerative disease in dogs. The results of the study shed light into the function of neurons, provide a new gene for human neurodegenration, and may aid in developing better treatments for neurodegenerative disorders. The study was published in the prestigious journal PLoS Genetics on 15.4.2015.

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A new book on the lactating sow available

Lactating sow book

This new book published on 2015 shares up-to-date knowledge on the gestating and lactating sow. Professor Olli Peltoniemi and DVM Claudio Oliviero from the Department of Production Animal Medicine have contributed to the new book with the chapter on housing, management and environment during farrowing and early lactation.

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Ingrid Hang received a post doctoral research grant from Finnish Culture Foundation

Ingrid Hang

Ingrid Hang (DVM, PhD) has been awarded a one-year post doctoral research grant of 28.000 EUR from the Finnish Culture Foundation. The grant was announced on the 27 February at the Annual Gala of the Foundation.

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A new inherited disease identified in calves of the Ayrshire breed


The research group led by Professor Magnus Andersson has discovered a new inherited disease that causes ptosis, retarded growth, intellectual disability and mortality in Ayrshire calves. The disease proved to be associated with a mutation in UBE3B gene. Of the 129 tested Ayrshire AI bulls recently used in Finland, 17% carried the mutation. Moreover, UBE3B mutation may be connected to AH1 haplotype, which is associated with reduced fertility and has a carrier frequency of 26.1% in the North American Ayrshire population. The study was published in BMC genomics journal on 12 October 2014.

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Defence: High-protein diet plays a key role in changing the intestinal microbiota and its metabolic activity, possibly leading to intestinal inflammation and diarhhoea


Knowledge about the modulation of canine intestinal microbiota, bacteria-derived metabolic products, intestinal inflammatory status and adaptive exocrine pancreatic secretion in response to macronutrients is limited. However, such information is necessary to investigate further the complex interplay between host and intestinal microbiota in response to changes of diet. DVM Ingrid Hang's reasearch for PhD thesis focuses upon the influence of dite on intestinal microbiota, bacteria-derived metabolic products and pancreatic enzymes in dogs. Hang's research suggests that a high-protein greaves-meal diet can be associated with elevated inflammation status in dogs.

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Professor Willem M. de Vos thrives with young talents

Willem de Vos

Professor Willem M. de Vos was included in the recent Thomson Reuters list of the world's most influential scientific minds of 2014. We decided to find out what is his research all about.

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