Meet Ari A. Mennander

Ari Mennander, MD PhD, is appointed Research Director at Tampere University and Head of Department at Tampere University Heart Hospital. Mennander graduated from Helsinki University as licentiate of medicine in 1992, and defended his PhD thesis for doctor of medicine on transplantation immunology, specifically on experimental chronic rejection while serving in the Finnish army as officer candidate and 2nd Lieutenant in 1993. Mennander was the recipient of the Finnish Academy Fellowship funding and Helsinki University Medix-award for Biosciences in 1994.

After training for surgery in Kanta- and Päijät-Häme Central Hospitals, Mennander accomplished his board certifications in General Surgery at Oulu University Hospital in 2000 and Cardiothoracic Surgery at Tampere University Hospital in 2004. Mennander served as Senior lecturer, and became Docent of Cardiothoracic Surgery in 2006 at Tampere University.

Mennander is the 54th Graham Fellow and member of the prestigious American Association for Thoracic Surgery, and worked at the Mayo Clinic, Minnesota USA, Cleveland Clinic, Ohio USA, and Montreal Heart Institute, Quebec Canada during 2006-07. Mennander received The Ingegerd and Viking Olov Bjork Scholarship for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Research and the 1rst prize for the year’s best operative project in Finland in 2011, and the Lillehei-prize for mentorship in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Mennander is designated competent for Clinical professorship in Copenhagen University and Rigshospitalet in 2019.

Mennander is an active mentorship and leadership participant. He is committee member for approval of new Docents at Tampere University, committee member for evaluation of new PhD applications in Finland, scientific committee member and Vice-President of the Scandinavian Association for Thoracic surgery, and committee member and Co-Chair of the Graham traveling Foundation for the American Association for Thoracic Surgery. He has served as examiner, supervisor and opponent in several dissertations and docentships in Finland and Denmark. He is a reviewer for the Physicians’ Services Incorporated Foundation in Toronto Canada and the European Research Council.

Mennander is an abstract advisor for the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, Society for Thoracic Surgery, European Association for Cardiothoracic Surgery and Scandinavian Association for Thoracic Surgery. He is member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Associate Editor for Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, and Transfer Editor for the European Journal of Cardiovascular and Thoracic surgery.

Mennander’s interest entities consist of three distinctive parts that support clinical research:
1. Clinical patient charts, surgical techniques and data including histological evaluation of excised surgical tissue such as aortic tissue procured during resection of the dilated and dissecting aorta.
2. Novel preclinical treatment concepts and surgical protection measures such as hypothermia and medication investigated while using the rat heterotopic cardiac transplantation model. The objective is to study surgical means that may alleviate global, local and systematic inflammatory processes associated with ongoing ascending aortic dilatation and cardiac insufficiency.
3. Multicenter collaboration that consolidate the scientific cardiothoracic taskforce e.g. in the Nordic countries.

Mennander is fluent in French and English. He has 157 peer-reviewed articles with 3060 citations and his h-index is 28 according to Google Scholar.