About us

The Photodermatology Research group was launched in 2005. The founders of the group are emerita professor Erna Snellman and emeritus professor Timo Reunala. At present, Dr. Rafael Pasternack MD, PhD is taking responsibility of the group leadership. The first studies targeted on connections of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and vitamin D metabolism. The first thesis in this field was published in 2010 by Dr. Katja Vähävihu MD, PhD. Our research group has trained a whole new generation of Finnish experts in photodermatology, and we have and established position as the leading Finnish photodermatology research center.

The following doctors steered within our group have offended their thesis Meri Lauha (2013), Noora Neittaanmäki (2015), Toni Karppinen (2017), Maria Lagerstedt (2018), Mari Salmivuori (2020), Veera Nikkola (2021), and two dissertations will be offended still this year in the autumn (2021) by Dr. Anna Toledo and by Dr. Janne Räsänen. Three other doctoral studies are also ongoing one from Dr. Petra Åkerla targeting on narrow-band UVB phototherapy related carcinoma risk, from Dr. Annina Raita with focus on UVA1 impacts and from Dr. Iina Häggqvist studying impact of infra-red (IR) radiation on human skin in vivo.

The major focus of our Photodermatology Research Group lies on interaction with the non-ionizing light, in specific UVR and the skin. We study light (UVR and infrared) induced neuroendocrine changes in the skin, and impact of radiation in the body through exposure of the skin. Our resent interest has been on impact of circadian time on the responses in vivo.

The two major research lines in our group are 1) research with focus on circadian time and neuroendocrinology of the skin and light exposure, and 2) the skin cancer research related to non-ionizing radiation. We have active clinical and translational research ongoing in these fields.

In our studies we have established and strong collaboration with STUK (Nuclear Safety Authority), FMI (the Finnish Meteorological Institute), THL (National Institute for Health and Welfare), Medicum, University of Helsinki (Professor Alenius’ research group), Department of Pathology at the University of Tampere, and Department of Dermatology at The Central Hospital of Päijät Häme and with Dr. Noora Neittaanmäki at Sahlgrenska Sjukhuset, Göteborg, Sweden.

Photo: Erna Snellman