Mika Rämet

Mika Rämet
Director of Vaccine Research Center, Professor

Professor of Pediatric, University of Oulu

Pediatrics, neonatology

109 peer reviewed publications in international journals. The publications have been cited 4600 times, of which the most cited publication accounts for 526 citations. The author has a h-index of 35.00. (Scopus)


Dr Mika Rämet, Professor of Peadiatrics, received his MD and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Oulu, Finland. Rämet worked as a research Fellow at the Harvard University, Boston from 1999 to 2002. After returning to Finland, he has received Specialist’s degree in Peadiatrics and Neonatology at the Tampere University, Finland. He has led his independent research team since 2003.

Research interests

  • Spontaneous preterm delivery: susceptibility genes and timing of childbirth
  • Mechanisms, prevention and treatment of the most common neonatal diseases
  • Molecular mechanisms regulating innate immunity
  • Development of a new vaccine against tuberculosis
  • Pathophysiology of Mycobacterial infection
  • Pathophysiology of Streptococcal infection

Dr Rämet’s research centers on the basic mechanisms of immune response using primarily non-mammalian models such as the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster and zebrafish Danio rerio. He was the first to demonstrate the power of RNAi screening in cultured cells. Nowadays he uses model organisms to investigate host-microbe interactions primarily related to the most important paediatric pathogens. In addition, he has focused on identifying genetic alterations predisposing to the preterm birth and to the most important diseases related to prematurity (bronchopulmonary dysplasia, RDS) and susceptibility to severe respiratory infections during neonatal period.

Dr Rämet has received several honours in recognition of his research including awards from the Society for Pediatric Research (Fellow Clinical Research Award), the Finnish Medical Association Duodecim (Young Investigator Prize given every second year to the most promising medical scientist in Finland), the Finnish Pediatric Association (Helena and Niilo Hallman Award given every second year to the internationally recognized young Pediatric scientist in Finland) and the Anders Jahre Prize for young scientist

His research has been funded by the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation, the Academy of Finland, Sigrid Juselius Foundation, Tampere Tuberculosis Foundation and Stiftelsen Alma och K. A. Snellman Foundation.


Major 20 publications:

  1. Rämet M, Haataja R, Marttila R, Floros J & Hallman M. Association between the Surfactant protein A (SP-A) gene locus and Respiratory-Distress Syndrome in the Finnish population. American Journal of Human Genetics 2000;66:1569-1579. Citations 103
  2. Rämet M, Pearson A, Manfruelli P, Li X, Koziel H, Göbel V, Chung E, Krieger M & Ezekowitz RA. Drosophila scavenger receptor CI is a pattern recognition receptor for bacteria. Immunity 2001;15:1027-1038. Citations 194
  3. Rämet M, Lanot R, Zachery D & Manfruelli P. JNK signaling pathway is required for efficient wound healing in Drosophila. Developmental Biology 2002;241:145-56. Citations 206
  4. Rämet M, Manfruelli P, Pearson A, Mathey-Prevot B & Ezekowitz RA. Functional genomic analysis of phagocytosis and identification of a Drosophila receptor for E. coli. Nature 2002;416:644-648. Citations 526
  5. Kleino A, Valanne S, Ulvila J, Kallio J, Myllymäki H, Enwald H, Stöven S, Poidevin M, Ueda R, Hultmark D, Lemaitre B & Rämet M. Inhibitor of apoptosis 2 and TAK1 binding protein are components of the Drosophila Imd pathway. EMBO Journal 2005;24:3423-3434. Citations 144
  6. Kocks C, Cho JH, Nehme N, Ulvila J, Pearson AM, Meister M, Strom C, Conto S, Hetru C, Stuart L, Stehle T, Hoffmann JA, Reichhart J-M, Ferrandon D, Rämet M & Ezekowitz RA. Eater, a novel transmembrane protein mediating phagocytosis of bacterial pathogens in Drosophila. Cell 2005;123:335-346. Citations 252
  7. Ulvila J, Parikka M, Kleino A, Sormunen R, Ezekowitz RA, Kocks C & Rämet M. Double stranded RNA is internalized by scavenger receptor mediated endocytosis in Drosophila S2 cells. Journal of Biological Chemistry 2006; 281:14370-14375. Citations 174
  8. Kleino A, Myllymäki H, Kallio J, Vanha-aho LM, Ulvila J, Oksanen K, Hultmark D, Valanne S & Rämet M. Pirk is a negative regulator of the Drosophila Imd pathway. Journal of Immunology 2008, 180:5413-5422. Citations 113
  9. Valanne S, Myllymäki H, Kallio J, Sshmid M, Kleino A, Murumägi A, Airaksinen L, Kotipelto T, Kaustio M, Ulvila J, Esfahani S, Engström Y, Silvennoinen O, Hultmark D, Parikka M & Rämet M. Genome-wide RNAi in Drosophila cells identifies G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 as an evolutionary conserved regulator of the NF-kB signaling. Journal of Immunology, 2010, 184:6188-98. Citations 59
  10. Kallio J, Myllymäki H, Grönholm J, Amstrong M, Vanha-aho LM, Mäkinen L, Silvennoinen O, Valanne S & Rämet M. Eye Transformer is a negative regulator of Drosophila JAK-STAT signaling. FASEB Journal, 2010, 24: 4467-4479. Citations 34
  11. Valanne S, Wang JH & Rämet M. The Drosophila Toll signaling pathway. Journal of Immunology 2011, 186:649-656. Citations 329
  12. Parikka M, Vuoksio M, Harjula SK, Halfpenny N, Oksanen K, Lahtinen MJ, Pajula E, Iivanainen A, Pesu M & Rämet M. Mycobacterium marinum causes a latent infection that can be reactivated by gamma irradiation in adult zebrafish. PLoS Pathogens, 2012, 8:e1002944. Citations 65
  13. Oksanen KE, Halfpenny NJ, Sherwood E, Harjula SK, Hammarén MM, Ahava MJ, Pajula ET, Lahtinen MJ, Parikka M & Rämet M. An adult zebrafish model for preclinical tuberculosis vaccine development. Vaccine, 2013,31:5202-9. Citations 36
  14. Myllymäki H, Valanne S & Rämet M. The Drosophila Imd signaling pathway. Journal of Immunology 2014, 192:3455-3462. Citations 124
  15. Vanha-aho LM, Anderl I, Vesala L, Hultmark D, Valanne S & Rämet M. Edin expression in the fat body is required for resistance against parasitoid wasps in Drosophila melanogaster. PLoS Pathogens, 2015, 11:e1004895. Citations 17
  16. Anderl I, Vesala L, Ihalainen T, Vanha-aho LM, Ando I, Rämet M & Hultmark D. Transdifferentiation and proliferation in two distinct hemocyte lineages in Drosophila melanogaster larvae after wasp infection. PLoS Pathogens, 2016, 12(7):e1005746. Citations 28
  17. Pasanen A, Karjalainen MK, Bont L, Piippo-Savolainen E, Ruotsalainen M, Goksör E, Kumawat K, Hodemaekers BA, Nuolivirta K, Jartti T, Wennegren G, Hallman M, Rämet M & Korppi M. Genome-wide association study identifies polymorphisms predisposing to severe bronchiolitis. Scientific Reports, 2017, 7:41653.  Citations 11
  18. Myllymäki H, Niskanen M, Luukinen H, Parikka M & Rämet M. Identification of protective postexposure mycobacterial vaccine antigens using an immunosuppression-based reactivation model in the zebrafish. Disease Models & Mechanisms, 2018, 11(3). Citations 6
  19. Valanne S, Salminen TS, Järvelä-Stölting M, Vesala L & Rämet M. Immune-inducible non-coding RNA molecule lincRNA-IBIN connects immunity and metabolism in Drosophila melanogaster. PLoS Pathogens, 2019, 15:e1007504. Citations 1
  20. Tiensuu H, Haapalainen A, Karjalainen M, Pasanen A, Huusko J, Marttila R, Ojaniemi M, Muglia LJ, Hallman M & Rämet M. Risk of spontaneous preterm birth and fetal growth associates with fetal SLIT2. PLoS Genetics, 2019, accepted. No citations yet.



Scientific merits

Professional and community activities

  • Council member, Research Council of Biosciences, Health and Environment, the Academy of Finland (2019 -)
  • Chairman, Research Council of Health, the Academy of Finland (2016-18)
  • Chairman, Evaluation committee, the Snellman Foundation (2019 -)
  • Panel member, Organism biology, Vetenskaprådet, Swedish Research Council (2014- )
  • Chair, Finnish Society for Immunology (2014-17)
  • Vice chair , Finnish Society for Immunology (2013-14, 18 -)
  • Member of the Board, Scandinavian Society for Immunology, (2013-18)
  • Chairman of the Board, Academy Programme pHealth (2019 -)
  • Chairman of the Board, Academy Programme Cohort (2019 -)
  • Chairman of the Board, Academy Programme Health from Science (TERVA) (2017 -)
  • Vice Chair, Board of the Academy Programme Develop (2019 -)
  • Coordinator of the non-mammalian model organism network, Biocenter Finland (2010 – )
  • Memebr, the Finnish Research Infrastructure Committee (FIRI Committee) at the Academy of Finland (2016 -)
  • Member, Science Council, University of Oulu, Finland (2014 – )
  • Editorial Board member, Scandinavian Journal of Immunology (2013 – )
  • Editorial Board member, Developmental and Comparative Immunology (2012 – )
  • Session Chair, International Congress of Immunology, Melbourne, Australia , 2016
  • Opponent in Doctoral Dissertation (3 times)
  • Pre-examiner of Doctoral Dissertation (10 times)

Research groups

  • Director, PEDEGO Research Unit

Thesis supervisions

Suprvised Ph.D. thesis as the only supervisor
  • Leena-Maija Vanha-aho (2015) A Functional Study of the Drosophila Host Defense  (accepted with distinction)
  • Henna Myllymäki (2013) Negative regulation of Drosophila immune response (accepted with distinction)
  • Jenni Kallio (2011) Systems biological study of Drosophila immune signaling
  • Anni Kleino (2010) The Imd pathway-mediated immune response in Drosophila  (accepted with distinction)
  • Johanna Ulvila (2008) Functional genomic analysis of the Drosophila immune response : identification of genes essential for phagocytosis, viral defense and NF-κB signaling (accepted with distinction)
Suprvised Ph.D. thesis as the main supervisor
  • Markus Ojanen (2019) Reverse Genetics to Study Immunity against Mycobacteria in Zebrafish (Danio rerio)
  • Anni Saralahti (2019) A Zebrafish Model for Host-pathogen Interactions in Streptococcal Infections
  • Anu Pasanen (2018) Genetic susceptibility to childhood bronchiolitis
Suprvised Ph.D. thesis as a co-supervisor
  • Toni Grönroos (2019) Transcriptional regulation and cell signaling in acute lymphoblastic leukemia and hematopoiesis (main supervisor Ad. Professor Olli Lohi)
  • Mari Mahlman (2018), Genetic background and antenatal risk factors of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (main supervisor em. Professor Mikko Hallman)
  • Mika Hammaren (2017) Zebrafish Model for Studying the Disease Spectrum of Tuberculosis (main supervisor Adjunct Professor Mataleena Parikka, accepted with distinction)
  • Juha Grönholm (2012) Evolutionary Conserved Regulatory Mechanisms of the JAK/STAT Pathway (main supervisor Professor Olli Silvennoinen, accepted with distinction)
  • Johan Löfgren (2009) Genetic polymorphisms in collectins and Toll-like receptor 4 as factors influencing susceptibility to severe RSV infections and otitis media  (main supervisor em. Professor Mikko Hallman)