Our Team



Dr. Louvanto MD, PhD, specialist in obstetrics and gynecology started as a tenure track Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University in fall 2020. She holds her Medical degree (2006), PhD (2011), Title of docent in the experimental science of obstetrics and gynecology (2018) and Specialist degree in obstetrics and gynecology (2019) from University of Turku, Finland. She did her post-doctoral fellowship in cancer epidemiology at McGill University, Montreal, Canada (2012-2014, 2015) and was a senior clinical fellow in molecular epidemiology at Queen Mary University of London, London, UK (2016-2017). In addition, she has also done extended clinical and research periods in Sweden, Australia, US and Canada. She has received research awards from the National Graduate School of Clinical Investigation (2011), the Duodecim Society of Turku (2012) and the Seth Wichman award in 2019 from the Finnish Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Her research interests encompass to provide in-depth understanding   on   the   variables   and   molecular   epidemiology   that involve human Papillomavirus (HPV) – infection and the disease progression. Her projects are more specifically investigating the impact of childhood HPV-infections consequences in adulthood; identifying better epigenetic or genetic biomarkers to identify women in risk for cervical cancer development  and  evaluating  the  role  of  these  biomarkers  in  cervical  cancer  screening; and finally also evaluating the future cervical cancer screening tolls and guidelines for HPV vaccinated women. In addition, she is also involved with several research projects nationally and internationally.

Her research is funded by the Academy of Finland, the Sigrid Juselius Foundation, the Finnish Medical Foundation, Finnish Cancer Foundation, Government special funding for Tampere University Hospital and Päivikki and Sakari Sohlberg Foundation.

Contact tenure track Professor Louvanto by e-mail: karolina.louvanto@tuni.fi




Ivana Kholová, MD, PhD graduated from Faculty of Medicine in Hradec Králové, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic in 1998 and gained her PhD in pathology at the same university in 2002. She is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Tampere (Pathology, since 2016) and University of Eastern Finland (Experimental Pathology, since 2008).

Nowadays she works as a clinical lecturer at the Tampere University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere, Finland and serves as a Head of Cytopathology at Fimlab Laboratories located at Tampere University Hospital, where she is involved in HPV screening program.

Her research interests include fine-needle aspiration biopsies of thyroid and salivary glands, cytology-histology correlations and HPV screening and gynecytology. In addition she has also cardiovascular pathology projects.

Since 2015 she is a President of Finnish Society for Clinical Cytology. She works as a Scientific Councillor at European Federation of Cytological Societies Board, where she leads several projects.

She is a co-author of The Milan System for Reporting Salivary Gland Cytopathology. She is an expert member of Executive Editorial Board of The WHO System for Reporting Cytopathology of Lung. Dr. Kholová is an Associate Editor in Acta Cytologica and Cytopathology journals.

Contact Adjunct Professor Kholová by e-mail: ivana.kholova@tuni.fi


Dr. Kotaniemi-Talonen has a Medical Degree (MD) from the University of Helsinki (2004). She has worked previously as a researched in Mass Screening Registry of Finnish Cancer Registry, and her PhD thesis (2009, University of Helsinki) in Obstetrics and Gynecology concerned cervical cancer screening. Since then, she has specialised in Obstetrics and Gynecology in Tampere University (2018). Currently she is employed by Tampere University and Tampere University Hospital as a clinical lecturer, specialist and certified colposcopist.

Her research projects concern e.g. alternative cervical cancer screening methods, especially HPV screening. As a member of the Current Care Guidelines group, she has been involved with updating the national recommendations for treatment and follow-up of cervical, vaginal and vulvar lesions. She is currently the president of Finnish Colposcopy Society.

Contact Dr. Kotaniemi-Talonen by e-mail: laura.kotaniemi-talonen@tuni.fi



Post-Doctoral Fellows 


Dr. Tangtian He obtained his M.Phil. degree (2011) in Marine Biology from Shantou University and got his Ph.D. degree (2017) in Environmental Science from City University of Hong Kong. Previously, Dr. He worked at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University as a Research Assistant Professor, and he has professional experience in academic research, project implementation, and teaching.

Dr. He recently started as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Professor Karolina Louvanto’s ‘Infection and Cancer’ research team at Tampere University. His research work involves in the study of pathogen-pollution-health link spanning epidemiological, microbiological, and toxicological aspects, and he aims to study how diet, exposome, lifestyle, and genetic factors shape human microbiome and promote human disease development. Dr. He is currently a Guest Associate Editor of ‘Blue Foods Security and Sustainability’ in Frontiers.

Contact Dr. Tangtian He by e-mail: tangtian.he@tuni.fi


Dr. Kalliomaa received Medical Degree (MD)  2019 and PhD 2024 from the University of Turku. She is a resident in Obstetrics and gynecology and currently working at the Vaasa Central Hospital.

She is a postdoctoral researcher in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Her main focus in research is to evaluate the genetical and immunological risk factors of HPV infection and examine the dynamics of HPV transmission between family members.

Contact Dr. Kalliomaa by e-mail: netuka@utu.fi




Dr Helmi Suominen recieved her Medical Degree and PhD Degree both from Tampere University in 2024.

Her PhD thesis evaluated HPV-related T lymphocyte immunophenotyping and serological responses in mothers and children of the Finnish Family HPV Study. Currently, she is working as a general practitioner at Tampere city healthcare center. In the future she is planning to specialize into Obstetrics and Gynecology and her research will now focus to gather further insights into the mother-child pathogens transmissions and on further biomarker discoveries and development.

Contact Helmi by e-mail: helmi.suominen@tuni.fi



PhD Candidates


Dr. Bergqvist has received her Medical Degree from the University of Tampere in 1999 and has a specialist degree in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Currently, she is working at Helsinki University Hospital, in the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Her PhD research project is composed of the following three projects. Firstly she is evaluating the  diverse behavioural and reproductive factors association with different HPV-genotype prevalence among women referred to colposcopy. Her second project is to determine whether the use of electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) device improves colposcopic performance and increases the detection rate of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2+ (CIN2+). The third project is to investigate the regression and progression rates of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN2) in a prospective 2-year follow-up study among women thirty years of age or younger.

Contact Dr. Bergqvist by e-mail: laura.bergqvist@hus.fi 


Dr Jaakola received her Medical degree from the University of Turku in 2012 and further specialised into Obstetrics and Gynecology during 2012-2018. Currently she is working in the Kymenlaakso Central hospital.

She is a PhD student in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Her research project involves detailed characterisation of the HLA-G polymorphism and its interaction and associations with HPV infections persistence and disease progression.

Contact Dr. Jaakola by e-mail: ajjaak@utu.fi




Dr. Koivisto received Medical Degree from the Tampere University in 2016. Currently she is working as a resident in Obstetrics and Gynecology in Tampere University Hospital.

Her PhD research project evaluates HPV vaccinations impact on women’s fertility and pregnancy outcomes. The first study compares pregnancy and childbirth prevalence between HPV vaccinated, Hepatitis B-virus (HBV) vaccinated and unvaccinated women. Other future studies will compare a wide range of reproductive and fertility related questions among the HPV vaccinated and unvaccinated women.

Contact Dr. Koivisto by email: tiina.h.koivisto@tuni.fi



Nea Koskela began her studies at Tampere University at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology in 2021 and is now a fourth-year medical student.

She is currently working towards her PhD degree in Obstetrics and Gynecology. The core focus of her study centers on the examination of the sustained presence of antibodies against C. trachomatis and M. genitalium within familial units. It comprehensively covers many aspects, especially looking at underlying risk factors and subsequent consequences, and links to HPV.

Contact Nea Koskela by email: nea.koskela@tuni.fi



Dr. Kyllönen received Medical Degree from the University of Tampere in 2012. She has specialized in Obstetrics and Gynecology in Tampere University (2022). Currently she is working in Tampere University Hospital and Tampere University as a clinical lecturer.

The main aim of her PhD studies is to increase cervical cancer screening coverage by implementing self-sampling research protocol into the current cervical cancer screening program in the Pirkanmaa region.


Contact Dr. Kyllönen by email: saara.kyllonen@tuni.fi



Dr Kööpikkä received her Medical Degree from the University of Tartu, Estonia in 2011 and has a specialist degree in Obstetrics and Gynecology from Tampere University 2017. Currently she is working as the Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Vaasa Central Hospital.

Her PhD project is about factors affecting the oncogenicity of HPV infection at the cervical columnar epithelium. The aim of the project is to find out how the risk factors of AIS differ from the risk factors of squamous cell dysplasia and if LEEP conisation is sufficient in treating AIS. The last part of the research is on better ways of recognising which columnar cell changes will lead to malignancy.

Contact Dr. Jennica Kööpikkä by email: jennica.koopikka@ovph.fi



Aarno Leino began his studies at Tampere University at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology in 2021 and is now a fourth-year medical student.

His PhD project evaluates the role of extended HPV genotyping and possible use of methylation markers in the cervical cancer screening program by utilyzing the data  from the Tampere region HPV primary cervical cancer screening program from the past 12 years.

Contact Aarno Leino by e-mail: aarno.leino@tuni.fi




Eero Numminen started his medical studies at the Tampere University in the Faculty of Medicine in 2021.

His PhD studies evaluate the role of different HPV-types and their persistence in the risk of cervical cancer progression. The data for the project is composed of the cervical cancer screening population in Tampere region from the past 12 years.

Contact Eero Numminen by e-mail: eero.numminen@tuni.fi




Hanna Pikkujämsä started her medical studies at Tampere University in 2020.

She is a PhD candidate in obstetrics and gynecology. Her research  evaluates the delays and effect of the covid-19 pandemic on gynecological cancer care and especially with a more advanced focus on the cervical cancer screening and also methylation markers.


Contact Hanna Pikkujämsä by e-mail: hanna.pikkujamsa@tuni.fi



Maiju Pokkinen started her medical studies at Tampere University in 2021.  

She is currently working on her medical advanced studies on HPV 16 early genes impact on HPV disease outcome among mothers from the FFHPV study, After her advanced studies her project will continue towards a PhD degree via evaluating the HPV early genes between the mothers and their newborns.

Contact Maiju Pokkinen  by email: maiju.pokkinen@tuni.fi



Sanni Rinne started her medical studies at Tampere University in the Faculty of Medicine in 2021.

She is currently working on her medical advanced studies by evaluating the effect of EBV antibody levels on persisting HPV infections in the FFHPV study.  She is also aiming to continue doing research on the same project with EBV serology to get her PhD degree.

Contact Sanni Rinne by email: sanni.rinne@tuni.fi





Suvi Rintala started her medical studies at Tampere University in 2020.

She finalised her medical advanced studies in 2022 by evaluating different cancer screening and prevention guidelines to provide more feasible summaries for the clinicians for their everyday practise. After that she has continued her research towards her PhD degree evaluating the microbiome and virome profiles among the oral and genital HPV infection outcomes.

Contact Suvi by email: suvi.rintala@tuni.fi






Dr. Taavela received her Medical Degree in 2014 and specialist degree in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2023  both from Tampere University. Currently she is working as a consultant at the Central Hospital of Seinäjoki.

Her PhD project in Obstetrics and Gynecology  evaluates the quality of life among the HPV vaccinated women and future cervical cancer screening options. Secondary aim is to evaluate sexuality and quality of life among women undergoing loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP).

Contact Dr. Taavela by e-mail: kaisa.taavela@tuni.fi



Medical Advanced Studies / Bachelor’s Students  

Tilda Hovi , 2024 –
Qiang Karhula. 2023 –
Ilona Ketola, 2024 –
Meeri Lamberg, 2024 – 
Eka Luhtanen, 2022 –
Siiri Leppälä, 2023 – 
Markus Meriö, 2023 – 



Past Medical advanced studies/Bachelor’s 
Laura Kirjavainen, Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2022-2024
Katariina Helasmäki, Biotechnology and Biomedical engineering, 2022-2023
Suvi Rintala, Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2021-2023
Helmi Suominen, Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2020-2022
Eerika Sääkslahti, Dentistry, 2020
Salla Vuorinen, Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2020

Past PhDs
Helmi Suominen, Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2021-2024
Nelli Kalliomaa, Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2018-2024
Penelope Gray, Epidemiology, 2020-2022

Past Post-docs
Anna Paaso, University of Turku, 2018

Past researchers 
Veronika Fonagy, Research assistant, 2022-2023
Siiri Leppälä, Research assistant, 2020-2021