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Professors of Practice to Strengthen Collaboration between University of Turku and Pharmaceutical Companies

  • The appointments of Juha Laine and Timo Veromaa are part of the InFLAMES Flagship research
  • The professors of practice will increase the societal impact and collaboration between the University and life science companies
  • They also will help enable commercialisation of life science innovations

Docent Juha Laine has been appointed as Professor of Practice in Pharmacoeconomics and Dr. Timo Veromaa Professor of Practice in Drug Development. The appointments strengthen the operations of the InFLAMES Flagship, joint effort of the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University, funded by the Academy of Finland. Both professors of practice have been offered part-time positions for the duration of the InFLAMES Flagship funding period.

Juha Laine and Timo Veromaa the professors of practice in the InFLAMES Flagship research.

The central objectives of the InFLAMES Flagship (Innovation Ecosystem based on the Immune System) are breakthroughs in the fields of drug development, diagnostics, and personalised medicine. Innovations, internationally recognised scientists, an extensive state-of-the-art research infrastructure, and intensive academy–industry interactions form the foundation of the InFLAMES Flagship research. The appointments of Juha Laine and Timo Veromaa as professors of practice support the Flagship in achieving these goals.

The purpose behind the professorship of practice in pharmacoeconomics is to increase the societal impact of research and collaboration between the University and pharmaceutical companies. The purpose of the professorship of practice in drug development, on the other hand, is to introduce more life science business and innovation expertise to the University of Turku, increase collaboration between the University and pharmaceutical companies, and help enable commercialisation of innovations.

– It was clear to us already when building InFLAMES that appointing professors of practice would be a central tool for us in recognising the commercial potential of the discoveries made at the University and finding suitable partners in the industry sector to further develop them. We are very happy to have Juha Laine and Timo Veromaa in our team, says Director of the InFLAMES Flagship Academician Sirpa Jalkanen.

– By appointing professors of practice, the University of Turku has been able to introduce people with the kind of expertise society needs at the moment as teachers and research supervisors. The professors of practice help develop the interaction between the University and industries. These recruitments can help us strengthen our strategically important areas of research and education and add to our societal impact, says the Rector of the University of Turku Jukka Kola

Juha Laine Strengthens the University’s Expertise in Pharmacoeconomics

The newly-appointed Professor of Practice in Pharmacoeconomics Juha Laine has a PhD in Health Economics and is Docent of Pharmacoeconomics and Health Economics.  Laine works in the pharmaceutical company Roche. In his job, he is responsible for coordinating research that uses real world data such as register-based research while also working as a health economics advisor. The University of Turku has had a collaboration agreement with Roche since 2018. Laine’s recruitment as a professor of practise is an additional step in the co-operation of Roche and the University of Turku.

Laine has previously worked e.g. as Researcher and Senior Researcher at Stakes (now known as the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, THL), as Health Economist for AstraZeneca, and as Senior Health Economics Manager for Pfizer. Laine has also published a fair amount, on a wide range of subjects. Moreover, he has extensive expertise in value-based healthcare. 

Timo Veromaa’s Broad Experience in Life Science and Health Technology Advances the Flagship Goals

Appointed as Professor of Practice in Drug Development, Timo Veromaa is an MD, PhD with a research background and an eMBA from the University of Turku. He has worked in executive and board level positions in life science and health technology companies in Finland, United States, Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland for over 25 years. As the CEO of the drug development company Biotie Therapies Plc., listed on the stock exchange in Finland and the U.S., Veromaa was responsible for shareholder and investor relations and for national and international public and private funding agencies. 

Veromaa is currently Chairman of the Board of Herantis Pharma Plc, drug development company working on gene therapy and biologics listed on the First North Growth Market stock exchange both in Helsinki and Stockholm, as well as first Chairman of Finnish Biobanks FINBB. Veromaa has had an active role in various public sector projects of the field, developing the prerequisites for business activities in Finland and has worked in various positions of trust.

Read more about the thoughts of Timo Veromaa and Juha Laine here.

The professors of practice will introduce themselves in open webinars organised on 3 and 17 May 2021:

The webinars are held in English.