A New Doctor Is Born!

We are very happy to declare that our group member Iswariyaraja Sridevi Gurubaran has successfully defended his doctoral dissertation titled “Mitochondrial Damage and Clearance in Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells, Relevance to Age-Related Macular Degeneration“! The amicable examination was followed with the traditional congratulations, coffee, and cake. In the evening, a karonkka was held at the Lumberjacks’ Lodge, a quaint restaurant with great service and authentic Finnish cuisine. Everyone was jolly and we thank Raja for the great day!

Raja posing at the Lumberjacks' Lodge before his karonkka.
Relieved and proud, the main character of the day: Raja!

Pikkujoulut 2023

Time flies and another year is coming to its end. Which means it was time for a new round of merriment to celebrate the past year! The glögi was hot, the snacks were great, lots of conversations were had, and a fun little juggling and kendama corner made sure there was something to play with if one so desired. Afterwards, we had a great meal and drink at the Amarillo restaurant (after some taxi juggling). Christmas can come.

Market square Christmas tree.
This year’s Christmas tree at the market square. Lots of light-based art installations elsewhere on the square as well.

Distinguished Achievement

We’re happy to reveal that a member of our group, Szabolcs Felszeghy, has taken part in a research article that was accepted for publication in the Nature journal. The study revealed that issues in tooth enamel development in children may be the result of an autoimmune reaction rather than malabsorption of nutrients as was thought before. It’s not very often that you achieve something of this magnitude, congratulations!

Link to UEF News
Link to Nature Article

Photo of Szabolcs Felszeghy
Man of the hour.

VR-Haptic Thinkers Meetup 28.11.2023

Our Szabi (Szabolcs F.) is arranging a meetup on the use of VR-haptic technology in education on November 28th. Although the focus will mostly be on its applications in dental education, haptics-enhanced virtual reality-based education has many tantalizing features that can be utilized in practically every field. Expert speakers have been invited to share their experiences and knowledge on the use of VR-haptics, presenting topics based on such matters as stress mitigation in students, best practices, and potential stumbling blocks. Check out Middle of Knowhere for more details!

LATER ADDITION: The meeting was a resounding success and Szabi sends his big thanks to everyone involved. Read more about the thoughts of some of the invited presenters in this UEF news article!

An image that reads "The next normal?" in reference to the use of VR-haptics in education.
VR-haptics in education? Sci-fi? Or maybe it’s just…

A New Article in the Journal of Clinical Medicine

Have you seen our recent paper “Oxidative Stress and Cellular Protein Accumulation Are Present in Keratoconus, Macular Corneal Dystrophy, and Fuchs Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy” ( J. Clin. Med. 2023, 12 (13), 4332; doi.org/10.3390/jcm12134332) yet? Pretty cool, huh? For a little taste, check out our short video below.

Minigolf Before Juhannus

We gathered together for some grub, games, and minigolf to ease us off to Juhannus (Midsummer’s Day) time. The day was hot, but the occasional gust of wind and cold drinks kept us going nicely.

This photo shows four of us playing minigolf.
Hole 2. From left to right: Maria, Ali, Raja, and Anne. Mikko and Johanna were behind the camera.

The Importance of Effective Teaching Methods

During the 7th of June Erasmus+ 2023 meetup at the University of Eastern Finland, many talented educators and physicians gave talks on how best to engage students and maximize learning outcomes. One of them was our Prof. Kai, who spoke about how bringing in a clinical perspective at an early stage of education can be beneficial in understanding and being able to work with ocular micro- and macroanatomy. He highlighted that thanks to modern diagnostic methods, there is an increasing need of a deep understanding of anatomy to ensure precise and safe ophthalmological diagnosis and treatment. The best way to teach modern anatomy is by combining multiple pedagogical and clinical educator resources to complement one another, as students appear to learn more effectively when multimodal and system-based approaches are integrated.

A big Thank You to every presenter: Teemu Valtonen, David Morton, Erkko Sointu, Tiina Jääskeläinen, Suvi Viranta, Helen Dodson, Kai Kaarniranta, Teresa Chan, Murat Mutluay, Eric Gantwerker, Jonathan Wisco, Gideon Helegbe, and Emmanuel Osabutey! Thank you to the attendees as well.

This image shows the first slide of Kai's presentation, titled From Morphology to Ophthalmic Diagnosis.
The first slide from Kai’s presentation.