Welcome to Lab & Life

Below, you will find posts about events we’ve had during the years. These include occasions like celebrations for accepted articles, thesis defenses, Christmas parties, and other nice instances of camaraderie.

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!

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.

Art Is Science, Science Is Art

“The greatest scientists are always artists as well”, a quote by Albert Einstein.

Art and science both involve the creative flow of ideas. Creativity involves imagination, and imagination requires visualization. Our teammate Szabolcs “Szabi” Felszeghy has a unique ability to visualize and imagine certain processes, which is important to tastefully present our scientific achievements. He is also a keen photographer and designer of illustrations. Recently, he won the 50-year anniversary logo contest of the Institute of Biomedicine, UEF, with his design. Congratulations!

This image depicts the logo designed by Szabi for the contest. It features the likeness of a short segment of stylized DNA with a dot on top that makes the logo also resemble a human being.
Szabi’s logo design.

Celebrating 50 Years of Biomedicine and -chemistry Education at Kuopio

The Institute of Biochemistry, now part of the Institute of Biomedicine, celebrated their 50th anniversary. Excellent speeches were given by the alumni and associates of the University of Eastern Finland Kuopio campus, back then the Kuopio University, depicting their lives and experiences. The hours flew by with much laughter and sighs of wonder from the impressive recountings.

One of the presentations was given by our leader, Kai Kaarniranta. The inspiring story of his life left nobody cold: the humble beginnings at rural Savonlinna, the importance of family, how he obtained his multidisciplinary educational background, him becoming the youngest-ever ophthalmology professor at the University of Eastern Finland, and eventually the first Finn to become the chief editor of Acta Ophthalmologica.

The entirety of our team congratulates the Institute of Biochemistry, now Biomedicine, for its impressive history and achievements, and we hope that the next 50 years will see many new success stories as well!

This image shows the 50 year anniversary program for the celebration, as well as Kai behind the lectern, giving a speech.
The anniversary program and a photo of Kai giving his speech.