It Is That Time of the Year Again…

Pikkujoulu time, that is! Together with the merry folk from the histology side, we once again gathered to spend a nice afternoon/evening together. Hot glögi (glogg/mulled wine), snacks and sweets, plus plenty of pizza helped keep us charged throughout the intermingling. Pikkujoulu time also means that we get to enjoy the time of the year when the wintry scenes get decorated in various lights and people are feeling the holiday spirit!

This photo shows a laboratory table covered with a white cloth, on which are strewn dozens of Christmassy wine and champagne cork reindeer and mice. At the end of the table, there is a lit red miniature Christmas tree.
The traditional wine and champagne cork Christmas decorations of our joint pikkujoulut get to see the light of the (miniature) Christmas tree again!
In this photo is shown the snowy Kuopio market square adorned with tall flowerlike lighting fixtures. In the background can slightly be seen the blue lights covering the Christmas market.
The Christmas market has been adorned with copious lights and a flower field like display.

Universitatis Lodziensis Amico

As we posted in May, our leader Kai Kaarniranta was granted the Friend of the University of Lodz award. As Kai has now physically received the award, it is only right to share a couple photos as well as the rector’s speech for the occasion! We would again like to extend our utmost gratitude for this honour. Thank you very much, and here’s to many more years of cooperation!

This photo shows the Friend of the University of Lodz award in its holder. The award is a golden square medal with rounded corners. It has an embossed text that reads "veritas et libertas universitas lodziensis" wrapped around the logo of the University of Lodz, a stylized U.
The award in all its glory.
This photo shows Professor Kai as he shows the award medal and the accompanying written declaration.
Kai with the award.

Dear Professor Kaarniranta,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

University of Lodz established the custom of awarding the “Universitatis Lodziensis Amico” medal in 2005. The medal is awarded as an honorary distinction in recognition of contribution to our university. We award it to persons who without a hesitation we can call Friends of the University of Lodz.

In appreciation of your long-standing cooperation with the scientists from our university, the University of Lodz Senate, by Resolution No. 146 of 17 May 2021 awarded You the „Universitatis Lodziensis Amico (A Friend of UL)” medal.

Together with our staff you have prepared numerous papers that have been published in prestigious journals. You have delivered lectures for our students and established close relations with our staff.

EVER 2022 Congress

Our group took part in the 23rd European Association for Vision and Eye Research (EVER) Congress, which was held between 13.-15.10.2022 in the sunny (and hot) Valencia, Spain. The congress was back at full(ish) steam after a couple years of Covid-related special arrangements. We had the pleasure of showcasing multiple different research posters as well as a rapid-fire presentation, while our Prof. Kaarniranta was kept busy by his duties as an ex-EVER president. We were glad to meet and talk with many familiar and new faces.

This photo shows the front view of the congress building, which was visually attractive with a swooping roof, glass walls and side pillars.
The front view of the Palacio de Congresos de Valencia.
This photo shows the view from the congress building's front balcony: flag poles and a large fountain, with high-rises in the background.
The view from the balcony of Palacio de Congresos de Valencia.
This photo shows a smiling Professor Kaarniranta holding a certificate for past president lecture, given to him as a thanks for his contributions to the congress.
Prof. Kaarniranta glowing after smoothly giving his presentation at the congress.
This photo shows our group member Ali Koskela giving a rapid-fire presentation about his melanin research.
A. Koskela presenting his results at the rapid-fire sessions.
This photo shows a view of Valencia's centre of arts and sciences. The architecture is impressive, with the main building looking dome-like, with an upwards-arch structure on the outside suspended by a multitude of cables, which makes the arch look harp-like.
There was time for sightseeing and visiting local attractions too: one of the places our group visited was the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències.

EDIT: The message below was sent to all participants in 22.11.2022, highlighting some key data about participants.

Ever Board wishes to thank all participants to
EVER 2022 Congress contributing to its great success!
Attendees: 846
Represented Countries: 50
Posters: 495

EVER Secretariat

News From Leisure Time Activities in Our Ophthalmology Group

Besides professional research, leisure time research is also an important, pleasant, and appropriate pastime for us who delve deep into science. A result of this is the recent achievement by Juha Hyttinen, our group member, who partook in the main philatelic exhibition in Finland, Tavastex22. It was organised at beautiful Aulanko, near Hämeenlinna, during September 9th-11th 2022. He did not present postage stamps at this time, instead opting to show a collection of old French picture post cards from ca. 1900-1920s. It shows firstly the general story of French gothic architecture (12th-16th centuries CE), and then the constructions of one of the greatest architects of that era, Martin Chambiges (ca. 1460 – 1532). He was surely the most original builder of his time in Northern France. The collection also presents the possible models and inspirations of Martin, as well as the impact he had in posterity. The collection comprises of some 220 post cards, some of which are unusually large-sized. The most spectacular eye-catcher is the 20-card puzzle from 1920s, presenting the west front of Amiens cathedral. In addition, many other rare cards are included. The data mining for the texts included much painstaking reading of sources in French language. Moreover, as an aspect of research, some novel suggestions of the impact of Martin Chambiges on the architecture in Northern France are proposed.

The collection got “grand vermeil”, or grand gilded silver, as the prize, which is the third highest class of medals conceded in philatelic exhibitions. Not a bad achievement for the first public presentation of this collection. The judges gave good suggestions on how to improve the collection further.

This photo shows our member Juha Hyttinen standing in front of his collection.
Juha with the first frame of his collection at Tavastex22, Aulanko, Hämeenlinna.
This photo shows the grand vermeil winners of the philatelic exhibition, Juha amongst them.
The prize ceremony (Juha second from the right) at Aulanko. Several medals of each class were awarded in different collection categories. Here is a group of grand vermeil winners.

Solid Proof That We’re Doing Something Right!

Our group leader Kai has been found to be amongst the top 2% of the world’s most important scientific authors, according to this recent paper. Based on the same study, he is also within the top 0.5% of authors who publish material in the ophthalmology subfield. Last year, we reported that he is within the top 0.1% in macular degeneration expertise, but now that number is within 0.05%! Not bad, even if we say so ourselves!

ADDENDUM, March 30, 2022: On top of all the above, has found Kai to be top 15 amongst Finnish scientists in the fields of biology and biochemistry!

Kaarniranta Lab – The Eye We Know!

Massive Donation by Will to Kuopio University Hospital

A million euros has been donated by will towards the research of eye diseases at the Kuopio University Hospital. In particular, AMD research has a long, proud history there. The work has been and will be done in tandem with the researchers at the University of Eastern Finland, including our group. The donation underlines how important our research is and how it has positively affected people. We must do our best to continue benefiting the people afflicted by vision marring diseases.

Godspeed, donor, and thank you.