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.

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