Prof. Dr. Minna Kaikkonen-Määttä
Prof. Dr. Minna Kaikkonen-Määttä is a Professor in Cardiovascular Genomics at A.I.Virtanen Institute, University of Eastern Finland (UEF). She was born in 1980 in Kiuruvesi, Finland. She earned her Ph.D. in Molecular Medicine in Kuopio in 2008 and did her postdoctoral studies at the University of California San Diego. In 2015, she founded her lab at UEF where she researched atherosclerosis using advanced sequencing techniques. Now, she is the director of the A.I. Virtanen Institute and the Single Cell Genomics Core, leading a team of 20 members. She has 101 peer-reviewed articles and an H-index of 34/40 (Scopus/Google Scholar). Minna is a highly accomplished researcher supported by multiple organizations, including the European Research Council, the Academy of Finland, and the Sigrid Juselius Foundation. She is also the President of the Finnish Society of Atherosclerosis and a member of prestigious boards and committees related to vascular biology, atherosclerosis, and human genetics.
I was introduced to Prof Minna Kaikkonen-Määttä in 2018 during my Postdoctoral training at the University of Virginia, USA. Her presentation at the Cardiovascular Research Center was impactful and left a lasting impression on me. We had discussions about our respective projects and future endeavors. What struck me about Minna was her brilliance and her genuine passion for science. During our conversations, she showed enthusiasm for my ideas and proposed a collaboration, urging me to apply for a grant to establish a meaningful career at the University of Eastern Finland. Following her advice, I successfully secured the grant. This began a transformative journey for me in a country I had never visited before.
Minna's exceptional qualities extend beyond her intellectual prowess; she conducts science with heart and extends unwavering support to foster the independence of her colleagues. Her encouragement reaches across borders, as evidenced by her diverse lab team. Minna has consistently been a pillar of guidance, offering assistance and support and a wellspring of inspiration throughout our collaborative efforts. Her impact on my professional trajectory and the broader scientific community is immeasurable. It illustrates her profound influence on those fortunate enough to work alongside her.
Submitted by Redouane Aherrahrou