BoD and management
We are a special-assignment company of the state. The Finnish government owns 51% and the Tampere University Foundation 49% of FVR – Finnish Vaccine Research. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is responsible for the corporate governance of the company. The key mechanisms for corporate governance include the Annual General Meeting, the selection of the board members, independent company analysis and ownership strategy, the selection and remuneration of management, the development of good governance, and the promotion of corporate responsibility.
Board of Directors
Liisa-Maria Voipio-Pulkki, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Chairperson of the Board of Directors
M.D., Ph.D., title of docent
Liisa-Maria has served as a specialist in internal medicine, clinical instructor, and supervisor of doctoral dissertation researchers in the field of cardiology at Turku University Hospital. She was also the Chief of Emergency and Acute Care at the Helsinki University Hospital District between 2000 and 2004. She served as Senior Medical Adviser of the Finnish Association of Local and Regional Authorities from 2004 to 2009. At the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, she has held various leadership positions from 2010 to 2021, most recently as Director General of Strategic Affairs. She currently serves on the staff of the Permanent Secretary of the ministry as Chief Specialist. She is also the Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies as well as Medical Adviser for the Patient Insurance Centre.
M.D., Ph.D., professor
After graduating as a physician, Juhani served as a general practitioner, pediatrician, and physician of infectious diseases from 1975 to 1991, and then as the Director of the departments of Infectious Disease Control and Vaccines of the National Public Health Institute of Finland from 1991 to 1999. He worked in France between 2000 and 2004 as the Director in charge of the clinical development of vaccines for the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer. After returning to Finland, he served as Deputy Director General of the National Public Health Institute of Finland, later the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, from 2005 to 2013 and as Director General from 2014 to 2018.
Positions of Trust:
Board Member: Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, 2008–2013. Chairperson of the Management Team: Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative, 2009–2015. Board Member: International Vaccine Institute, 2009–2015. Member: WHO Strategic Advisory Group on Immunizations (WHO/SAGE), 2009–2015. Board Member: Alko Oy, 2015–2019. Board Member: Soste Ry, 2021-
Sirpa Jalkanen, University of Turku
M.D., Ph.D., Research Director, Professor, Academician
After a postdoctoral period at Stanford University, Sirpa has served as Research Professor at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare as well as Professor of Immunology, Academy Professor, and Vice Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Turku. In addition, she has led the Medicity unit of the University of Turku and two Centres of Excellence at the Academy of Finland. She currently serves as Director at the InFLAMES Flagship. Sirpa has received several esteemed accolades for her work. She has been one of the founders of two biotech companies: BioTie Therapies and Faron Pharmaceuticals.
Positions of Trust:
Chairperson of the Board: Cancer Foundation Finland and Emil Aaltonen Foundation. Board Member: Association of Finnish Foundations, Science Foundation of the Microbiologists of Turku. Board Member: Orion Oy, 2009–2019 and Chairperson of the Research Committee, 2010–2019. Board Member: Tampere University of Technology, 2010–2018. Vice President and President: Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, 2008–2012.
Tapio Visakorpi, University of Tampere
M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Cancer Genetics
Tapio is Vice President for Research at the Tampere University (2022–). Previously, he served as the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology (former Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences) between 2017 and 2021. He has been Professor of Cancer Genetics at the Tampere University since 2002.
Positions of Trust:
Board Member: Emil Aaltonen Foundation, Tays Foundation. Board Member: Finnish Medical Foundation 2012–2017 and Chairperson 2013–2017. Board Member: Cancer Foundation Finland, 2013–2021. Governing Board Member: Biocenter Finland, 2013–2022; Chairperson 2018–2019. Board Member: Finnish Medical Society Duodecim, 2008–2010.
Saara Hassinen, Healthtech Finland
(part of Technology Industries Finland)
Master of Science (Chemical Engineering)
Saara serves as Director of the Branch Groups and Associations Unit at Technology Industries Finland and as CEO of Healthtech Finland.
In the past, she has acted as department head at the Chemical Industry Federation of Finland from 1993 to 2009, CEO of Finnish Bioindustries FIB, and CEO of SalWe Oy from 2009 to 2016.
Positions of Trust:
Member: Advisory Board on Biotechnology, 1993–. Board Member: Instrumentarium Science Foundation 2020–
Chief Executive Officer
Ph.D., information systems
Ilkka has worked in various line-management leadership roles as well as demanding projects and project management positions e.g. at the University of Tampere. He has extensive experience in managing strategic and operational changes in organizations, developing capabilities, and in day-to-day management of operational activities.
Chief Medical Officer
M.D., Ph.D. Professor of Paediatrics and Experimental Immunology
Mika’s research field and areas of expertise include pediatrics, neonatology, and immunology. He has extensive experience in immunology research and vaccine development, exemplified by his research on the tuberculosis vaccine. Rämet has received significant accolades for his research. He has also served as Chairperson of the Research Council for Health of the Academy of Finland.
Chief Research Officer
M.D., Ph.D., University lecturer in clinical epidemiology
Arto worked as Research Manager at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) from 1995 to 2022 and as Senior Assistant and Acting Professor of Epidemiology at the Tampere University from 2003 to 2008. Arto’s expertise includes register-based studies, evaluating the effectiveness and safety of vaccines, and pragmatic vaccine trials. Palmu has received significant accolades for his work.
Chief Financial Officer
M.Sc. (Econ.), MBA
Harri has worked in diverse management and leadership positions in finance and business operations in global companies, e.g. as CFO of Suunto from 2009 to 2018 and as CFO of AstraZeneca Finland from 2005 to 2009. He has also held several managerial and leadership positions at Nokia Mobile Phones and Nokia Networks in Finland and Singapore between 1996 and 2005.
Positions of Trust: Board Member and Chairperson of the Audit Committee: VTT, 2015–2022.
Chief Communications & Marketing Officer
Master of Social Sciences
Marikka has held various demanding communications and marketing positions in international listed companies, including Kemira, Vaisala, Digia, and Gartner. For several years before joining FVR, Marikka was responsible for Kemira’s global marketing communications function and, before this, the company’s corporate communications.