Keynote Speakers

Per-Henrik Groop, MD, DMSc

Professor of Internal Medicine, Chief Physician, Department of Nephrology, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, PI, FinnDiane study, Folkhälsan Research Center, Helsinki, Finland.

Tiinamaija Tuomi, MD, PhD, Associate professor

CoE in Complex Disease Genetics, Vice-director and research director, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland FIMM, University of Helsinki, Chief Physician, Endocrinology, Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS).

Adjunct professor, Lund University Diabetes Center, Department of Clinical Sciences, Malmo, Sweden.

PI, Botnia and Direva studies, Folkhälsan Research Center, Helsinki, Finland

Prof. Groop and Tuomi are both leading physicians, research directors and experts in studying the complications of diabetes, particularly, diabetic kidney disease. They steer two of the largest studies of type 1 and 2 diabetes nation- and worldwide, the Finnish Diabetic Nephropathy (FinnDiane) and Botnia studies, which were initiated already in 1990s. These studies collect comprehensive clinical data and samples from tens of thousands of participants targeting to understand the roles of genes and environmental factors in the disease pathogenesis and to enable better disease classification, earlier detection and treatment. The studies have also contributed to understanding the impact of preanalytical factors for biomarker research. Since 2016, prof. Groop and Tuomi have contributed to the BEAt-DKD study targeting the discovery of early biomarkers for diabetic kidney disease using urinary extracellular vesicles.

Johan Skog, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, Vice President

Exosome Diagnostics, a Bio-techne brand

Dr. Skog is the Chief Scientific Officer and founding scientist of Exosome Diagnostics (now a Bio-techne brand). He has pioneered discoveries about exosomes and other microvesicles and their vital roles, both as cell messengers and disease proliferators. Dr. Skog has a PhD in Gene Therapy and Virology and a Masters in Biomedicine from Umeå University in Sweden. 

He later moved to Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School to study tumor stem cells, during which he observed the exosome vesicles and became the first to show that tumor-derived mutations can be detected on exosome RNA from serum and other biofluids, findings which were published in a seminal paper in 2008. He later also showed how these vesicles can be used therapeutically by incorporating gene therapy vectors into microvesicles as a “stealth” vector with changed tropisms. Dr Skog is the inventor of several novel exosome isolation platforms that are used clinically as well as exosome isolation platforms that were licensed to Qiagen. He continues to expand the research on exosome biology and lead critical advancements in diagnostics, including the world’s first exosome-based diagnostic tests that have now helped well over 70,000 patients. Exosome Diagnostics was acquired by Bio-Techne in 2018.