UH University of Helsinki – ENDOTARGET Project Partner

The University of Helsinki (UH) is Finland’s largest and oldest academic institution and an innovative centre of science and thinking. Since 1640, we have contributed to the establishment of a fair and equal society that is considered one of the best in the world. During the years, our academic community has grown into 40 000 people scattered into 11 faculties on four campuses. Today, our multidisciplinary academic community solves problems that affect us all – with the power of knowledge, for the world. Our research and education set global benchmarks, and we believe that the search for new knowledge and boundary-breaking research can lead to solutions that have a real, global impact on the future. Our strategic plan currently emphasises four research themes: wellbeing for humans and our environment, a humane and fair world, a sustainable future for our planet, and the possibilities that limitless curiosity opens up – a universe of ideas and opportunities.


The Faculty of Medicine, UH is a multidisciplinary, international teaching and research organisation. The mission is to conduct high-quality research and provide research-based undergraduate and postgraduate education in medicine and dentistry. The faculty has around 1000 employees and 3000 students. The Medical Faculty researchers publish approximately 2000 peer reviewed scientific publications per year and a major part of the publications have been made in cooperation with HUS (Helsinki University Hospital). Research Programs Unit within the Faculty of Medicine consolidate the demonstrated research excellence. Human Microbiome (HUMI) research program, one of the nine research programs, is addressing translational aspects and focusing on causal links between microbiota alterations and the increased risk or development of disease, mechanisms of host-microbe interactions, as well as microbiota-targeted therapeutics and diagnostics.


The research group of Adj. Prof. Reetta Satokari in the HUMI research program studies human intestinal microbiota in health and disease, host-microbe interactions, and the therapeutic possibilities of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT). In the ENDOTARGET project, we will study how different gut bacterial species, their surface structures and secreted vesicles affect the intestinal epithelium, its inflammatory responses and permeability. Intestinal epithelium is the host´s first line of contact with microbes residing in the gut and these interactions may prime responses in other parts of the body, including the joints. We will use in vitro models with enterocytes to decipher interactions of individual bacterial species as well as microbial populations with the intestinal epithelium. In collaboration with HUS, we will analyse the gut microbiota in spondyloarthritis and correlate microbiota characteristics with the disease activity, markers of inflammation and mucosal gene expression, as well as study the effect of FMT on disease activity in a pilot clinical trial.


Contact information:

Adjunct Professor, Principal Investigator Reetta Satokari

Human Microbiome Research Program, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki



Post-doctoral researcher Kaisa Hiippala

Human Microbiome Research Program, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki


For further information see: