Kaisa Haukka
1994 …2024

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Curriculum vitae

I am a microbiologist with special interest in research and human capacity building promoting control of the global spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Currently I am a leader of two EU-funded projects, SEBA and Mimin, at the Department of Microbiology, University of Helsinki. The projects are funded by the EU/Erasmus+ (KA2 – Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices – Capacity Building in the field of Higher Education). In SEBA (Strengthening expertise and bioinformatics to control antimicrobial resistance in West Africa, 2021-2023), the partners are from Benin, Burkina Faso, France and Finland. In Mimin (Good Hygiene - Improving Skills and Hospital Practices of Healthcare Professionals to Prevent Maternal and Neonatal Infections in Benin, 2023-2025) the partners are from Benin, Sweden and Finland. In addition, I am a volunteer team leader in the project carried out in Benin by the Physicians for Social Responsibility - Finland (Lääkärin Sosiaalinen Vastuu): Quality laboratory testing - training project (2021-2022) and  Strengthening hygiene skills and laboratory structures to improve health of mothers and newborns in Benin (2023-2024).

My extensive academic and professional experience has given me exposure to both traditional and cutting edge scientific techniques and research methods in microbiology. During my career, I have studied nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the USA and in England as well as environmental microbial diversity, cyanobacteria and antimicrobial resistance in Finland. At the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare, I developed my expertise in food-poisoning bacteria. During that time I also directed a four-year joint research project in Burkina Faso (funded by the Academy of Finland, 2008-2011). At university, I have worked as a lecturer in both classroom and laboratory settings and acted as a degree project supervisor. I also hold a degree in Management and Leadership and am skilled in strategic planning. I thrive on the development of new research projects, from the planning phase right through to presentation. To combine my passion in research and desire to societal impact, I set up a new consultancy group Co-op Bionautit together with nine microbiologist colleagues in 2014. Throughout my career, I have been especially interested in improving scientific research and academic education in the developing world, promoting the international engagement of local scientists in finding microbiology-based solutions to the global challenges. Nowadays the emphasis of my work is on combatting the spread of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and bacterial infections in West Africa, applying the One Health approach. The work is done in close collaboration with the West African researchers and I spend much time in Africa to further our joint initiatives.

Education/Academic qualification

Docent, Microbiology, University of Helsinki

Award Date: 30 Jun 2006

PhD, Genetic diversity and phylogeny of rhizobia isolated from tropical tree legumes, University of Helsinki

Award Date: 30 Nov 1997

MSc, Detection of Bradyrhizobium japonicum gene expression in planta by using ß-glucuronidase fusions. , University of Helsinki

Award Date: 31 Dec 1991

External positions

Senior researcher, National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL)

1 Apr 200531 Dec 2011

Fields of Science

  • 11832 Microbiology and virology

International and National Collaboration

Publications and projects within past five years.