Research description

Seppo K Koskinen, M.D., Ph.D.

Scientific Education and Research Profile

I started my scientific work and education under the supervision of Professor Martti Kormano in 1989. In addition to practical supervision of research projects, his teaching included scientific writing, statistical methods, and planning and conducting scientific projects. Moreover, his profound understanding of integrating research and teaching has had a paramount impact on my scientific thinking. During this period that lasted until 1996, I was able to publish several clinical and basic research papers (see list of publications and my CV). Since the ultimate goal in medical research should always be to benefit the patient, I have combined basic and clinical research. This goal is reflected by the versatility of scientific production. Therefore, the selected papers (see separate list) also include less cited articles describing my experience in various areas besides main research lines.

My first line of research focused on MR imaging of patellofemoral disorders. I joined a young and innovative research group, and during a relatively short period (1990-1993) I produced eight original papers, including five clinical papers that comprise my medical dissertation.  Besides, my research included sports and exercise related injuries and studies of relaxation properties of novel MR contrast agents and tissue specificity of low-field magnetization transfer contrast imaging.

From August 1996 to July 1998 I was a post-doctoral research fellow at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA under the supervision of Professor Ferenc Jolesz, M.D., the father of MR imaged surgery. The period enabled a deep introduction to MR imaging and image guided interventions and therapy. My main interest was kinematic musculoskeletal imaging using a novel vertically open MR scanner. This was a continuation of my work in Turku University Hospital, where I had started a study kinematic imaging of cervical spine (these two papers were later published). I finished a white paper on musculoskeletal function and published a paper of patellofemoral function in ACL-deficient knees. The studies of MR guided interventions led to review papers and an original paper about a novel method using high-focused ultrasound treatment of synovitis. In addition to these clinically oriented projects, I finished a study on biexponential behavior of T2 relaxation in exercised muscle. This two-year-period is the basis of my wide international contacts and network including USA, Germany, Sweden, and South Africa.

After finishing my radiology training in the summer of 1999, I was almost immediately appointed as an acting radiologist-in chief of a large and busy trauma-musculoskeletal imaging section at the Helsinki University Hospital, and the position was tenured in January 2002. Since then, my research has focused heavily on trauma radiology. Due to the nature of trauma, the research has largely been retrospective. The introduction of multi-slice-CT (MDCT) and well-functioning PACS has helped create a productive research environment even in a busy trauma practice with heavy clinical and administrative workload. Five dissertations have been completed and four are currently in progress. The research is clinically oriented and mainly focuses on diagnostic capabilities of MDCT, dual-energy CT, and MRI in severe chest and extremity trauma. Multiple research projects are being performed in collaboration with various clinical departments. The most recent research is in collaboration with Planmed Inc and was focused on developing a novel cone-beam CT dedicated to extremity imaging. The product went on-sale fall 2011. The recent research at Karolinska Institute is focused on dual-energy CT for polytrauma patients.

In conclusion, I have been very productive in both basic and clinical research as well as clinical and administrative work. 

Academic honours, awards and prizes

The Volvo Award on Low Back Pain Research 1994: Videman T, Sarna S, Battié MC, Koskinen S, Gill K, Paananen H, Gibbons L: The long-term effects of physical loading and exercise lifestyles on back-related symptoms, disability, and spinal pathology.

American Society of Emergency Radiology; Honorary Fellow, 2006

RadioGraphics Editor’s recognition award with special distinction 2015