Ilpo Tapani Huhtaniemi
In recognition of the outstanding achievements of Professor Emeritus Ilpo Tapani Huhtaniemi in endocrinological and andrological research and development, and his long-term productive cooperation with researchers of the University of Tartu, the University of Tartu has conferred on him the degree of Honorary Doctor in Medicine.
Ilpo Tapani Huhtaniemi was born on 22 May 1947 in Hämeenlinna, Finland. He graduated from the University of Helsinki in Medicine in 1972 and defended his doctoral thesis there two years later. In 1978 he specialised in clinical chemistry and pathology.
His long-time home university is the University of Turku, where he led a Centre of Excellence of the Academy of Finland from 2002 to 2007. He has also practiced in the United States of America (at the University of California, San Francisco, National Institutes of Health) and in Europe (at Heidelberg University in Germany, the University of Edinburgh and the University of Aberdeen in Scotland). From 2002 to 2015 he was a Professor of Reproductive Endocrinology at the Imperial College London in the United Kingdom.
He is currently an Emeritus Professor of Physiology at the University of Turku, Finland, and of Reproductive Endocrinology at Imperial College London, United Kingdom. He is involved in a number of scientific organisations, and is an active visiting professor at Lund University in Sweden. He has been a member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters since 1993. The Medical University Lodz in Poland and Albert Szent-György Medical University in Hungary have awarded him the title of Doctor Honoris Causa.
Professor Huhtaniemi is regarded as one of the most influential scientists of all times in reproductive endocrinology and medicine in Europe. He has also been an important pillar of the European school of andrologists and an initiator of men’s health studies.
He has published more than 700 scientific articles in journals and 150 chapters in books. These have been cited more than 35,000 times. His work has been honoured with several prestigious scientific awards in Finland (the Äyräpää Prize of the Finnish Medical Society, Knight of the White Rose Knighthood of Finland, Elias Tillandz Prize of the University of Turku), in Europe (Medal of the Society for Endocrinology, the Berthold Medal, the Iain McIntyre Medal, Egon Diczfalusy Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, etc.) and elsewhere in the world. In 2018, he received the highest award of the European Society of Endocrinology, the European Hormone Medal.
Professor Huhtaniemi’s research has been focused on reproductive hormones, their role in the development of a male fetus and during puberty and reproductive age, in ensuring the general health of men, in the ageing process and in the development of possible contraception methods.
In the recent decade he has made an important contribution to men’s health studies by launching and leading the European Male Ageing Study. This study was the first to involve a broad network of endocrinology and andrology centres in Western and Eastern Europe, including the Andrology Centre of the University of Tartu Hospital. The collected clinical and epidemiological material has already resulted in more than 80 published scientific articles as of November 2018.
Ilpo Tapani Huhtaniemi has contributed to the development of international organisations (European Society of Endocrinology (ESE), International Society of Andrology, European Academy of Andrology, etc.), organising a number of conferences and other science fora as an advisory board member and reviewer. He has been the co-editor of more than 20 scientific journals, and the editor-in-chief of Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology. Professor Huhtaniemi has also been a highly successful mentor: more than 40 defended doctoral dissertations have been defended and more than 20 postdoctoral researchers have worked under his supervision.
Over two decades, Ilpo Tapani Huhtaniemi has made a multidimensional contribution to the development of medicine and the activities of the University of Tartu, covering both clinical and molecular medicine. He has been the major international supporter and promoter of andrology in Estonia, and a bridge-builder to European organisations and colleagues since the mid-1990s.
He played a significant role in the Tartu Andrology Centre being recognised in 2006 as one of the 23 clinical, research and training centres accredited by the European Academy of Andrology (EAA).
Ilpo Tapani Huhtaniemi has contributed to the activities of the University of Tartu as a cooperation partner and an advisor for several research projects, a lecturer at seminars and workshops in andrology, endocrinology and reproductive medicine. As of November 2018, he has visited the University of Tartu on nearly thirty occasions. Most recently he contributed as an advisory board member of the Happy Pregnancy collaboration project of the University of Tartu, Tartu University Hospital’s Women’s Clinic and Andrology Centre in the years 2012–2015.
A proof of the close and productive collaboration is the fact that Estonian scientists and Professor Huhtaniemi have together published dozens of scientific articles in international peer-reviewed journals in the course of various international research projects. Professor Huhtaniemi has also actively involved Estonian colleagues in the work of European leading science organisations, including the ESE and EAA.