Alumni – Amir Sadeghu Boroujeni

Ocular Drug Delivery studies at UEF

Amir Sadeghi Boroujeni, Post-doc researcher

I am Amir Sadeghi Boroujeni. I graduated as Ph.D. in September 2022 and started working as a post-doc researcher in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Eastern Finland (UEF). I came to Finland in August 2017 to start my doctoral studies in Ocular Drug Delivery (ODD) group lead by Professor Arto Urtti.

Arrival in Kuopio

I came from Iran and my hometown there is warm. There is not much rain or snow fall and winters are short. When I arrived in Kuopio in early August, the weather was not cold, but after few weeks the weather got colder and in early November the first snow arrived. Covering the ground with snow was very nice since it made the nights much brighter, which was very lovely on long winter nights.

After I arrived in Finland my first notice was that green nature is everywhere with numerous forests and lakes. The campus of the university is located near a lake with a view of a beautiful forest. During my studies I visited several universities in Europe, but none of the campuses was as close to nature or as beautiful. By starting the registration process and paper works, I realized that all things work smoothly and on time. Colleagues in the ODD group were always helpful and supported me whenever I need guidance and help for different matters. 

Collaboration in OcuTher project

For the last 5 years I did my PhD studies focusing on ocular research. ODD group has been active for more than four decades in the field of ocular pharmacokinetics and drug delivery. My supervisory team was Professor Arto Urtti, Dr. Elisa Toropainen, University lecturers Veli-Pekka Ranta and Marika Ruponen. My research was mainly done in OcuTher project which was EU funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Networks program. OcuTher aimed to improve knowledge regarding ocular diseases and drug delivery. My main task was to investigate in vivo pharmacokinetics and safety aspects of nanomaterials and formulations. This project was a great chance for me to have lots of scientific collaborations. For example, I worked with researchers from University of Helsinki, St. Petersburg State University, Eindhoven University of Technology, University of Padova and Utrecht University.

I had a great opportunity to do scientific visits and attend international conferences during my studies. I had a valuable industrial secondment in the Department of Drug Discovery Sciences in Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH. Also, I appreciate the opportunity to perform a secondment in the laboratory of Professors Wim Hennink and Tina Vermonden at Utrecht University.

Overall, I gained lots of knowledge from OcuTher project since it was a multidisciplinary collaboration between world class institutes and researchers. There was intensive collaboration between biologists, chemists, pharmacists, ophthalmologists, and computational modeling scientists. I also realized the value of scientific collaborations and teamwork for reaching great goals in research.  

Living in Finland

Finland is a beautiful country with honest and hard-working people. I appreciate the great opportunity that Finland provided for me to study and doing lots of research. Some of the things that I appreciate about Finnish culture is being on time, helpful and honest and having mutual trust. Studying and working at UEF was a nice and unique experience for me. Working in a friendly environment with easygoing and honest colleagues leads to pleasant and fruitful times for research and learning.

Currently I am working as a post-doc researcher in a project related to the application of nanomaterials for retinal drug delivery. This is a joint project with UEF and Bayer company in Turku as academic and industrial partners.