University of Turku (UTU)
University of Turku (UTU) is the second largest and leading academic university in Finland. Turku University Hospital is located in the same campus and these two institutions work closely together. In 2015 the National Reference Laboratory for pertussis and diphtheria of Finland was moved from the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) to UTU, Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. This department has a long tradition for collaborative research with the Department of Pediatrics in the field of respiratory infections including pertussis. Based on the collaboration serology (1980s) and PCR (1990s) were developed for nationwide diagnostics of pertussis. The Department of Pediatrics has a long tradition of clinical research and vaccination studies.
The hospital offers all facilities for patient recruitment needed in clinical studies. UTU has extensive facilities and platforms, including biobanking, state of the art analyses, next generation sequencing, and bioinformatic experience. Within PERISCOPE, UTU’s main task will be the recruitment of naturally infected individuals, performing vaccine studies and collection and analyses of NPA and blood samples.
Dr Qiushui has served as head of the National Reference laboratory for pertussis and diphtheria of Finland since 2001. He has conducted fascinating research over the past 20 years in the area of respiratory infectious diseases, especially in pertussis and genetic susceptibility to respiratory infections. Since 2005 together with Jussi Mertsola he has been chairing the European network EUpertstrain in which 13 pertussis reference and research laboratories from 11 European countries are involved. He has been leading an ECDC funded European network EUpert-labnet “Coordination of activities for laboratory surveillance of whooping cough in Member States and EEA countries” since 2011.