Kalevi Kairemo

Breast cancer Prostate cancer
Nuclear medicine


Kalevi Kairemo


20.05.1955 Helsinki, Finland


Chief Physician, Molecular Radiotherapy & Nuclear Medicine
M.D., Ph.D., Professor
Specialist in Clinical Chemistry and Nuclear Medicine

Visiting Professor, Department of Nuclear Medicine,
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, TX, USA. 2015-




Master of Science (Chemical Engineering)
Helsinki University of Technology, Dept of Chemical Engineering 16 Sep 1980
Licentiate of Medicine, University of Helsinki 30 Jun 1986
Licensed physician, Finland 23 Apr 1987
Subspeciality examination for nuclear medicine,
Karolinska Institute, Stockholm; Sweden 25 Nov 1991
Doctor of Medical Science, University of Helsinki 30 Nov 1993
Docent in Experimental Nuclear Medicine, University of Helsinki 12 Apr 1994
Specialist in Clinical Chemistry, University of Helsinki 15 Nov 1994
Subspecialist in Nuclear Medicine, University of Helsinki 3 Sep 1996
Professor Competence in Radiation Biology,
University of Umeå, Sweden 17 Sep 1996
Professor Competence in the Finnish National PET Centre
University of Turku, Åbo Akademi, Finland 19 Jan 1998
Management and Leadership, 100 h course, Department of Management,
Helsinki School of Economics 31 May 1998
Professor Competence in the Turku PET Centre
University of Turku, Åbo Akademi, Finland 17 Sep 1998
coordination of metabolic research
Professor Competence in the Turku PET Centre
University of Turku, Åbo Akademi, Finland 17 Sep 1998
coordination of drug discovery
Licensed physician, Norway 29 Sep 1998
Sales and Marketing, 100 h course, Department of Management,
Helsinki School of Economics 10 Oct 1998
Specialist in Clinical Chemistry, Norway 30 Sep 1998
Specialist in Nuclear Medicine, Norway 30 Sep 1998
Nominated as Professor in Clinical Chemistry, 15 Apr 1999
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim
Docent in Clinical Chemistry and Nuclear Medicine,
University of Helsinki 12 Oct 1999
Licensed physician, Sweden 29 Oct 2001
Specialist in Clinical Chemistry, Sweden 29 Oct 2001
Specialist in Nuclear Medicine, Sweden 29 Oct 2001
Specialist in Health Care Administration, Medical Specialty
University of Helsinki 31 Dec 2002
Specialist in Pharmaceutical Medicine, Finnish Medical Association 09 Oct 2006

Language proficiency:

Finnish (mother tongue), Swedish, German, English; lectures in all these languages


Kalevi Kairemo is a unique scientist; a creative researcher, developer and a pioneer in his field. He is driven by the desire to understand phenomena at a fundamental level, seeing the complete picture. From early on, his botanical interests made systematic thinking (Linnaean taxonomy) a part of his mind-set. As a result, Kairemo masters the entire process of his field – radiochemistry, radiation physics and imaging methods, labelling techniques, interpretation of images and treatment planning. Clinical oncology is his scientific starting point, and he takes particular interest in how isotope methods can be used for the targeted treatment of more rare cancers, such as cancer of the thyroid and other hormone-dependant cancers.

Kalevi Kairemo ended up in the medical field through studies in bioelectrochemistry: after graduating from the Helsinki University of Technology as Master of Science in Chemical Engineering, he started his medical studies at the University of Helsinki. He became a doctor in 1986. In 1993, he successfully defended his dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Medical Science (nuclear medicine and oncology, University of Helsinki), was awarded his first docenture at the University of Helsinki in 1994 and his first professor competence at the University of Umeå, Sweden, in 1996. In 1999, he was appointed for the first time as a professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
In addition to nuclear medicine, Kalevi Kairemo is a licensed specialist in clinical chemistry and health care administration, and the Finnish Medical Association has certified him as a Specialist in Pharmaceutical Medicine. He has worked in 11 countries and 3 continents, and in addition to Finland, he is a certified physician and specialist in his fields in Sweden, Norway and Estonia. Kairemo has been involved with clinical nuclear medicine for over 20 years, 15 of which in university hospitals.
With regard to clinical work, an important place of learning in addition to the Helsinki University Central Hospital, where Kairemo has worked for the longest period of his career, is the Uppsala University Hospital where he lead the foundation of a new Department of Nuclear Medicine. But as far as science and learning goes, nothing compares to the time he spent in Memorial SloanKettering Cancer Center in New York from 1989 to 1993, at a time when it already attracted the best talent in oncologic nuclear medicine.
Kairemo has also been involved in business: at first, he participated in the founding of the CTT Cancer Targeting Technologies company specialising in carrier nanoparticles, which won the Venture Cup Competition in 2001. After that, Novasome, the first biotechnology company in Poland, was founded. It focused on research and development. The third company Kairemo founded, Imanext Oy, a contract research organization in biomedicine, expanded into 38 countries during his stay. His merits also include involvement in an organisation providing support services for the field of medicine and biotechnology (CRO), and being a Clinical Director at the FrenchItalian company Advanced Accelerator Applications S.A, which is a spin-off company of CERN.
He has been working at Docrates Cancer Center since spring 2010. Kairemo feels that Docrates is a unique hospital, even on a global scale: close cooperation with a radiopharmaceutical manufacturer is possible because of its close proximity, the hospital has the opportunity to gain international merit, and the newest technology is within grasp.
Kairemo is also an active researcher and writer. He has published over 150 scientific original publications, over 200 meeting abstracts and several popular articles. Kairemo also has two global patents regarding targeted diagnostics and the treatment of cancer. In addition, he has cocoordinated several European research projects, mentored ten doctoral dissertations, lectured in over 40 countries and organised an international world conference on nuclear medicine, which was held in Levi, Northern Finland, in 2012. Of the several awards he has received, Kairemo places particular value on the Lifetime Achievement Award, awarded to him in 2012 by the World Association of Radiopharmaceutical and Molecular Therapy for lifelong work in nuclear medicine.

Alongside with his intense research, development and treatment work, Kairemo is engaged in extreme sports: long distance running and skiing, marathons (in all continents) and alpine skiing. He also enjoys visual arts and drawing, for example he draws the pictures for his scientific publications himself.

Kairemo indeed has an wealth of experience, skills and merits. “Dum spiro spero – While I breath, I hope” is his motto, he says. “And I am aware that pride is the reverse side of despair. We need to bring hope to where there is despair.”

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Curriculum Vitae (pdf, 52 KB, 8.2.2016)