“Nanna” grew up in Kuopio, Finland, surrounded by lakes and forests. After receiving her M.Sc. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Joensuu (now University of Eastern Finland) she moved to the University of Helsinki to pursue doctoral studies in Organic Chemistry with Prof. Kristiina Wahala. The main focus of her thesis was the design and synthesis of non-steroidal 17beta-HSD1 inhibitors. After receiving her Ph.D. in 2007, she was granted a fellowship from the Academy of Finland to conduct postdoctoral research in the USA in the field of medicinal chemistry. She spent the following two years at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) where she worked in the College of Pharmacy Drug Discovery Program under the supervision of Prof. Alan P. Kozikowski. During her time at UIC, Nanna worked mainly on antituberculosis agents and histone lysine methyltransferase inhibitors. During her postdoctoral studies, she became increasingly interested in chemical biology. Therefore, in October 2009, she began working with Prof.- Mark Bradley at the University of Edinburgh.
In the Bradley group, her research has focused on cationic lipid-based gene transfection agents, their design and synthesis, as well as their high-throughput applications. The aim of her project is to identify an efficient, in vivo active transfection agent for cystic fibrosis gene therapy. This research, conducted on the interface of chemistry and biology, combines rational compound design, solid-phase synthesis, cell-based screening, and DNA microarrays.