At Work With Research Coordinator Minna Malmstedt

Minna Malmstedt has been working at the Helsinki Urological Cancer Center as a research coordinator for over 4 years.

When Malmstedt started working at HUCC, she hoped for a varied role. Her wishes were taken into account, and her role was built to suit her unique talents. Now most of her time at work is spent coordinating research projects between clinicians, researchers, and patients.

When asked what she likes most about her job, Malmstedt says she likes everything. She finds motivation in working with a diverse group of professionals, from clinical doctors to engineering majors.

“Another great source of motivation is knowing our work will help cancer patients in the future,” Malmstedt says.

Aiming for individualized treatment for cancer patients

“Currently, my main responsibility is coordinating the Deducer research project,” Malmstedt says.

“I forward tissue samples from patients to research groups. After that, I monitor the condition of the patients. If the disease comes back, I contact the researchers again to see if they could offer a specific treatment for this particular patient.”

The project applies the same methods that are already routinely used in other research activities to the diagnostics and treatment of cancer.

The aim is to develop new methods for the diagnosis, treatment, and evaluation of the prognosis of urological cancers, as well as to improve the prognosis of patients with these diseases.

From the insurance industry to a career in health

In the beginning of her career, Malmstedt worked in the insurance industry. After working as an insurance broker assistant for six years and having her third child, Malmstedt decided to make a change. She enrolled in University of Applied Sciences to study Biomedical Laboratory Science. After graduation, she quickly started working in a genetics laboratory.

When one of her children became severely ill, she transitioned from clinical work to working in research. “Witnessing my own child go through a serious illness has probably played a role in my decision to work in cancer research,” Malmstedt says.

Malmstedt collects tissue samples from the operating room and sends them to pathologists and researchers for analysis

Continuing education was instrumental in the development of project skills and scientific thinking

While already working at HUCC, Malmstedt applied to study for a Master of Health Care degree in Advanced Nursing Practice. The degree took two years but was worth it, she says. “Studying gave me important skills in scientific thinking, project development. I also got to develop new processes for the children’s cancer unit as part of my degree.”

Research nurses are in high demand

Malmstedt says she enjoys her current role at HUCC as it keeps challenging her problem-solving skills. She has seen that there is a strong need for research nurses and anticipates that this demand will continue to rise. “I think this is a great career option for health care professionals who are curious about scientific research and want to build new solutions for the treatment of cancer in the future,” Malmstedt says.

About Minna:

  • Started her career as an insurance broker assistant.
  • Lives in Espoo with her husband and youngest son.
  • Likes to stay active by practicing yoga, going to the gym, listening to audiobooks and spending time in nature.