Posted by: Gary Klaukka | May 24, 2009

My father

Dad and I

Dad and I

Professor Timo Klaukka, 2 September 1945 – 21 May 2009.

Timo Klaukka was born in Nurmijärvi, Finland in September 1945 as Timo Koskinen. When he was a couple of years old, the family moved to run a family farm house in Klaukkala, where his mother’s family was from. The name of the farm house was of course Klaukka; a surname Timo adopted in 1968 when he was a medical student. Medicine interested Timo already when he was young and teachers at school encouraged him to become a doctor.

– We had a chance to study Latin as a foreign language, which I did, because my teachers said that a future doctor would need Latin in his work. That wasn’t true at all! I had to study English entirely on my own later.

Getting into higher education was a self-evident choice for the baby-boomer generation. Despite the rising number of young people, teachers also had time to pay attention to individuals and to guide their pupils according to their abilities. In Timo Klaukka’s life, the professors at the University of Helsinki proved to be of great influence. Klaukka thought that the most interesting were the scientists and pedagogues at the Pharmacology department.

An interest in pharmaceuticals, the willingness to enlighten people and the ease of writing led to the Bachelor’s student to get his own column in the Finnish Journal of Medicine, which he wrote for 40 years.

– These things were still possible back then, Klaukka says and smiles.

Klaukka did not serve as a general practitioner for long. As soon as he graduated, he was hired as the director of the Finnish Centre for Health Promotion, and in 1974 he moved to the research unit at Kela, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland.

– I wanted to act as an interpreter between pharmaceutical research, the pharmaceutical industry and doctors. I have always had as my guideline that if I myself understand what I write, then it is already quite simple.

Timo Klaukka was diagnosed with melanoma a few years ago. He, like so many other people his age, got severely sunburnt as a child on a July wheat field on many occasions. That may explain why a non-smoking and healthy-living man becomes ill.

– Melanoma is a tricky fellow whose next move no one knows. The illness has made me think that I could do something else than work in the life that remains.

What have been the best moments during Klaukka’s career?

– When I have been poring over an endless amount of statistics at work and found a new phenomenon. When looking at its background, I have happened to find changes in treatment practices, an increase in disease prevalence or some other aspect that has gone previously unnoticed.

Adapted from an article in the Finnish Medical Journal, published on 30 April 2009.

The son of the forest I want to be,
a hero of the awesome woods
On the plains of the Kingdom of the Forest, I frolic with bears
and the world shall go into oblivion.

– Aleksis Kivi
(translated by Gary Klaukka)


  1. HEI

    Olen lääketieteessä maallikko ja kirjoittelen nettisivuilleni ahkerasti. Tänään kirjoitin nettisivuilleni alisivu 2:n liitteen 4. Kirjoitukseni jälkeen huomasin, että isäsi ei olekaan enää edistämässä yhteistä asiaamme.

    Nettisivujeni osoite on

    Leino Utriainen
    dipl.ins. / eläkeläinen

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