In memoriam Prof. Annamari Ranki (1955-2024)

The European Dermatology Forum (EDF) would like to pay tribute to Prof. Annamari Ranki, who passed away on January 14th, 2024.

Professor Ranki's academic journey was marked by excellence from its very beginning.  She started her research career already during her medical studies. She earned her medical degree in 1977 and defended her doctoral thesis on T and B lymphocyte markers next year when she was only 23 years old.

After her PhD she specialized in dermatology and Venereology in Helsinki and oriented her research to studies on immune responses in autoimmune diseases. Before she took up her position as Professor and Chairman at the University of Helsinki in 1997, Professor Ranki had already made significant contributions as a professor and chief physician at the University of Oulu and the University of Tampere, both in Finland.

Professor Ranki’s career was not confined within the borders of Finland. In 1983, she started studying a totally new disease of unknown origin: AIDS. This research resulted in collaboration with Dr. Robert Gallo. She joined Gallo's lab for two years at the National Cancer Institute, NIH, in Bethesda, and she also worked at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York from 1985 to 1987. After returning to Finland, she continued her studies on HIV immunology. During the past three decades, her group studied the molecular pathogenesis of cutaneous T-cell lymphomas and genetic autoinflammatory and autoimmune diseases such as the tumour necrosis factor receptor associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS) and the autoimmune polyendocrinopathy syndrome APS1. She has thus pursued translational science long before this term was invented.

Her scholarly output was as prolific as it was profound. She authored almost 300 scientific articles, numerous reviews, and textbook chapters, with more publications still following.

Annamari Ranki was also active in research politics and scientific societies both at the national and international levels. She was awarded ILDS Certificate of Appreciation and became a member of the Finnish Academy of Science in 2010 which underscore her status as a respected and influential figure in her field. She was board member of the ESDR, EADV, EDF, Nordic Dermatological Association and International Society for Cutaneous Lymphoma, and President of the Finnish Dermatological Society. She was Secretary General of EDF from 2007 to 2008, and President from 2009 to 2010.

But beyond her impressive professional and academic achievements, what truly set Professor Ranki apart was her unwavering commitment to her discipline, her students, and her colleagues. In addition to being a scientist, she was a mother of three and a devoted grandmother, who served as a role model for female scientists. Her guidance and mentorship have shaped the careers of numerous medical professionals and researchers.

We extend our deepest gratitude to Professor Ranki for her extraordinary life and contributions and send all our condolences to her family.


Sirkku Peltonen
Professor of Dermatology and Allergology
University of Helsinki