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Research Council for Health grants funding for 18 Postdoctoral Researcher posts

7 Jun 2017

The Academy of Finland has today announced the decisions by the Research Council for Health on funding for 18 new posts as Postdoctoral Researcher. The total funding amounts to some 4.9 million euros.

The Research Council for Health received 137 applications for Postdoctoral Researcher grants in September 2016. This puts the success rate at 13 per cent. The additional funds allocated to the Academy of Finland in the state budget for 2017 made possible a higher applicant success rate compared to previous years. The additional funds enabled the Research Council for Health to fund more high-quality applications than before under the Postdoctoral Researcher funding scheme. The applications submitted were generally of a high quality, and the best ones were highly competitive at an international level.

The Academy of Finland’s Postdoctoral Researcher funding scheme is intended for researchers who have recently completed their doctoral degree and who have established effective national or international collaborative networks. International collaboration is a particular focus of the Research Council for Health under this funding scheme. The three-year funding helps the Postdoctoral Researchers gain competence for demanding researcher or expert positions.

The new Postdoctoral Researchers are Silvia Gramolelli (University of Helsinki), Minna Hankaniemi (University of Tampere), Alise Hyrskyluoto (University of Helsinki), Marja Härkänen (University of Eastern Finland), Guillaume Jacquemet (University of Turku), Tuomas Kenttä (University of Oulu), Elina Kiss (University of Helsinki), Maria Lankinen (University of Eastern Finland), Laura Lehtinen (University of Turku), Janne Leivo (University of Turku), Tuija Leskinen (University of Turku), Dongfei Liu (University of Helsinki), Tapio Lönnberg (University of Turku), Linda Mustelin (University of Helsinki), Hanna Ollila (University of Helsinki), Mimmi Patrikoski (University of Helsinki), Minna Torniainen-Holm (National Institute of Health and Welfare) and Pirjo Åström (University of Oulu).

Examples of funded Postdoctoral Researchers:

Guillaume Jacquemet (University of Turku) studies cancer metastasis, the spread of cancer cells from one part of the body to another. Jacquemet aims to develop therapeutical strategies to block the ability of cancer cells to disseminate throughout the body. Jacquemet has discovered that a motor protein called Myosin-X contributes to cancer cell metastases and is highly expressed in patient samples (incl. breast, pancreatic, colorectal, glioma and lung carcinoma). Jacquemet’s research could lead to the development of a drug that can inhibit Myosin-X function and thus provide novel therapeutic strategies for treating metastatic cancer forms.

Maria Lankinen (University of Eastern Finland, UEF) studies gene-diet interactions and molecular pathways linking fatty acid metabolism to inflammation and type 2 diabetes. Lankinen’s project will be carried out at UEF and at Karolinska Institute, Sweden. The aim is to investigate interactions between genes and lifestyle, especially the intake of fat. She will examine how these interactions affect lipid metabolism, low-grade inflammation and the risk of type 2 diabetes. The project will utilise data from three genotype-based dietary intervention trials conducted at UEF. Lankinen’s findings could contribute to the development of more optimal and personalised prevention of type 2 diabetes.

Dongfei Liu (University of Helsinki) aims to develop an optimal nano-in-nano vector for cancer-targeted theranostics, which combines diagnostics and therapy. Nanovectors merge the favourable features of calcium phosphate nanoparticles (e.g. biocompatibility, biodegradability and pH-responsive release of payloads), drug nanocrystals (ultra-high drug loading degree and enhanced dissolution rate) and contrast agent nanoparticles (non-invasive imaging of tumour malignancy). The theranostic nanovector is expected to simultaneously boost contrast agent relaxivity when the agent is discharged from the disintegrative calcium phosphate shell, and to kill the cancer cells when an ultra-high mass fraction of therapeutics is released in response to the intratumoural pH.

Inquiries

Academy of Finland Communications
Vesa Varpula, Communications Specialist
tel. +358 295 335 131
firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi

The Academy of Finland’s mission is to fund high-quality scientific research, provide expertise in science and science policy, and strengthen the position of science and research.In 2017, our funding for research amounts to 437 million euros.Part of the Academy’s funds (€70.7m in 2017) come from proceeds of Finland’s national gaming company Veikkaus.

Last modified 7 Jun 2017
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