Ten new Academy Research Fellows in health research

15 May 2013

The Academy of Finland’s Research Council for Health has decided to fund ten new Academy Research Fellows. Within the September 2012 call, the Research Council received 88 applications for research posts as Academy Research Fellow. The success rate was 11.4 per cent. The competition for funding was extremely fierce, due to the large number of applications and the decrease in available funds.

The Research Council made its funding decisions on the basis of the review reports of the international panels. The review panels found the scientific quality of the submitted applications overall good and the best applications also internationally competitive.

Examples of funded Academy Research Fellows:

Carmen Escobedo-Lucea (University of Helsinki) is working to construct human artificial skin substitutes using human progenitors and cell sheet technology. The engineering of skin substitutes and their application on human patients has become a reality, but reconstructive surgeons are still facing insurmountable problems when large or massive full-thickness skin defects require definitive and functional autologous coverage. Escobedo-Lucea’s project will focus on constructing an artificial skin replacement that could be incorporated as a permanent wound substitute in acute injuries. The aim is construct an autologous dermoepidermal graft that rapidly vascularises and optimally supports epidermal stratification.

Satu Palva (University of Helsinki) is investigating whether inter-areal interactions among brain regions could underlie the binding of scattered processing into introspectively coherent cognition, awareness and working memory. Her project uses behavioural experiments, magneto- and electroencephalography (MEG/EEG) recordings, and informatics-oriented data analysis to identify cortical inter-areal networks and their correlation with variability in task performance.

Jeroen Pouwels (University of Turku) has in his previous studies identified Sharpin, which has been linked to cancer and psoriasis, as an important novel inhibitor of integrin activity. In his present project, Pouwels aims to further characterise how Sharpin inhibits integrins at the molecular level, including determining the crystal structure of Sharpin. Furthermore, the role of Sharpin in targeting leukocytes to sites of inflammation will be assessed, and novel Sharpin-interacting proteins will be identified. The project will deepen our knowledge of Sharpin and integrin and aid in cancer and psoriasis treatments.

More information:

Academy of Finland Communications
Communications Specialist Vesa Varpula
tel. +358 29 533 5131

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