10 new Academy Research Fellows funded in health research

(14 May 2014)

The Academy of Finland’s Research Council for Health has decided to fund ten new posts as Academy Research Fellow, following the review of applications submitted in the Academy’s September 2013 call.

In the call, the Research Council received a total of 94 applications for Academy Research Fellow funding, which means that the success rate was only around 10 per cent. Each year, the funding race gets fiercer as more and more researchers compete for increasingly scarce funds. In this funding round, women accounted for 70 per cent of applicants and funding recipients.

The aim of Academy Research Fellow funding is to provide an opportunity for the most talented and advanced researchers. The funding covers the researcher’s salary for a maximum of five years.

Examples of funded Academy Research Fellows:

Gonghong Wei (University of Oulu) is charting gene regulatory networks in order to discover novel mechanisms and clinical markers for cancer risk prediction and therapy. The project will validate key findings including risk single-nucleotide polymorphisms, enhancers and genes that are potential prognostic and diagnostic markers for prostate cancer risk prediction in men.

Tomi Rantamäki (University of Helsinki) is exploring new treatments for major depression, a highly disabling psychiatric disorder and among the biggest contributors to the global disease burden. Unfortunately, commonly used antidepressants have a delayed onset of action and many patients respond inadequately to these medications. Isoflurane anaesthesia has been shown to produce rapid antidepressant effects in treatment-resistant depressive patients. Rantamäki’s project will investigate the molecular mechanism and antidepressant-like potential of isoflurane in animal models of depression.

Juha Hulmi (University of Jyväskylä) is investigating the extent to which adequate muscle mass and aerobic capacity can prolong survival from muscle wasting. Skeletal muscle wasting and decreased aerobic capacity occur with ageing and in many diseases and injuries. These changes in muscles are associated with high mortality and a decreased quality of life. Hulmi’s study will look into the importance of muscle mass and muscle aerobic capacity alone or in combination to survival from terminal muscle wasting (cachexia) stimuli. The study aims to improve our understanding of muscle wasting and the importance of being in good physical shape.

More information:


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