The Academy of Finland’s Research Council for Health has decided to fund 17 new research posts as Postdoctoral Researcher. Within the September 2014 call, the Research Council received a total of 152 applications for Postdoctoral Researcher funding. Only about one in ten applications received funding.
The competition for funding gets tougher every year. On the one hand, this is due to an increase in the number of applications. On the other hand, the Academy has also seen cuts to its annual research funding budget. In this round, women accounted for some 70 per cent of recipients of Postdoctoral Researcher funding.
The funding for research posts as Postdoctoral Researcher is designed to advance the professional competence and independence of the most promising young researchers who have recently earned their doctorate.
Examples of funding recipients:
Astrid Subrizi (University of Eastern Finland) develops novel therapeutics against pathologic inflammations in the eye by delivering microRNAs to the back of the eye. Scientists have recently found that the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a common eye condition and a leading cause of vision loss among over-50s, may be a result of unchecked, ongoing inflammation. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are recently discovered, small noncoding RNAs that control gene regulation. Reducing chronic, pathologic inflammation may be useful in treating not only AMD but also other inflammatory disorders of the eye such as diabetic retinopathy, uveitis and glaucoma.
Simon Walker (University of Jyväskylä) studies the effects of ageing on loss of force production and balance control. Loss of force production during ageing can affect many aspects of daily living. In his project, Walker will apply new techniques of neuroimagery to traditional measurement techniques in order to understand the neural control of force and balance during ageing. The goal is also to determine whether a resistance training intervention will positively influence neural control and to identify mechanisms behind improved function.
Anna Kreutzman (University of Helsinki) develops improved cancer therapeutics by improving the function of natural killer (NK) cells. NK cells are important for the human immune system and they help protect us against cancer. In cancer patients, unfortunately, NK cells are often dysfunctional. Many attempts have been made to restore NK cells’ ability to kill cancer cells but so far without great success. The aim of Kreuzman’s project is to investigate the character and function of NK cells in cancer patients (both in blood and in tumour tissue) and how their function can be modulated with different drugs.
- Senior Science Adviser Aki Salo, tel. +358 295 335 104, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi
- list of funding recipients
Academy of Finland Communications
Communications Specialist Vesa Varpula
tel. +358 295 335 131