Funding granted to eight clinical researchers

26 May 2016

The Academy of Finland’s Research Council for Health has decided to grant funding to eight clinical researchers. The researchers will receive a total of just over 2 million euros for four-year, part-time research spells. The applicant success rate was 18 per cent.

Funding for clinical researchers is a targeted funding scheme of the Academy of Finland’s Research Council for Health. September 2015 was the eleventh funding call organised within the scheme. Clinical researchers have an essential role to play in reconciling clinical patient care and basic research. High-level clinical research can contribute to identifying key questions in patient care and to generating solutions to these questions through basic research.

Examples of funded clinical researchers:

Approximately 200 Finnish children are born with an inherited blood disease each year. The conditions are very expensive to treat and cause significant human suffering and social impairment. Emma Haapaniemi (University of Helsinki) was granted funding to create a curative gene therapy platform for people with a hereditary blood disease. Haapaniemi’s method allows the correction of patient-specific mutations and could be applied to a wide range of diseases.

David Gyllenberg (University of Turku) was granted funding to investigate identify risk factor combinations of schizophrenia and study the prognostic impact of such combinations. Schizophrenia typically carries with it a huge chronic and disabling burden, which makes early intervention a public health priority. The typical age of onset of schizophrenia is late adolescence and young adulthood, but brain development alterations occur years before onset. In order to make early intervention possible, we need to know who is at risk of developing schizophrenia. In his research, Gyllenberg will apply machine-learning methods to national registers in order to identify risk factor combinations and study the prognostic impact of the combinations.

Oral bacteria and oral health status may influence the course of cardiovascular diseases by inducing systemic inflammations that may predispose to atherosclerosis, a condition in which plaque builds up inside the arteries. Susanna Paju (University of Helsinki) was granted funding to find evidence on periodontal infection and oral bacteria contributing to the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases. The clinical, microbiological and radiological oral examinations of Paju’s study will include two patient populations. The study will provide novel information on clinical oral risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Paju’s study emphasises the importance of gum health and improved oral care in patients with high risk for cardiovascular diseases.

More information

Academy of Finland Communications
Vesa Varpula, Communications Specialist
tel. +358 295 335 131

Last modified 26 May 2016
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