Academy of Finland grants €18.2m to support health research projects

3 May 2017

The Academy of Finland’s Research Council for Health has granted a total of 18.2 million euros in Academy Project funding to 41 research projects. The success rate rose to 18 per cent from 13 per cent last year. The higher success rate was made possible thanks to the additional funds allocated to the Academy in the state budget for 2017. The additional funds enabled the Research Council for Health, for instance, to support more high-quality projects than before under the Academy Project funding scheme.

In its funding decisions, the Research Council for Health focused on the scientific quality and impact of the projects as well as on research in support of science renewal. Another key goal of the Research Council was to support health research of the widest possible scope.

Among the funded projects are studies on the causes and mechanisms of diseases, the effectiveness of different treatment formats, and the factors influencing work and functional capacity.

Examples of funded projects

Pipsa Saharinen (University of Helsinki) was granted funding to develop innovative, vascular-growth-inhibiting therapies for cancer and vascular eye diseases. These diseases present a major public health burden in the western world. Current vascular therapies targeting the VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) pathway are inadequate. Saharinen’s project will shed new light on the role of the angiopoietin growth factor in vascular diseases and develop next-generation targeted therapies.

Distal radius fracture, often called a wrist facture, is the most common upper extremity fracture. Ville Mattila (Tampere University Hospital), Juha Paloneva (Central Finland Healthcare District) and Juha Kukkonen (Satakunta Central Hospital) received funding for five separate trials aiming to clarify the treatment of distal radius fractures. The trials will investigate whether surgery provides better functional outcomes than cast treatment and whether post-fracture physiotherapy is necessary. The project will be supported by an extensive Nordic collaboration network. The results will support the creation and dissemination of reliable care guidelines established by health authorities and organisations in each participating country.

Matti Nykter (University of Tampere) was granted funding for a project studying the effects of genomic anomalies on cancer aggressiveness. To gain a deeper understanding of the progression of cancer, Nykter’s project will use chromatin state measurement data from tumour samples together with computational analysis to mathematically model how genome aberrations alter cell regulatory networks. Specifically, Nykter’s project aims to uncover the mechanisms that drive the aggressive form of prostate cancer. To do so, the project will generate the necessary data, develop computational methods that enable the proposed analysis and experimentally validate the key discoveries.

More information

  • Science Adviser Kati Takaluoma, tel. +358 295 335 150, firstname.lastname(at)
  • Science Adviser Vera Mikkilä, tel. +358 295 335 048, firstname.lastname(at)
  • List of funded projects

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

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 our funds (€70.7m in 2017) come from proceeds of Finland’s national gaming company Veikkaus.

Last modified 7 Nov 2019
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