The goal of the Finland Distinguished Professor (FiDiPro) funding programme is to strengthen scientific knowledge and know-how in Finland, add a more international element to the Finnish research system, and support research-driven profiling of universities and research institutes.
The programme supports universities and research institutes in hiring foreign professor-level researchers or Finnish professor-level researchers who have long worked abroad to conduct research in Finland for a fixed period.
The programme is aimed at creating long-term international cooperation. The researcher to be hired can work annually a maximum of half of the funding period abroad, however, so that he or she works in Finland a minimum of two years in total.
Funding is granted for purposes of hiring researchers who will primarily be based in scientifically significant and strategically key fields defined by universities and research institutes and who are expected to strengthen internationally competitive research and innovation in Finland.
The bodies responsible for the FiDiPro funding programme are the Academy of Finland and Tekes.
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Marcus Greferath, University College Dublin, Ireland
- Marcus Greferath (b. 1963) is one of the foremost researchers in his field internationally. Greferath's research is widely known for its high level of quality. At present, Greferath heads an extensive European research network for network coding.
- Research project: The project seeks algebraic and number theoretic models for physical phenomena related to wireless communications and distributed data storage. These models enable the design of protocols and construct codes of high quality. During this five-year project, numerous so-called ring-linear codes will be constructed with different applications in mind such as wireless communications, hard-disk manufacturing and network coding. In addition, Greferath's goal is to initiate a new field of algebraic, physical-layer distributed storage code design and thereby encourage research in the related communities among mathematicians, computer scientists, electrical engineers and industrial researchers.
- Finnish host and university: Professor Camilla Hollanti, Aalto University, tel. +358 50 562 8987, camilla.hollanti(at)aalto.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Senior Researcher Stefano Zapperi, National Research Council of Italy, Italy
- Stefano Zapperi (b. 1970) conducts cutting-edge research at the international forefront of materials science. Zapperi has, for instance, been awarded an Advanced Grant by the European Research Council (ERC).
- Research project: The research will target phenomena in relation to magnetic materials and the fracture, plasticity and friction of materials. The project will be carried out partly in collaboration with the Finnish Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Computational Nanoscience. The CoE is focused on researching and understanding structures and systems at the atom and molecule level from a materials physics point of view.
- Finnish host and university: Professor Mikko Alava, Aalto University, tel. +358 50 413 2152, mikko.alava(at)aalto.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Peter McNeil, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
- Peter McNeil (b. 1966) is a leading scholar in the fields of art and design history and fashion studies whose projects have received considerable attention in recent years. He has also been awarded for his publications. Over his career, he has headed a number of extensive international research projects focusing on design and design history.
- Research project: The main objective of the Costume Methodologies project is to establish a firm methodological strategy to investigate the creation, production and function of costume in all areas of the performing arts – theatre, opera, dance and other stage- or site-specific live performance – as well as in film, television and other camera- and media-based creative projects involving costume.
- Finnish host and university: Professor Sofia Pantouvaki, Aalto University, tel. +358 50 599 2288, sofia.pantouvaki(at)aalto.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Hans-Wolfgang Micklitz, European University Institute (EUI), Italy
- Hans-Wolfgang Micklitz is currently one of the best known researchers in European private law. At present, Micklitz also works under a grant from the European Research Council (ERC).
- Research project: The project focuses on the external effects on European private law (EPL). Researching EPL in a transnationalised world means that regulated markets cannot be studied from a European perspective alone. Hence, the project concentrates on this transnational interface, on the "outside-in" and "inside-out" effects on and of EPL, that is, on regionalisation and internationalisation. The key hypothesis is that the transformation of national and European private law could be explained by the changing patterns of the nation states into market states – the EU being a prototype for a market state, driven by the globalisation of economy, technology and civil society
- Finnish host and university: Professor Kimmo Nuotio, University of Helsinki, tel. +358 50 308 7444, kimmo.nuotio(at)helsinki.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Lorenza Mondada, University of Basel, Switzerland
- Lorenza Mondada (b. 1963) is an innovative linguist who has quickly climbed her way to the ranks of internationally leading researchers of social interaction. Lately, Mondada has especially contributed to the development of techniques and methodology in her own field of expertise, that is, multimodality of language use in social interaction.
- Research project: The project aims to advance the study of interaction by situating language use in an embodied context, through developing methods for studying the multimodality of social interaction – using video recordings in various natural social, workplace and institutional settings, in various languages. The empirical part will focus especially on actions by which a person asks someone to do something right now (directives, requests etc.). On the basis of empirical research, the project discusses conceptualisations of time, sequentiality and the progressivity of human interaction. It also lays the ground for future applied research on communication in key settings of modern societies.
- Finnish host and university: Professor Marja-Leena Sorjonen, University of Helsinki, tel. +358 50 318 5264, marja-leena.sorjonen(at)helsinki.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Lisa Adkins, University of Newcastle, Australia
- Lisa Adkins (b. 1966) is an internationally renowned sociologist who in her research applies a unique approach to combine theories of the social sciences, feminist studies and economics. Most recently, Adkins has focused on financial crises and unemployment as societal phenomena.
- Research project: The project will focus on labour and unemployment and the way activation policies of the unemployed are linked to the quality of unemployment instead of its social status. The project will initiate an internationally high-level debate in Finnish society on the relationship between economy and society. Professor Adkins will be attached to two universities (Turku and Tampere) and her FiDiPro professorship will develop synergies between Finnish research units.
- Finnish host and university: Academy Professor Anne Kovalainen, University of Turku, tel. +358 50 502 7022, anne.kovalainen(at)utu.fi, and Professor Risto Kunelius, University of Tampere, tel. +358 40 190 4085, risto.kunelius(at)uta.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Research Professor Niilo Kauppi, French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and University of Strasbourg, France
- Niilo Kauppi (b. 1959) is a well-known researcher in the fields of political science, sociology and European studies, as well as one of the leading sociologists in France. In particular, Kauppi has studied the development of the European Union and the dimensions of European integration from a broad historical and cultural perspective.
- Research project: The project explores transformations of concepts and institutions in the European polity. Kauppi will utilise two distinctive dimensions in the research: 1) analysis of the institutional and broader historical contexts of theory production; and 2) analysis of the ideational development of concepts and theories.
- Finnish host and university: Professor Kari Palonen, University of Jyväskylä, tel. +358 50 366 5645, kari.i.palonen(at)jyu.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Gaetano Assanto, Roma Tre University, Italy
- Gaetano Assanto (b. 1958) is a leading-edge researcher in the field of nonlinear optics of liquid crystals.
- Research project: Within the FiDiPro project, a new research group will be set up within the Optics Laboratory of Tampere University of Technology in collaboration with the existing activities of the laboratory. The research work relies on the joint skills of Professor Assanto and his Finnish host, covering fundamentals of the nonlinear optical properties of liquid crystals, tailoring them by dopants, and then seeking applications in novel device concepts for advanced signal processing.
- Finnish host and university: Professor Martti Kauranen, Tampere University of Technology, tel. +358 40 773 3065, martti.kauranen(at)tut.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Manuel Tena-Sempere, University of Cordoba, Spain
- Manuel Tena-Sempere (b. 1969) is an internationally recognised researcher in the fields of energy metabolism and regulation of reproductive development, two closely connected areas of research into reproductive disorders. Tena-Sempere has achieved many scientific milestones in both of these areas and has significantly contributed to the advancement of international research in the field.
- Research project:Reproductive health is deteriorating worldwide, and there is growing concern about the causes. In parallel, metabolic alterations, including obesity, have acquired pandemic dimensions. The research project is aimed at advancing our understanding of the basis of puberty and how it is modulated (or perturbed) by metabolic and environmental factors. Another aim is to improve our knowledge of the major brain signals that control gonadal function and how reproductive and metabolic hormones modulate them. Lastly, the project will identify the mechanisms whereby hypogonadism is linked to overweight and how it contributes to the generation or perpetuation of obesity and its co-morbidities.
- Finnish host and university: Professor Matti Poutanen, University of Turku, tel. +358 50 366 0140, matti.poutanen(at)utu.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Hannes Jónsson, University of Iceland and Brown University, Iceland/USA
- Professor Hannes Jónsson (b. 1957) is one of the world’s leading scientists in the field of theoretical and computational materials research.
- Research project: Jónsson’s project focuses on the development and application of advanced simulation and computational techniques for nanoparticle-facilitated catalysis in solar cells. The project focuses on theoretical and computational studies of metal alloy nanoclusters on oxide surfaces and the use of such systems in catalysis, in particular solar cell reduction of CO2 to form fuel (methane or methanol) and reduction of N2 to form fertilizer.
- Finnish host and university: Professor Tapio Ala-Nissilä, Finnish Centre of Excellence in Computational Nanoscience, Aalto University, tel. +358 9 470 25805, tapio.ala.nissila(at)aalto.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Vladislav V. Verkhusha, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University, USA
- Professor Vladislav V. Verkhusha (b. 1964) is a leading expert in developing novel fluorescent proteins. The 2008 Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded for the discovery of green fluorescent protein, after which this area has expanded rapidly. Professor Verkhusha develops red-shifted and photoswitchable fluorescent variants. These tools have broad applications in multichannel imaging, super-resolution and intravital imaging as well as in protein interaction studies and high-content screens.
- Research project: The project will work to bring biophotonics technologies in Finland to the international forefront. The tools to be developed will enable the monitoring of complex functional information from living cells and tissues, and will therefore benefit the broad bioscience community, working on cell and organ physiology and pathophysiology. The project will develop three new types of biophotonics molecular tools based on fluorescent proteins that will complement the existing green and red protein probes. The project is strongly synergistic with the development of imaging infrastructures and research projects utilising imaging, not only at the University of Helsinki but also nationally via the Biocenter Finland National Imaging Infrastructure Network.
- Finnish host and university: Academy Professor Elina Ikonen, University of Helsinki, tel. +358 9 191 25 277, elina.ikonen(at)helsinki.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Vladimir Gel’man, European University at St. Petersburg, Russia.
- Professor Vladimir Gel’man (b. 1965) is one of the leading scholars of Russia’s political system and an internationally highly recognised researcher of post-Soviet Russia.
- Research project: The project will investigate why democracy, good governance and the rule of law have failed in contemporary Russia, and what contributes to the prospects for stability or changes in political institutions. Through answering such questions, the project aims to understand the logic of political regimes and patterns of governance in Russia. The project focuses on the role of agency and the making of political institutions and traces the process of institution-building in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet system. To fully understand the nature of the Russian polity, the project will analyse the Russian experience within a broader theoretical and comparative cross-national perspective. It will also conduct within-nation comparisons of varieties of political regimes and patterns of governance on the sub-national level, and compare politics and governance of post-Soviet Russia with those in the pre- and late-Soviet periods.
- Finnish host and university: Professor Markku Kivinen, Finnish Centre of Excellence in Russian Studies – Choices of Russian Modernisation, University of Helsinki/Aleksanteri Institute, tel. +358 9 191 23 654, markku.kivinen(at)helsinki.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Leif Groop, Lund University, Sweden
- Professor Groop (b. 1947) is among the foremost diabetes researchers in the world. He has made an exceptionally successful international career and has wide experience of extensive studies involving several partners. His work has significantly contributed to our understanding of the genetic background and disease mechanisms of type 2 diabetes.
- Research project: Groop’s research project will combine state-of-the-art genetic methods with analyses of the special features of the Finnish population to tackle the mechanisms behind type 2 diabetes. It will greatly contribute to building a detailed map of genomes of Finns within the collaborative SISU project (Sequencing Initiative Suomi). The aim of the SISU project is to sequence the genomes of thousands of Finns and list the variants specific to the Finnish population. Based on these data, it will be possible to determine the genetic variation in existing epidemiological cohorts by means of cheap genotyping methods combined with novel computational tools. The research project is nationally important as it investigates the special features of disease mechanisms of diabetes in the Finnish population. Diabetes is one of the major diseases in Finland.
- Finnish host and university: Professor Aarno Palotie, Institute of Molecular Medicine Finland FIMM, University of Helsinki, tel. +358 41 501 5915, aarno.palotie(at)helsinki.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Gunther Uhlmann, University of California Irvine and University of Washington, USA
- Professor Gunther Uhlmann (b. 1952) is widely recognised as the leader of the field of inverse problems and a driving force behind major recent developments in inverse problems with their many applications. In 2011, the American Mathematical Society awarded Professor Uhlmann the Bôcher Memorial Prize as recognition of his recent six-year research.
- Research project: Uhlmann’s research project will focus on geometric inverse problems, inverse problems with partial data, and the applications of invisibility cloaking techniques in transformation optics. The project will also introduce the mathematical research of hybrid imaging methods into Finland. Inverse problems research is one of the most topical and significant research subjects in applied mathematics. Inverse problems research is widely applied by scientists in many fields, for instance by medical imaging researchers, earth scientists and electrical engineers
- Finnish host and university: Professor Lassi Päivärinta, Finnish Centre of Excellence in Inverse Problems Research, University of Helsinki, tel. +358 40 833 8532, lassi.paivarinta(at)helsinki.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Nicola Fusco, University of Naples, Italy, and Carnegie Mellon University, USA
- Professor Nicola Fusco (b. 1956) is an internationally highly recognised scientist in mathematical analysis.
- Research project: Fusco’s project is in the field of mathematical analysis and will investigate geometric and functional inequalities, such as isoperimetric, Faber-Krahn and Sobolev inequalities, particularly via Fraenkel asymmetry.
- Finnish host and university: Academy Professor Pekka Koskela, University of Jyväskylä, tel. +358 14 2602 706, pekka.j.koskela(at)jyu.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Jacek Dobaczewski, University of Warsaw, Poland
- Professor Jacek Dobaczewski (b. 1952) is a world-leading theoretician in the field of nuclear structure.
- Research project: A poor description of low-energy correlations in nuclei is probably the principal source of errors and discrepancies in nuclear theory experiments. A possible way to proceed is to include the low-energy correlations explicitly, while maintaining the mean-field part at a manageable level. The aim of the research project is to define rigorous procedures and methods that would allow the inclusion of low-energy correlations in a consistent way. The goal will be reached by accomplishing a series of tasks that are split between immediate ones where the research direction is known, and far-reaching ones where the ambitious programme can be formulated in general terms only. The tasks will involve studying relations between mean-fields and low-energy-correlation effects through studies of symmetry breaking and symmetry restoration, multi-reference and symmetry conserving DFT, ground-state correlations, polarisation effects, and continuum mixing and open systems.
- Finnish host and university: Professor Rauno Julin, Finnish Centre of Excellence in Nuclear and Accelerator-based Physics, University of Jyväskylä, tel. +358 50 591 9526, rauno.julin(at)jyu.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Susan E. Quaggin, Toronto General Hospital and University of Toronto, Canada
- Professor Susan E. Quaggin is a world-renowned researcher in complex biological systems. She is a leading scientist to apply and develop novel methods of functional genomics. The key focus of Professor Quaggin’s research is on kidney functions.
- Research project: The extracellular matrix (ECM) is outside the cells and plays a key role in organisation and functions of organs. ECM transmits mechanical forces, binds cells and the ECM components serve as signals to regulate cell behaviour. The ECM is key in the renewal of organs from residential and systemic stem cells. The ECM binds specifically secreted growth factors and regulates their action to determine cell fate during development. Altered ECM is transmitted to biochemical changes in the homeostasis of the tissues in organs and predisposes to diseases. The project will target the fundamentals of the ECM in the development and function of the mammalian kidney. It will further reveal how growth factors and the ECM transmit the hypoxia response to proper cell behaviour of a stem cell niche, cell reprogramming and kidney function. Novel disease models and therapies will also be developed.
- Finnish host and university: Professor Seppo Vainio, University of Oulu/Biocenter Oulu, Finnish Centre of Excellence in Cell-Extracellular Matrix Research, tel. +358 8 537 6084, seppo.vainio(at)oulu.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor George Steven Bova, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, USA
- Professor George Bova (b. 1956) is a highly merited scientist in lethal metastatic prostate cancer and he has successfully commercialised his research innovations.
- Research project: A barrier to achieving effective individualised cancer prevention and therapy is that most current studies do not have sufficient scope to distinguish critically important cancer subtyping observations from irrelevant ones. In order to identify important individual differences between patients with cancer, both the patient and the patient’s cancer and heredity and environment (incl. comorbidity) must be taken into consideration. The research project will work to establish molecular autopsy studies as a critical pillar enabling individualised cancer medicine. In this project, Professor Bova will continue and extend worldwide collaborations defining key molecular alterations in lethal prostate cancer, and will work to develop molecular autopsy studies of rare and common cancers in Finland to promote effective individualised medicine.
- Finnish host and university: Professor Tapio Visakorpi, University of Tampere, tel. +358 40 717 4402, tapio.visakorpi(at)uta.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Ian F. Akyildiz, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
- Professor Ian F. Akyildiz is a world-leading scientist in nanonetworks. He is internationally one of the most cited scientists in the field of electrical and computing engineering and has been granted a number of prestigious honours and awards.
- Research project: Nanonetworks, i.e. networks of nano devices, under the Internet of Things (IoT) concept, will enable more advanced applications of nanotechnology in the biomedical, environmental, energy, military and other fields. The mission of the project is to conduct research on nanoscale machines networking and communications as a next step in modern communication technologies. In particular, this field is an unexplored area riddled with numerous research challenges. More specifically, many fundamental communication network requirements and functionalities will be redefined and redesigned (incl. network architectures, topologies, algorithms for nanoscale communication, coverage/connectivity, relay, broadcast, and medium access control mechanisms, synchronization, routing, addressing, reliable information coding, error control).
- Finnish host and university: Professor Evgeni Kucheryavy, Tampere University of Technology, tel. +358 40 7710 619, evgeni.kucheryavy(at)tut.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Pavel Jungwirth, Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic
- Professor Pavel Jungwirth’s (b. 1966) research is characterised by interdisciplinarity and a wide range of topics, such as the effects of salts on proteins and cell membranes, the chemistry of atmospheric aerosols, and damage to DNA and lipids due to oxidative stress.
- Research project: The research project focuses efforts to unravel questions related to molecular translocation across cell membranes. Particular attention is paid to effects due to oxidative stress, ions, and specific membrane-associated peptides and proteins that are involved in numerous human diseases. The research will promote health by providing better understanding of the underlying principles and mechanisms by which molecular engines (proteins) function under physiological conditions, thus proposing novel ideas and means to modulate their function with lipids, develop drugs for better health, and minimise effects due to oxidation. The scientific breakthroughs will pave way to biotechnological innovations in the development of drug and gene delivery techniques using completely new concepts.
- Finnish host and university: Professor Ilpo Vattulainen, Tampere University of Technology, tel. +358 400 510 592, ilpo.vattulainen(at)tut.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Masayuki Miyasaka, Osaka University, Japan
- Professor Masayuki Miyasaka is one of the central figures in immunology studying different aspects of cell trafficking. For instance, he has identified new endothelial molecules responsible for cell entrance from the blood into the tissues and elucidated mechanisms controlling this press.
- Research project: The project works to identify molecular mechanisms regulating tumour cell trafficking within lymphatics and aims at clarifying how immune cell trafficking within the lymphatics is regulated. The research results are expected to help find new targets for pharmaceutical development.
- Finnish host and university: Professor Sirpa Jalkanen, Finnish Centre of Excellence in Host Defence Research, University of Turku, tel. +358 40 566 9611, sirjal(at)utu.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Yong-Hwan Lee, Seoul National University, South Korea
- Professor Yong-Hwan Lee (b. 1961) has developed a comparative fungal genomics platform in South Korea and also established extensive international networks. He combines systems biology and advanced bioinformatics methods in fungal genomics research in a unique way. Professor Lee is one of the world-leading scientists in his field.
- Research project: Fungi associated with plants and forest trees play a fundamental role in the health of cultivated crops and boreal forests, affecting their vitality and productivity. Many of these fungi cause diseases to plants and forest trees, while others prevent diseases or enhance plant growth. Some fungi produce toxins dangerous to humans and domestic animals or spoil products in storage, while others (saprotrophs) cause problems by decaying construction wood and causing dry rot in buildings. However, fungi are also necessary as saprophytes for decaying organic matter and mineralisation of nutrients, and they play a key role in carbon cycling in nature. Comparisons at genomic and gene expression levels between three contrasting plant-fungus situations will help improve our understanding of key elements in the interactions and the evolution of these various forms. The project aims to develop a strong platform of theoretical expertise in fungal pathogenomics. The project combines two large areas of research: comparative fungal genomics and comparative pathobiology.
- Finnish host and university: Professor Fred Asiegbu, Department of Forest Ecology, University of Helsinki, tel. +358 9 1915 8109, fred.asiegbu(at)helsinki.fi and Academy Professor Jari Valkonen, Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Helsinki, tel. +358 9 1915 8387, jari.valkonen(at)helsinki.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Robert Benny Gerber, University of California, Irvine, USA
- Professor Robert Gerber (b. 1944) is one of the pioneers in the field of quantum dynamics simulations of molecular processes. His expertise is in the field of time-dependent quantum mechanical simulations of chemical reactions and molecular processes.
- Research project: The main research objectives of the project are water complexes of atmospheric interest, new directions in noble-gas chemistry, ices and chemical reactions on ice surfaces and in ice media, and conformational transition dynamics of biological molecules. Computational chemistry combined with spectroscopic studies is an excellent tool to investigate energetics and reactivity of water complexes. The project will study the stability of novel noble-gas compounds experimentally and theoretically, with emphasis on the temperature effects on their lifetimes.
- Finnish host and university: Professor Lauri Halonen, Finnish Centre of Excellence in Computational Molecular Science, University of Helsinki, tel. +358 9 1915 0280, lauri.halonen(at)helsinki.fi
FiDiPro Professor:Professor Robert Rollinger, University of Innsbruck, Austria
- Professor Robert Rollinger (b. 1964) is an internationally highly recognised and active scholar of the ancient and classical Near East. He is one of the few scholars in the field who has in-depth knowledge of both Ancient Greece and the Near East. In his studies, Professor Rollinger successfully combines both these fields of study in a creative way.
- Research project: The project will investigate the cultural, linguistic and literary relations between the Near East and the West, specifically Ancient Greece, by applying the methods of several disciplines within the humanities. The project will elucidate the relations between East and West on the basis of Akkadian, Greek and Arabic sources, searching for the historical roots of dichotomies and controversies. A key part of the research concerns the analysis of the formation of cultural identities in a multicultural environment.
- Finnish host and university: Professor Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila, Department of World Cultures, University of Helsinki, tel. +358 9 191 22092, jaakko.hameen-anttila(at)helsinki.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Juni Palmgren, Stockholm University and Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
- Professor Juni Palmgren (b. 1949) has in-depth knowledge of statistical epidemiology and statistical genetics. She is an internationally recognised leading figure in promoting biostatistics at the intersection of mathematics, statistics and medicine. She has an extensive research profile that covers modelling and medical computing. Professor Palmgren is also chair of the Swedish Research Council eScience sub-committee and works actively for the promotion of Nordic research infrastructures.
- Research project: For the first time in medical history, the technical prerequisites exist for merging cascades of molecular data from biological samples with clinical and epidemiological information on lifestyle, disease and health. Over the coming years, new insights will be gained into the complex multifactorial mechanisms underlying human health, with consequences for prevention, early detection, treatment and cure. The FiDiPro Professorship affiliation with the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland will add expertise in epidemiology and biostatistics to the Institute’s major research themes (human genomics, medical systems biology, and translational research).
- Finnish host and university: Professor Jaakko Kaprio, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, University of Helsinki (FIMM), tel. +358 9 191 27595, jaakko.kaprio(at)helsinki.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Dr Douglas R. Worsnop, Aerodyne Research Inc., USA
- Dr Douglas R. Worsnop (b. 1952) is regarded as one of the leading scientists in research on aerosol particles. He is a world-leading scientist in analytical techniques and highly experienced in complex field studies. Dr Worsnop currently works as a FiDiPro Professor, and his present term expires at the end of 2010.
- Research project: The main objective of the project is to investigate the importance of aerosol particles on climate change and on human health, with a particular focus on the growth of freshly nucleated nm-sized atmospheric aerosols by condensation of organic vapours and the effect of aerosol formation in aerosol dynamics. Modern engine technologies have dramatically reduced overall aerosol emission levels while enhancing the production of nanoparticles, which have significant, undetermined health effects, as they are emitted in urban areas with large human exposure. The project brings together physical and chemical measurement expertise to investigate the fundamental interaction of molecules, clusters and aerosols, from nanometer to micrometer scales.
- Finnish host and university: Professor Markku Kulmala, Finnish Centre of Excellence in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Meteorology of Atmospheric Composition and Climate Change, University of Helsinki, tel. +358 9 191 50756, markku.kulmala(at)helsinki.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Laurie S. Kaguni, Michigan State University, USA
- Professor Laurie S. Kaguni is internationally recognised for her expertise in the structural and mechanistic biochemistry of mitochondrial DNA replication. She is particularly interested in investigating the molecular mechanisms that relate to the replication and expression of mitochondrial DNA genome and their regulation. The research combines biochemical and molecular genetics methods.
- Research project: The project will analyse how the genes carried in mitochondrial DNA affect the disease-like characteristics of fruit fly mutants that are so-called models for human mitochondrial diseases. Such diseases include diverse and relatively rare neurological syndromes but also many cases of common conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, deafness and epilepsy. The project works to identify new genetic determinants and drug targets for understanding and treating mitochondrial diseases in humans.
- Finnish host and university: Academy Professor Howard Jacobs, Finnish Centre of Excellence in Research on Mitochondrial Disease and Ageing, University of Tampere, tel. +358 3 3551 7731, howard.t.jacobs(at)uta.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Robert L. Whetten, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
- Professor Robert L. Whetten (b. 1959) is one of the most distinguished international experts in the synthesis and characterisation of molecular nanostructures and nanoparticles. He has contributed significantly to the synthesis, isolation and characterisation of soluble C60 and related fullerenes as well as of superconducting alkali-fullerides. Professor Whetten was the first to realise and appreciate the distinct optical and electrochemical properties of gold nanoclusters, arising from the quantum confinement of valence electrons in the metal core.
- Research project: The project will focus on investigating the synthesis, characterisation and application of chemically stabilised nanoparticles with precise molecular structures and functionalised properties. The aim is to functionalise the particles to be compatible with a wide variety of chemical environments. This provides a possibility to use these particles for applications in catalysis, non-sensing, photonics, bio-labelling, and molecular electronics.
- Finnish host and university: Professor Hannu Häkkinen, Department of Chemistry, University of Jyväskylä, tel. +358 14 260 4719, hannu.hakkinen(at)phys.jyu.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Ralf Metzler, Technical University of Munich, Germany
- Professor Ralf Metzler’s has a strong interdisciplinary approach in his research, combined with theoretical know-how. In his work, he combines the concepts and methods of physics in order to investigate key research questions of biological systems, such as the dynamics and functions of biomolecular systems in gene regulation.
- Research project: The project will focus efforts to unravel questions related to the dynamics and functions of crowded cells. Particular attention is paid to gene regulations, translocation phenomena across cell membranes, and diffusion of biomolecular complexes as they are central to the functions of biological cells. The research will provide a better understanding of the underlying principles by which cellular dynamics takes place under crowded conditions. The scientific breakthroughs will pave way to biotechnological innovations in, for example, drug and gene delivery, design of new drugs and antibodies, and development of treatment for diseases related to perturbations in the genetic code.
- Finnish host and university: Professor Ilpo Vattulainen, Department of Physics, Tampere University of Technology, tel. +358 400 510 592, ilpo.vattulainen(at)tut.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Luca Q. Zamboni, Université de Lyon 1, CNRS, France
- Professor Luca Q. Zamboni (b. 1962) is an internationally recognised and leading scientist in the area of combinatorics on words and related areas. He is known as a researcher who is able to solve highly challenging research problems in the field and formulate new innovative research questions. Zamboni is regarded as a leading authority in the research of combinatorics on words. He has also made significant contributions to the research of algebra and dynamical systems.
- Research project: The objective of the project is to establish an internationally significant research centre working on combinatorics on words. This is an extensive interdisciplinary project that will be working on a number of phenomena and research problems in the field. The project combines mathematics, computer science and physics.
- Finnish host and university: Professor Juhani Karhumäki, Department of Mathematics, University of Turku, tel. +358 2 333 5613, karhumak(at)utu.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Tadeusz Iwaniec, Syracuse University, USA
- Prof. Tadeusz Iwaniec is a world-class mathematician and a driving force behind major recent developments in geometric analysis and non-linear elliptic partial differential equations with their many applications.
- Research project: The research project focuses on mathematical analysis and its applications in mathematical physics and biology. Prof. Iwaniec’s work can be applied in mathematical models in material science, impedance tomography and mathematical theory of statistical physics, for instance. All these will also be topics of the FiDiPro research project.
- Finnish contact person and host organisation: Academy Professor Kari Astala, Finnish Centre of Excellence in Analysis and Dynamics Research, University of Helsinki, tel. +358 9 191 51453, kari.astala(at)helsinki.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen, University of Potsdam, Germany
- Prof. Couper-Kuhlen is an internationally highly accomplished researcher and a leading figure in interactional linguistics and the study of prosody, whose work is foundational to the study of clause combining in interaction.
- Research project: The FiDiPro research project combines the research traditions of interactional linguistics, functional-typological linguistics and cognitive linguistics. The project focuses on the syntax and pragmatics of clause combining in written and spoken language. The goal is to better understand the linkages between the form of the clause and the actions that it performs in the situation of language use in both conversation and written text.
- Finnish contact person and host organisation: Professor Ritva Laury, University of Helsinki, tel. + 358 9 191 22374, ritva.laury(at)helsinki.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Scott F. Gilbert, Swarthmore College, USA
- Prof. Gilbert was one of the first scientists to point out how the advances in developmental genetics enable the linking of evolution and development, an emerging field that is now known as evolutionary developmental biology. He is now one of the leading authorities in bioethics and practices related to the use of experimental animals, stem cells and cloning.
- Research project: The current research of Prof. Gilbert focuses on the development and evolution of turtles, and his research is helping to make turtles one of the new key models in evolutionary developmental biology. The FiDiPro research project will explore the extent to which turtle shells share developmental genetic programmes associated with other vertebrate structures and test whether the diversity of the turtle shell may stem from similar developmental mechanisms as the diversity of organs such as hairs, scales and teeth. Concomitantly, the research should help to uncover why specific molecular pathways appear to be involved in diseases and regeneration related to bones and epithelial organs.
- Finnish contact person and host organisation: Professor Mart Saarma, Institute of Biotechnology/Biomedicum Helsinki, University of Helsinki, tel. + 358 9 191 59360, mart.saarma (at)helsinki.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor B. Matija Peterlin, University of California, USA
- Prof. Peterlin is an outstanding scientist and has wide experience in researching immunodeficiencies and autoimmune diseases, such as BLS and AIDS. Prof. Peterlin is recognised as a world leader in his field.
- Research project: The FiDiPro project is concerned to research the function of the gene product called AIRE. The AIRE (autoimmune regulator) protein controls the expression of hundreds of genes, representing a substantial subset of tissue-specific antigens that are presented to developing T cells in the thymus. However, the molecular mechanisms by which AIRE mediates its functions are still largely obscure. A special focus of the research is on mutations in AIRE, found in APECED patients, which is a congenial immunodeficiency that is rather common in Finland.
- Finnish contact person and host organisation: Professor Kalle Saksela, University of Helsinki, tel. +358 9 191 26770, kalle.saksela(at)helsinki.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Kaiyun Wang, East China Normal University (Shanghai), China
- Prof. Wang is a merited scientist in eco-physiology and well versed particularly in the analysis of the carbon balance of mire ecosystems.
- Research project: The goal of the research project is to understand the response difference of C sink/source of the boreal forest and mire ecosystems to climate factors and managements strategies as well as to optimise the production of biofuels and timber in cost-efficient ways in order to provide effective management policies for the forest and mire ecosystems for multi-objective use, particularly in enhancing biofuel production and mitigating atmospheric CO2. Another goal is to identify environmental and socio-economic impacts of production of biofuels from forests and mires. The project is a joint effort of the Universities of Joensuu and Kuopio.
- Finnish contact person and host organisation: Professor Seppo Kellomäki, University of Joensuu, tel. +358 13 251 3630, seppo.kellomaki(at)joensuu.fi Professor Pertti Martikainen, University of Kuopio, tel. +358 17 163 586, pertti.martikainen(at)uku.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Stephan Fritzsche, Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung (GSI), Germany
- Prof. Fritzsche is an internationally leading expert in the field of atomic and molecular structure theory, and especially, for modelling inner-shell phenomena.
- Research project: The FiDiPro project belongs to an international, rapidly developing field of synchrotron radiation and free-electron laser excited atomic, molecular and cluster physics. The research is concerned to develop, for instance, new theoretical tools for describing and analysing resonant electron emission. The research is closely linked to the development of new spectroscopic instruments and technologies.
- Finnish contact person and host organisation: Professor Helena Aksela, University of Oulu, tel. + 359 8 553 1319, helena.aksela(at)oulu.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor David Thomas, University of Wales-Bangor, UK
- Prof. David Thomas is an internationally highly merited researcher in land-ocean interaction and has wide expertise in sea ice studies of key importance to Finland as well. His research activities focus on the ecology and biogeochemical processes of coastal waters, freshwater inputs and sea ice. Thomas has also led many biogeochemical studies in the Antarctic and Arctic.
- Research project: The major aims of the project are to establish a biogeochemical study of the Baltic from catchments to the open sea to investigate how inorganic and organic matter is released from terrestrial systems, transformed as it passes through freshwaters before being released to coastal waters. The project is concerned to investigate the effects of this matter on biological activity, composition of the food web and biomass of the standing stocks in the sea.
- Finnish contact person and host organisation: Leading Research Scientist Riitta Autio, Finnish Institute of Marine Research, tel. +358 9 61394 561, riitta.autio(at)fimr.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Matti Hämäläinen, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, USA
- Prof. Matti Hämäläinen is one of the pioneer developers of magnetoencephalography. His findings include the introduction of the minimum-norm estimate, a novel and since then in the whole neuromagnetism community widely used way to avoid numerical instability in the solution of the MEG/EEG forward problem with the boundary-element method. Together with his colleagues he has introduced the first whole-head neuromagnetometer.
- Research project: The rapidly developing field of human brain imaging is providing important new information about the brain basis of sensory and cognitive functions as well as of their disorders. The FiDiPro research project will combine information obtained by magnetoencephalography (MEG) and electroencephalography (EEC) that both provide millisecond time resolution with the millimetre-scale spatial resolution of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The research will provide better tools to help analyse the rapidly varying co-activation of different brain areas both in healthy and diseased brains.
- Finnish contact person and host organisation: Professor Riitta Hari, Helsinki University of Technology, tel. +358 9 451 2959, hari(at)neuro.hut.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Erik Aurell, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
- Prof. Aurell’s research interests concern the relationship between physical, computational and biological systems, especially systems biology and distributed communication systems.
- Research project: The advanced concepts and techniques developed in the field of statistical physics have in recent years been turned into powerful tools for the modelling and analysis of large, distributed systems also outside of the traditional domains of physics, for example in the study of information and communication networks and the models of systems biology. The research project brings together top researchers and research units to advance this fertile and highly active area spanning computer science, physics and computational aspects of biology.
- Finnish contact person and host organisation: Professor Pekka Orponen, Helsinki University of Technology, tel. +358 9 451 5246, pekka.orponen(at)tkk.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Prof. Günter Steinmeyer, Max-Born-Institut für Nichtlineare Optik und Kurzzeitspektroskopie, Germany
- Professor Günter Steinmeyer is a top-class researcher with recognised expertise in extreme nonlinear optical phenomena and ultrafast laser sources. In particular, his work at MBI has lead to the demonstration of the shortest pulses ever generated with chirped mirrors (3.8 femtosecond) and has given rise to several novel design concepts for these chirped mirrors.
- Research project: In the research project a new avenue for the generation of phase-stable and intense femtosecond pulses is proposed , consisting of a phase-stabilized 100 kHz laser system with subsequent compression stage. This source consists of a short-pulse oscillator that delivers 2.5-cycle pulses with nJ energies and an amplifier stage that allows to reach several microjoules of energy with similar pulse duration after compression. Both sources can be directly applied for experiments on nonlinear propagation in different types of fibers and photonic crystal structures.
- Finnish contact person and host organisation: Professor Markus Pessa, Tampere University of Technology , markus.pessa (at) tut.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Dan Hultmark, Umeå Centre for Molecular Pathogenesis, Sweden
- Prof. Hultmark is a world leader in the field of Drosophila immunity and a top expert in fly genetics. Recently, Hultmark has in his studies focused on the cell-based immune response and described signalling pathways that activate hemocytes.
- Research project: Infectious diseases are still the leading cause of death among young children worldwide, and the malfunctioning immune system can cause severe damage to the target tissue. Therefore it is necessary to develop new innovative ways to study immune response. The specific aim of the FiDiPro research project is to identify new genes involved in innate immune signalling. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is used as an efficient system to identify novel genes involved in immune response.
- Finnish contact person and host organisation: Professor Olli Silvennoinen, Institute of Medical Technology, University of Tampere, tel. +358 3 215 7845, olli.silvennoinen(at)uta.fi
FiDiPro Professor: Professor Peter Kivisto, Augustana College, USA
- Prof. Kivisto is a theorist and historical sociologist. A particular focus of his research has been on multiculturalism and, in recent years, also on dual citizenship. In his studies, he seeks to draft a theory of multicultural incorporation that is founded on a substantial empirical base derived from a comparative examination of a number of liberal democratic societies in s historical perspective.
- Research project: The FiDiPro research project will call for further theoretical refinement, linking the significance of transnationalism and citizenship to multiculturalism. The project is primarily sociological, focusing on developments in advanced industrialised nations during the past 25 years. It is framed historically, compared and contrasted with the major migration waves of the later 19th and early 20th centuries.
- Finnish contact person and host organisation: Professor Auvo Kostiainen, University of Turku, tel. + 358 2 333 5235, auvo.kostiainen(at)utu.fi
Senior Science Adviser
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