The Academy funded high-quality clinical researchers

6 May 2019

The Academy of Finland’s Research Council for Biosciences, Health and the Environment has decided to fund 13 new posts as a clinical researcher. The Council emphasised the importance of the high scientific quality of the application and the applicant’s qualifications and suitability to the post as a clinical researcher.

The funding totals around 3 million euros. 29.5 per cent of the applications are funded. 54 per cent of the funded researchers are women. 41 per cent of the applicants were women.

“The aim is to promote clinical research careers and to encourage healthcare professionals working in clinical practice to engage in research alongside clinical practice. We support this endeavour by funding flexible part-time research, typically for a four-year period”, says the Council chair Ursula Schwab.

Besides scientific quality, the Council's decision criteria included applicant’s qualifications and suitability to the objectives of clinical researcher funding. Additionally, the Council emphasised strong societal impact to develop treatment procedures and to renew science.

The funded researchers included

Daniel Gordin from Helsinki University Hospital studies cardiovascular diseases which are the leading cause of death in Finland. People with type 1 diabetes have a multifold risk to develop transient ischaemic attacks, so-called mini strokes. This study is a part of the national FinnDiane project wich aims to identify the risk factors that predispose to diabetes and its related conditions among the hereditary and environmental factors and to assess the effects of treatments. The effects of diabetes and its related conditions for arterial changes in the brains of people with type 1 diabetes is studied by imaging the patients’ brains with MRI. Gordin examines if the changes in brain imaging reflect the neuropsychologist’s rutine test that charts memory, attention and observation. The research aims to improve the prognoses and quality of life of people with type 1 diabetes as well as lower health care costs.

Laura Toivonen from Turku University Hospital researches together with groups from the University of Turku, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School (Boston, USA) the relationship between the metabolome and microbiota in children’s noses and the development of respitory diseases and asthma. The research is based on a birth cohort study of 923 Finnish children where the children were monitored for the development of respitory diseases and asthma until the age of seven. The metabolome and microbiome of nasal samples are analysed in the USA. The research gives us new information on the interaction between microbes and their host and the individual susceptibility to respitory diseases and asthma. It can help prevent the emergence of respitory diseases and asthma. The metabolome and microbiota profiles and isolated metabolites could be used to identify the children who have an increased risk to develop respitory diseases or asthma at an early stage and offer these children preventative measures. 

More information and inquiries

  • Senior Science Adviser Aki Salo, tel. +358 295 335 104, firstname.lastname(at)

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