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Academy of Finland grants Clinical Researcher funding to a medical physicist for the first time

Sami Väänänen, PhD, a researcher at the UEF Department of Applied Physics and a medical physicist at the Kuopio University Hospital Diagnostic Imaging Centre has been granted Clinical Researcher funding by the Academy of Finland. Väänänen is the first medical physicist to receive this funding, which is usually granted to researchers in medicine or veterinary sciences.

Alongside his clinical work as a medical physicist at Kuopio University Hospital, Väänänen conducts research into osteoporosis, which is the most common bone-weakening disease.

“Nowadays, osteoporosis is diagnosed by using the DXA method, which measures bone mineral density. My goal is to study how deep neural networks could exploit DXA information to improve osteoporotic fracture risk prediction. The project utilises large image sets produced in other research projects and in public healthcare, comprising data from tens of thousands of patients,” Väänänen says.

“The results have potential to improve fracture risk assessment and osteoporotic fracture prevention without increasing the costs to the healthcare system. I’m conducting my research within the Musculoskeletal Diseases Research Community at UEF.”

The Clinical Researcher funding scheme of the Academy of Finland funds part-time research by physicians and other researchers engaged in clinical practice. Medical physicist training combines postgraduate studies in medical physics and biomedical engineering with 4 to 5 years of clinical training in the hospital environment, working with patients and medical devices. In Finland, medical physicist is a regulated profession.

For further information, please contact:
Medical Physicist Sami Väänänen, sami.vaananen(a)uef.fi

A print-quality photo of Sami Väänänen is available at:  Photo1 Photo2

Academy of Finland’s Clinical Researcher funding decisions