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UEF researchers secure funding from Academy of Finland’s Health from Science Programme

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  • Health and well-being

Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland have secured more than 400,000 euros of funding from the Academy of Finland’s follow-up call for the Health from Science (TERVA) Programme. The university’s researchers are involved in two consortia that were selected for funding. These consortia focus on finding methods that can be used to predict prolonged inflammations and outcomes of obesity treatment. The funding decisions were announced on 17 September.

Associate Professor Merja Heinäniemi from the Institute of Biomedicine at the University of Eastern Finland heads, in collaboration with the University of Turku, a project developing new methods for mapping the inflammatory state in order to identify changes that may prolong inflammations. The methods could be used, for instance, in monitoring early stages of coronary artery disease or metabolic syndrome. The results of the research have wide potential applicability, because the inflammation state affects the progression of many diseases. At the University of Eastern Finland, Professor Markku Laakso from the Institute of Clinical Medicine, and Associate Professor Minna Kaikkonen-Määttä from A.I. Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences, are involved in the consortium as partners.

Professor Jussi Pihlajamäki at the University of Eastern Finland’s Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition is a partner in a consortium led by Professor Kirsi Pietiläinen at the University of Helsinki. The project aims to develop new personalised treatment strategies for obesity. The goal is to create a tool that can predict weight loss and develop personalised and effective treatments. The tool will be based on mitochondrial capacity in subcutaneous fat tissue: the consortium has observed that mitochondrial energy metabolism predicts success in weight loss.

The Health from Science (TERVA) Academy Programme seeks bold, new research initiatives that can solve health issues related to major public health diseases. The programme highlights the importance of scientific research in solving public health challenges. TERVA has taken a unique approach and implemented new forms of cooperation with foundations supporting health research. The programme’s first funding period was three years, and the extension covers two years. Five research consortia have now been selected to receive funding under the follow-up call. This funding will be covered by the Academy of Finland, the Foundation for Paediatric Research, the Finnish Medical Foundation and the Finnish Brain Foundation, amounting to a total of 3.45 million euros for two years.

Researchers’ contact information in UEF Connect:

Merja Heinäniemi https://uefconnect.uef.fi/henkilo/merja.heinaniemi/

Markku Laakso https://uefconnect.uef.fi/henkilo/markku.laakso/

Minna Kaikkonen-Määttä https://uefconnect.uef.fi/henkilo/minna.kaikkonen-maatta/

Jussi Pihlajamäki  https://uefconnect.uef.fi/henkilo/jussi.pihlajamaki/

Health from Science (TERVA) Programme website

Funding decisions