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Academy of Finland’s Research Council for Natural Sciences and Technology grants funding to UEF researchers

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The Research Council for Natural Sciences and Technology at the Academy of Finland awarded Academy Research Fellow funding to 22 researchers, with the overall funding amounting to a total of 9,655,228 euros. Senior Researcher Vittorio Fortino at the University of Eastern Finland secured 438,874 euros of funding for his project Biomarker Discovery for Precision Medicine: an Artificial Intelligence based approach.

The project focuses on biomarker development, which is essential in modern health care, especially in individualization of treatments and precision medicine. Omics has attracted much attention to support discovery of novel biomarkers. However, of the estimated 1 million biomarkers identified in omics studies only a small fraction (<1%) has achieved FDA approval. Failures in marker development equate to lost resources, time, and credibility for the field. The project aims to use Artificial Intelligence methods to efficiently mine big biomedical data and quickly assess combinations of biomarkers from large-scale omics and clinical data. These AI-driven technologies will be used to discover highly predictive biomarkers of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). By speeding up the translation of omics-driven biomarker models for clinical utility, the proposed study will bring us closer to the future of non-invasive and highly accurate medical tests, which will be accessible and affordable to everyone.

The Research Council for Natural Sciences and Technology at the Academy of Finland awarded Postdoctoral Researcher funding to 43 researchers, with the overall funding amounting to a total of 10,931,020 euros. Postdoctoral Researcher Konstantin Tamarov secured 217,580 euros of funding for his project Towards new generation of MRI with optically hyperpolarized Si nanostructures. 

The project focuses on photoluminescent nanostructured Si particles and layers with the long-term goal to develop a new contrast agent for contrast enhanced for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). To achieve the goal, two main issues will be addressed: high scale production of nanostructured Si and spin physics in it. High scale production will open a way to produce photoluminescent Si in bulk quantities necessary for real world applications. The study of spin physics aims to understand two approaches for 29Si nuclei hyperpolarization: dynamic nuclear polarization and optical orientation of nuclei. Hyperpolarization is essentially an ordering of nuclear spins beyond thermal equilibrium. When Si particles are hyperpolarized, the signal from then in MRI is thousands of times stronger and allows background free imaging even at low magnetic fields for e.g. early stroke diagnosis.

For further information, please contact:

Senior Researcher Vittori Fortino, tel. +358 50 326 6148, vittorio.fortino (a) uef.fi,
https://uefconnect.uef.fi/henkilo/vittorio.fortino/

Postdoctoral Researcher Konstantin Tamarov, tel. +35850 4717928, konstantin.tamarov (a) uef.fi, https://uefconnect.uef.fi/henkilo/konstantin.tamarov/

All decisions:  Postdoctoral Researchers and Academy Research Fellows