May-June funding news

    We have wonderful funding news from May and beginning of June. Recently several groups at Turku Bioscience received significant amount of funding. We are proud to introduce you a few of them.

    Laura Elo´s project titled “Pushing the limits of proteomics: new computational tools for medical research” was funded with 500 000€ by Academy of Finland. Elo´s project aims to gain novel insights into functional components of human stool and blood using mass spectrometry proteomics with advanced statistical and machine learning approaches. The ultimate goal of the new computational tools is to identify new clinically relevant markers for disease prediction, prevention and treatment.


    Otto Kauko’s study of “Acid-labile phosphorylations in cancer cell growth regulation” was funded 60000€ by Sakari Alhopuro Foundation. Protein phosphorylation in humans occurs in nine amino acids, and six of these phosphorylation types are labile under acidic conditions. Acid-labile ph

    osphorylations are linked to cell growth but very little is known about them because they break down during traditional phosphoproteomics experiments before they can be measured. The grant from Sakari Alhopuro foundation enables the development of new methods for identification and functional analysis of acid-labile phosphorylations in cancer.

    Pia Rantakari’s project titled “Does the macrophage origin matter? A novel vision for macrophage-endocrine communication” received 497 056€ by Academy of Finland. For the wellbeing of an individual, functional immune and endocrine systems are mutually important. The pituitary gland, at the base of our brain, is one of the most important endocrine organs. Continuous immuno-endocrine communication is needed for normal pituitary function. Tissue resident macrophages are the main immune cell population in the pituitary, however vastly understudied. Their ontogeny, recruitment, and relationship between pituitary functions is not yet known. The proposed study aims to find out how the origin affects the function of tissue resident macrophages of the pituitary Gland.

    Heli Jokela received 60 000€ from Sakari Alhopuro foundation for her project. She is a senior postdoc researcher at Adjunct professor Pia Rantakari’s group investigating brown adipose tissue macrophages, specifically their ontogeny and biological role in brown adipose tissue development, function and activity. Her goal is to reveal the clinical relevance of brown adipose tissue macrophages in obesity and find new targets for therapeutic interventions.

    – I am extremely happy to be given the opportunity and resources to study the role of brown adipose tissue macrophages in controlling cellular behavior in obesity and metabolic diseases. Through gaining a better understanding of macrophages coordinating the development and activity of brown adipose tissue, we hope to identify new avenues for targeting obesity and obesity-related diseases, she says.

    Other funding news

    Academy of Finland selected porojects in biosciences, health and environmental research

    Pieta Mattila, 500 000€

    ” Novel insights into spatiotemporal regulation of early B cell activation: from advanced imaging to modern proteomics”

    The Academy of Finland awarded Postdoctoral researcher fellowships

    Megan Chastney, 270 092€

    James Conway, 269 432€

    Toni Grönroos, 270 000

    Diabetes Foundation: 

    Inna Starskaia, 10 000€

    ”High resolution analysis of immune response in children en route to type 1 diabetes to provide insights into the heterogeneity of the disease”​

    Karoliina Hirvonen, 8 200€

    ”Predicting type 1 diabetes and studying the mechanisms that cause the disease using quantitative proteomics”

    BioCity Turku funding

    ”Single-cell proteotranscriptomics”​ – Otto Kauko, Tapio Lönnberg, Michael Courtney

    ”Modelling cardiovascular and cancer biology in zebrafish” – Ilkka Paatero, Klaus Elenius, Guillaume Jaquemet, Kari Kurppa, Johanna Ivaska, Cecilia Sahlgren.


    Warmest congratulations to everyone and good luck with your research projects!