Grants 2017

The Diabetes Research Foundations two-year grant of 100 000 Euros was awarded M.D. Heikki Koistinen, whose research group studies mechanisms connected to the origin of insulin resistance. The research aims to obtain completely new information regarding the onset of type 2 diabetes, as well as find methods to improve the metabolism of insulin resistant patients.

Ph.D. Jarno Honkanen is awarded a two-year grant of 50 000 Euros for his research venture focused on finding means to stop the onset of type 1 diabetes. In addition, the research aims to clarify how the revival of insulin-producing pancreatic cells among persons with diabetes could be furthered.

The other two-year grant of 50 000 Euros is awarded M.D. Hannele Uusitalo-Järvinen. Her research venture is focused on diabetic retinopathy that causes visual impairment. Its presently known forms of treatment are either ineffective, or not suitable for all patients. The research aims to contribute to the development of new treatment measures.

In all, 22 research ventures were awarded grants totaling 492 000 Euros. Eight research ventures were awarded the one-year grant of roughly 25 000 Euros, and 11 applicants were awarded a personal working grant.

A record number of applications yet again

This year the Diabetes Research Foundation received more applications than ever before, 115 in all. The amount of applications has steadily increased during the last few years. In 2014 for example, the Foundation received 90.

- Finnish diabetes research is advancing on a broad scale from basic research to treatment practices, which was again evident in this year's high-level grant applications, determined professor Jorma Toppari, chairman of the Diabetes Research Foundations scientific committee.

According to Toppari, all the university hospitals are conducting excellent diabetes research, and displaying versatility within research centered on type 1 and 2 diabetes, as well as disease complication studies.

- It would be wonderful if we could have been able to fund a larger number of research ventures. It was again a pleasure to have a ringside seat in witnessing how scientific work furthers health, says Toppari.

Of all the applications received this year, 14 were focused on the larger grants, 45 on the one-year grants and 57 on the personal one-year working grants.

Most of the applications, almost 30% of the total amount, were received from researchers working at the University of Helsinki. Compared to the previous year, a greater number of grants were sought for type 1 diabetes research, while fewer grants were sought for type 2 diabetes research.

How the grants were distributed was determined by the administration of the Diabetes Research Foundation, based on proposals by the scientific committee. The Foundation does not award grants to members of their own organs.

The two-year large grant of 100 000 Euros

Koistinen Heikki, M.D., docent, Minerva Foundation Institute for Medical Research, Helsinki University Central Hospital, HUS, 100 000 Euros.

Genetic and molecular mechanisms connected to the origin of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes      

The grant awarded Koistinen's research group also contains the following personal grant: Mäkinen Selina, M.Sc., 16 400 Euros.

The two-year large grants of 50 000 Euros

Honkanen Jarno, Ph.D., the University of Helsinki, 50 000 Euros.

Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) pathway as an immune regulator in type 1 diabetes

The grant awarded Honkanen's research group also contains the following personal grants: Hartwall Linnea, M.Sc., 10 000 Euros and Knuus Katri, M.Sc., 10 000 Euros.

Uusitalo-Järvinen Hannele, M.D., the University of Tampere, 50 000 Euros.

Diabetic retinopathy; molecular mechanism of pathologic angiogenesis and vascular leakage

The one-year grants of roughly 25 000 Euros

Harjutsalo Valma, Ph.D., Folkhälsan Research Center, the University of Helsinki, HUS, 25 000 Euros

Time trends in diabetic micro- and macrovascular complications and premature mortality in patients with type 1 diabetes – large-scale epidemiological studies on type 1 diabetes

Hietakangas Ville, Ph.D., the University of Helsinki, 25 000 Euros

Sugar-responsive gene regulation - from physiology to disease relevance

Juuti-Uusitalo Kati, docent, the University of Tampere, 25 000 Euros

Diabetic retinal disease in a cell beaker

Kaikkonen-Määttä Minna, Ph.D., docent, the University of Eastern Finland/Kuopio, 25 000 Euros

The role of gene regulation polymorphisms in type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease  

Kivelä Riikka, Ph.D. Sport and Health Sciences, docent, the University of Helsinki, Wihuri Research Institute, 25 000 Euros

Transcription factor Prox1 as a regulator of glucose metabolism

The grant awarded Kivelä's research group also contains the following personal grant: Gizaw Yosef Nebeyu, M.Sc., 12 300 Euros.

Kummu Outi, Ph.D., the University of Oulu, 25 000 Euros

The liver-muscle-fat signaling axis and inter-tissue communication in PXR regulated energy metabolism and insulin resistance

The grant awarded Kummu's research group also contains the following personal grant: Karpale Mikko, Ph.D., 12 300 Euros.

Pahkala Katja, docent, the University of Turku, 25 000 Euros

The 26-year follow-up of the dietary intervention strip study – effects on insulin sensitivity  

The grant awarded Pahkala's research group also contains the following personal grant: Pahkala Katja, 8 550 Euros.

Saarimäki-Vire Jonna, Ph.D., the University of Helsinki, 10 000 Euros

Modelling diabetes with the help of pancreatic islet cells differentiated from human iPS cells

The personal working grants, roughly 10 000 Euros

Dadson Prince, MPH, M.Sc., the University of Turku, 10 000 Euros

Bariatric Surgery-induced Changes in Adipose Tissue Metabolism and Gene Expression Profile in Morbid Obesity

Dahlström Emma, M.Sc., the University of Helsinki, 10 000 Euros

Type 1 diabetic obesity - a genetic and clinical aspect

Dumont Vincent, M.Sc., the University of Helsinki, 10 000 Euros

PACSIN2 in podocytes: role in the intracellular trafficking of nephrin and development of diabetic kidney disease

Hakkarainen Pirjo, MHSC, the University of Eastern Finland/Kuopio, 10 000 Euros

Psychosocial work-life challenges among people with type 1 diabetes

Havula Essi, Ph.D., the University of Sydney, 9 800 Euros

Dissecting the interaction between genetics, epigenetics and nutrients that dictate optimal health

Honkala Sanna, M.Sc. Sport and Health Sciences, M.Sc., the University of Turku, 10 000 Euros

Metabolic adaptations to exercise training in healthy men and subjects with type 2 diabetes

Kataja Janne, M.D., the University of Turku, 7 400 Euros

A comparison of diabetic ketoacidosis treatment conventions among children: a national multicenter study

Laiho Jutta, M.Sc., the University of Tampere, 10 000 Euros

Discovering enteroviruses in the pancreas and other tissues of persons with type 1 diabetes

Mikk Mari-Liis, M.Sc., the University of Turku, 10 000 Euros

HLA class I alleles affecting the type 1 diabetes risk conferred by the HLA-DR/DQ haplotypes – Towards more accurate prediction methods

Pöllänen Petra Maria, med.lic., the University of Helsinki, 10 000 Euros

Genetic and immunological characterization of rapid and slow progression to type 1 diabetes in children with HLA-conferred disease susceptibility

Viitasalo Anna, med.lic., the University of Copenhagen, 9 800 Euros

The genetics of metabolically healthy obesity in children

One applicant seeking a personal working grant withdrew their application when the Foundations scientific committee had already evaluated and approved the applications for the Diabetes Research Foundations administration, who ultimately decide on the grants to be awarded. Therefore, the grant proposed for this applicant was not awarded at all.

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