Significant new funding for research of coronavirus and other viral zoonooses

A Finnish Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation has awarded over 1 million euros funding to support Professor Olli Vapalahti together with Associate Professor Tarja Sironen research group.

Professor Olli Vapalahti research group together with Associate Professor Tarja Sironen research group has received a 1 142 000 euros grant from Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation.

Over 1 million euros grant supports research on the coronavirus and new viral threats of animal origin.

"Much of humanity strives to get back to some kind of normality, however, this requires new and effective tools to control the disease and its transmission. As part of the Finnish COVID-19 research community, we are developing tools especially for monitoring the evolution, diagnosing and treating SARS-coronavirus-2," says Olli Vapalahti.

The World Health Organization (WHO) sees new infectious diseases as one of the greatest threats to mankind in this century.

The overall goal of the research is to understand beyond SARS-CoV-2 the emergence and species switch of new zoonotic pathogens in general. 

"By understanding the spectrum of pathogens and the properties associated with their ability to infect humans, it is possible to increase capacity for future threatening infectious diseases," says Tarja Sironen.

Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation supports research, arts and culture. The foundation granted a total of 12.1 million euros to medicine and natural science now, for 16 research groups. The total amount of the first grants of the year was nearly 21 million euros.