Professor Sarah Butcher from the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences has received the Alfred Kordelin Prize. The €30,000 prize is awarded to a person who has made significant efforts to promote Finnish education and edification.
Since 2016, Professor Butcher has served as the University of Helsinki’s professor of general microbiology, specialising in virus research. The cryo-electron microscopy she uses in her research, cryo-EM, has revolutionised the study of viral structures. The 2017 Nobel prize in chemistry was granted to the inventors of the cryo-EM method.
Professor Butcher is currently researching whether the picornaviruses, which cause the common cold and hepatitis A, might harbour structures that could be used as markers for antiviral substances. If successful, the research could lead to new drugs which could combat our most common diseases.