ERC Starting Grant projects and researchers
17 ongoing projects at the University of Helsinki are currently funded with a Starting Grant awarded by the European Research Council (ERC). Read about the projects and researchers here.
What are ERC Starting Grants?

The ERC Starting Grant is a grant scheme by the European Research Council, targeted at promising research directors in the early stages of their careers. The grant is intended for establishing a research group and launching independent research activities in Europe.

Starting Grants can be awarded to researchers who have worked for no more than seven years after graduating with a doctoral degree. In addition, grant recipients are required to have a scientific track record that shows great promise and an excellent research proposal.

Their field of research is not restricted.

Accelerating drug discovery with machine learning – Jing Tang

Jing Tang’s ERC funded project develops machine-learning algorithms and computational tools to facilitate discovery of personalized drug combinations.

Each year we spend more than 100 billion euros on cancer medicine globally. However, many cancer drugs benefit at most 25% of the patients who take them. Cancer cells also tend to easily develop drug resistance.

Tang’s project aims to

  1. develop methods for identifying patient groups that respond differently to chemotherapy
  2. develop network modelling approaches to predict the most potential drug combinations for patients who are resistant to chemotherapy
  3. validate predictions using a preclinical drug testing platform, and translate predicted drug combinations into treatment options together with clinical collaborators

Jing Tang’s research could help make cancer drugs more effective, safer and more affordable. The tools that Tang and his group are working on are intended to help clinicians and pharmaceutical companies bring more effective combinatorial therapies to cancer patients.

Project name and duration

Informatics approaches for the rational selection of personalized cancer drug combinations, 2017–2022.

We develop tools that can potentially lead to breakthroughs in cancer drug discovery.
ALS and Parkinson’s disease: A new non-invasive disease-modifying treatment – Merja Voutilainen

Merja Voutilainen’s ERC-funded project examines a new treatment for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and Parkinson’s disease. Voutilainen has discovered a new CDNF fragment that has already proven to have neurorestorative effects in animal models of ALS and Parkinson’s.

The main goals of Voutilainen’s project are to understand

  • how CDNF fragment works in hiPSC-derived human motoneurons and dopamine neurons
  • therapeutic effects of CDNF fragment in animal models of ALS and Parkinson’s.

As populations grow older, neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and ALS affect more and more people. There are currently no treatments for ALS or Parkinson’s that could halt the progression or cure the disease. Voutilainen’s research could provide one.

Neurotrophic factors (NTFs) are promising candidates for treating neurodegenerative diseases since they regulate the survival of neurons, neurite growth, and branching, and also protect neurons from injury and toxins. Currently, since NTFs cannot penetrate through the blood brain barrier (BBB), they are administered directly either into the brain or intrathecal space in ALS patients or the brain of PD patients.

CDNF fragment is an exceptionally powerful new drug candidate for Parkinson’s and ALS. CDNF fragment can cross through the BBB and can thus be safely administered peripherally. It is also easier and cheaper to produce than current drugs. CDNF fragment has the potential to be more effective than current NTF treatment. It could revolutionise the treatment of ALS and Parkinson’s.

Project name and duration

Elucidating therapeutic effects and mode of action of future trophic factors in ALS and Parkinson’s disease, FutureTrophicFactors, 2019–2024.

There are no drugs that can stop the progression or cure ALS and Parkinson’s disease. I’m dedicated to finding a cure.
Are different languages transformed in the same way by the environment? – Kaius Sinnemäki

Kaius Sinnemäki’s ERC-funded project investigates how languages change in various social environments.

Sinnemäki’s project utilises datasets from 150 different languages, which makes it possible to compare how different types of languages have evolved in different circumstances. The project’s hypothesis is that language structure changes and develops partially according to its social environment.

Social environment can mean, for example, how large and multilingual the community using the language is, and the usual age of language learners.

The project has two primary goals:

  1. To develop new methods which can be used to compare contexts of language use and the structures of languages with each other.
  2. To determine whether substantially different languages change in similar ways when similar changes occur in the environments where they are used. For instance, if many adults learn a particular language as their second language, does inflection tend to become increasingly simplified in the language?

The methods developed in Sinnemäki’s project will enable a new kind of research on language adaptation and variation. The project promotes linguistic equality and increases our understanding of how much people living in different societies around the world have in common with one another.

Project name and duration

Linguistic Adaptation: Typological and Sociolinguistic Perspectives to Language Variation, 2019–2023

I hope that our work increases awareness of minority languages, which are often spoken by people who have been marginalised in society.
Books of medieval parish churches – Jaakko Tahkokallio

Jaakko Tahkokallio’s ERC funded project examines the liturgical books of parish churches in the Kingdom of Sweden ca 1150–1500, and how the books were manufactured. The project also sheds light on the international networks of medieval book production.

Tahkokallio’s source material consists of medieval parchment fragments. These fragments are pages torn from medieval books and reused as record covers by the tax officials in the 16th and 17th centuries.

The project has two main goals:

  1. Establish a general understanding of the book selection of parish churches and its development in the medieval Kingdom of Sweden. A prerequisite for this is to understand the mechanism of book recycling in the 16th and 17th centuries.
  2. Use case studies to gain information about how and in what circumstances the books of the parish churches were manufactured. Were the manufacturers clergymen or craftsmen? Where were books imported from? How local was book manufacturing?

This research project helps understand a medieval advancement, which profoundly shaped European society: the commercialisation of the book and its transformation into a part of everyday life. Understanding the history of the book is especially important now, as we are living in the midst of the greatest transformation of information technology since the invention of printing.

Project name and duration

Books of the Medieval Parish Church, 2021–2025.

Understanding the history of the book is especially important now, as we live in the middle of the greatest transformation of information technology since the invention of printing.
Chasing pre-industrial aerosols – Federico Bianchi

Federico Bianchi’s ERC funded project examines the aerosol makeup of our atmosphere as it would have been before industrialisation. We know a lot about the atmosphere today, but very little about the atmosphere 300 years ago.

Bianchi studies pre-industrial aerosols by organising intensive measurements in remote, preindustrial-like environments like the Arctic and Siberia. Bianchi’s team will combine data from the field campaigns with laboratory experiments to provide ground-breaking, new understanding of the impact of present and future aerosol on climate.

The main goals of the project are to:

  1. identify the mechanism that drives formation of aerosol particles in remote and pristine areas with little or no human activity
  2. understand and quantify the effect of the particle formation process in the pre-industrial era.

Bianchi’s project will deepen our understanding of historical climate change. This in turn will provide tools for more accurate estimates of natural aerosol formation, and more accurate climate models.

Project name and duration

Chasing pre-industrial aerosols, 2020–2025.

I try to get a glimpse of the past atmosphere to understand the future.
Greek papyri transformed into a digital grammar – Marja Vierros

Marja Vierros’ ERC funded project studies how the Greek language was used and how it changed in Hellenistic and Roman Egypt, based on the surviving corpus of documentary papyri.

Vierros’ project focuses on turning the exceptional body of written Greek that survives from Ancient Egypt into a digital corpus that serves linguistic studies far into the future. The material consists of large amount of texts that include both everyday and administrational language. Studying this material will shed new light on how Ancient Greek developed as a language in the postclassical era (ca. 300 BCE to 700 CE), and how it varied regionally and in different social contexts.

The project’s main aims are to:

  1. provide new, more exact analyses on the phonological, morphological and syntactic developments of Greek in Egypt.
  2. make possible for scholars to use the texts written on papyri and potsherds dynamically for quantitative linguistic studies in digital form. In turn, the searches and their results build up towards a new descriptive grammar of postclassical Greek.

The results of Vierros’ project will enhance our understanding of how languages function and shape the communication practices in a multilingual community, where the language groups are unequal in size and the languages have different social statuses. The project’s methodology on how to bring fragmentary corpus of an ancient language into a form that can be studied with several computer linguistic methods is expected to be of interest also to many language specialists.

Project name and duration

Digital Grammar of Greek Documentary Papyri (PapyGreek), 2018–2023.

An innocent letter written by a random child to their parents in Egypt 2000 years ago can give researchers important clues on how language developed in an ancient multilingual society.
How are aerosol particles formed from atmospheric gases? – Mikko Sipilä

Mikko Sipilä’s ERC-funded project investigates how the gases present in the atmosphere form new aerosol particles which affect cloud properties and, consequently, the climate.

Previously, particle formation has been investigated with appropriate accuracy only in laboratory conditions. Sipilä’s group looked into the phenomenon on the Atlantic coast, but evidence from other areas in the world is lacking.

The main goal of the project is to develop new techniques for detecting and measuring

  • Particle precursor vapours
  • Oxidants
  • Newly formed clusters.

Sipilä’s research findings help to understand the impact of human activity on the climate. With new measuring techniques and equipment, researchers will be able to produce increasingly accurate climate models and predictions.

Project name and duration

Molecular steps of gas-to-particle conversion: From oxidation to precursors, clusters and secondary aerosol particles, 2017–2022.

Our research will improve our ability to understand, in an increasingly comprehensive manner, the effects humanity has on the Earth’s climate system.
How do nanoplastics affect the environment? – Monica Passananti

Monica Passananti’s ERC funded project examines the occurrence of nanoplastics in the environment, their reactivity in surface waters and in the atmosphere, and how nanoplastics may disrupt ecosystems.

The project’s main aim is to develop a method to sample and analyse nanoplastics in the environment. Until now, such methodologies don’t existent.

Passananti’s research findings can in the long run be used to take informed decisions on regulation of the use of plastics. Plastic pollution is a global problem, as small pieces of plastic have been found even in the most remote areas of the Earth.

Project name and duration

NaPuE – Impact of Nanoplastics Pollution on aquatic and atmospheric Environments, 2021–2025.

Small pieces of plastic have been found in the most remote areas of the Earth. And still, the problem of plastic pollution is underestimated.
How organelle quality affects stem cell fate decisions – Pekka Katajisto

Pekka Katajisto’s ERC funded project aimes to understand how organelle quality, determined by organelle age, affects cell fate for example via cellular metabolism. The team also addresses whether asymmetric segregation of organelles is a general property of tissue stem cells in mammals.

The ultimate aim of the project is to discover new ways to enhance stem cell self-renewal, by modulating cellular functions influenced by the inheritance of qualitatively different organelles.

Katajisto has developed strategies to follow how organelles, the internal “organs” of single cells, are inherited between the two new cells resulting from a cell division. His team studies this in stem cells, which are responsible for the renewal of our tissues. The team recently discovered that when they divide, some stem cells allocate old organelles selectively between the two daughter cells. However, the reasons behind such age-discrimination of cellular components are not understood.

Aging is associated with decline of tissue function due to the inability of stem cells to self-renew and produce new cells to replace damaged ones. Discoveries from the project may open new possibilities to target aging associated functional decline. Such treatments could promote overall functionality among elders by restoring tissue function, or aid in situations where the slow recovery rate of old patients poses a challenge.

Project name and duration

Age-Selective Segregation of Organelles, 2016-2021.

By understanding how tissue stem cells balance renewal with differentiation, we can develop ways to enhance tissue functions and well-being for example in the elderly.
How voices shaped 19th century politics and Empire – Josephine Hoegaerts

Josephine Hoegaerts’ ERC funded project examines the history of political speech and the issue of “voice” in 19th-century politics.

Hoegaerts’ project focuses on the role sound has played in making and breaking political careers, in political decision making, and in the exchange of knowledge and information between the colony and the metropole in the 19th century.

The project has two main aims:

  1. Research and explain how physical and learned vocal characteristics – such as pitch, timbre and accent – helped or hindered a speaker in influencing political decisions. What made someone a good, convincing speaker?
  2. Examine how colonial contact and exchange changed cultural practices in both the "metropole" and the colony. E.g. how the discussion and debating cultures of Bengali and Muslim communities influenced British and French political voices and vice versa.

Hoegaerts’ project will provide new understanding of how political speech, debate and reporting have developed over time. This in turn gives us unique insight into how modern democracies work or collapse.

Project name and duration

Vocal Articulations of Parliamentary Identity and Empire (CALLIOPE), 2018–2023.

Understanding how political speech has developed gives us unique insight into how modern democracies work.
Investigating international wildlife trade using digital data and AI – Enrico Di Minin

Enrico Di Minin’s ERC funded project investigates the international trade in wildlife. Di Minin’s group uses digital data sources, such as social media data, in combination with machine learning and natural language processing and market analyses.

Di Minin’s project aims to mobilize new data to investigate the global patterns and trends of the international trade in wildlife. Information about these is currently largely missing.

The main objectives are to:

  1. automate digital media content analysis about species and products involved in the international trade in wildlife
  2. identify areas of high pressure on biodiversity caused by the international trade in wildlife
  3. understand the patterns of supply and demand and the flow of goods along the supply chain of wildlife trade
  4. assess how market forces shape the international trade in wildlife

Trade in wildlife is booming online. By using Big Data mined from digital platforms, Di Minin’s project aims to identify which species and wildlife products are traded and why. Di Minin’s project also tries to identify the global hotspots for wildlife trade and understand how market forces shape the trade. This information can then be used to inform conservation decision-making both globally and locally.

Project name and duration

Quantifying the global patterns and trends of the illegal wildlife trade: from artificial intelligence to financial market analysis (WILDTRADE), 2019–2024.

Automated content analysis of digital media data can provide new insights that can help save species from extinction.
Laulaminen ikääntyvissä aivoissa – Teppo Särkämö

Teppo Särkämö’s ERC funded project explores how the human brain processes music, especially singing, and how normal ageing and age-related neurological disorders, such as aphasia and Alzheimer’s disease, affect this.

Särkämö’s project uses modern behavioural and neuroimaging methods to deepen our understanding of music in the ageing, recovering, and degenerating brain. Särkämö’s team seeks to optimize the therapeutic use of music in supporting healthy ageing and enhancing wellbeing and functioning in aphasia and Alzheimer’s disease.

The project has three main aims:

  1. Explore how the neural networks that govern the processing of speech, music, and singing change during normal ageing as well as after neural damage and neurodegeneration.
  2. Explain which mechanisms drive the preservation of singing ability in aphasia and of music-evoked emotions and memories in Alzheimer’s disease.
  3. Determine if choir singing can have long-term positive effects in normal ageing and in aphasia rehabilitation.

Särkämö’s project will provide new systems-level understanding of the structural and functional relationship between singing, speech and music in the ageing brain. The project helps explain why music has such therapeutic power, and why it promotes well-being in both a normal ageing brain and a brain with common age-related neurological disorders. This can lead to the development of novel music-based rehabilitation methods, which are motivating, cost-effective, and widely applicable.

Project name and duration

Preservation and Efficacy of Music and Singing in Ageing, Aphasia, and Alzheimer’s Disease (PREMUS), 2019–2023.

Uncovering how different elements of music are processed in the human brain is essential for understanding why music works as a rehabilitation tool – and how its therapeutic use can be optimized.
Methane emissions of trees – Mari Pihlatie

Mari Pihlatie’s ERC funded project studies the nature of methane emissions from trees.

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that significantly contributes to climate change. Recent discoveries demonstrate that trees emit methane and by doing so they affect the methane budget of forests. As forests cover ca 30% of the global land area, understanding this newly discovered source of methane is crucial for a better understanding of the global methane cycle.

The main aims of the project are to:

  1. create unique continuous data series of how the methane fluxes from tree canopies and stems vary during different times of year and times of day
  2. build and use a unique automated chamber systems in controlled conditions to reveal processes and drivers of aerobic methane emissions from boreal trees
  3. utilize the newly established process understanding of methane emission from trees to build a process-based soil-tree-atmosphere methane model.

Pihlatie’s research can revolutionize our understanding of the methane cycling in forests today and in the future. Understanding of the role of trees in methane exchange of forests will help creating more accurate climate models, and decrease the uncertainties in global methane budget.

Project name and duration

From processes to modelling of methane emissions from trees (MEMETRE), 2018–2023.

We are studying almost completely unknown mechanisms of aerobic methane emissions from tree canopies. Knowing that all the data we produce gives insight to something new and undiscovered is intriguing.
Predicting cardiometabolic diseases with AI – Andrea Ganna

Andrea Ganna’s ERC funded project studies how to provide personalised risk assessment of cardiovascular diseases using artificial intelligence. Ganna and his team will integrate health data and genetic information on a nationwide scale to achieve their goal.

The main goals of the project are to:

  1. create new artificial intelligence approaches that revolutionize the existing approaches to primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases
  2. perform a clinical study of their new approach in 2 800 individuals to test if it works.

Ganna’s project seeks to create an approach to provide risk assessment of cardiovascular diseases before an individual even steps into the doctor’s office. Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in Europe. Current prediction models have major limitations, e.g. requiring time-consuming clinical measurements.

Project name and duration

A nationwide artificial intelligence assessment of cardiometabolic risk, 2020–2025.

Finland is one of the few countries in the world where this project can be done.
Significance of visual content in the societal participation of young people – Eeva Luhtakallio

Eeva Luhtakallio’s ERC-funded project investigates how European young people utilise images as tools of societal participation.

Luhtakallio’s project analyses the images shared by young people on social media, as well as their practices of photography, sharing images and commenting in four European countries: Finland, Germany, France and Portugal. The project examines what kind of ways of politicisation and influencing are encompassed and produced by increasing visuality. The project combines ethnography with AI-assisted mining of image data.

The project’s primary goals are

  1. Conceptualising visual politicisation
  2. Methodologically combining ethnography and data mining
  3. Producing comparative observations on current – and emerging – ways of political influencing and themes among the young in different European contexts

Research conducted under Luhtakallio’s project will advance our understanding of what political participation and influencing will be like in future European democracies. The results can also help identify solutions to crises of democracy.

Name and duration of the project

Imagi(ni)ng Democracy: European Youth Becoming Citizens by Visual Participation (ImagiDem), 2019–2024.

If we cannot perceive the significance of political influencing realised through images we cannot understand what future democracy will look like.
What did it mean to publish a new literary work in the Middle Ages? – Samu Niskanen

Samu Niskanen’s ERC funded project studies what it meant to publish new literary works in the Middle Ages, before the introduction of print in Europe.

Niskanen’s project examines how Latin authors published their original works during the Middle Ages, c.1000–1500. The project’s hypothesis is that publication strategies were not a constant but were liable to change, and that different social, literary, institutional, and technical environments fostered different approaches to publishing.

The main aims of the project are to:

  1. Establish what was involved in the process of publishing in the Middle Ages, and whether the process varied depending on the environment and situation in which new literary works were released for publication.
  2. Investigate what authors and their networks did to prepare for circulating their writings, in a culture where books were copied slowly and singly by hand.

Niskanen’s project contributes to our perception of medieval Latin literature and of the dynamics of medieval networking. The project deepens our understanding of how learned topics such as theology, philosophy, medicine, science and history have been communicated through time.

Project name and duration

Medieval Publishing from c.1000 to 1500 (MedPub), 2017–2022.

The act of publishing completes the authorial process. If we don’t understand that act, our understanding of literature from any period is incomplete.
What makes beliefs, actions and choices good? – Maria Lasonen-Aarnio

In her ERC-funded project, Maria Lasonen-Aarnio investigates epistemology and normativity: what makes beliefs, actions and choices good? How should beliefs be assessed in the first place?

Lasonen-Aarnio is developing a new epistemological based on distinguishing between successful and competent beliefs. Success is knowing, while competence, in terms of knowledge, denotes positive tendencies and customs of forming and shaping beliefs. Competence does not always lead to knowledge, but neither does knowledge always stem from competence.

The framework presented in the project carries on the externalist tradition: the goodness of beliefs is not about reconciling them with internal mental phenomena. Instead, competence too is perceived through knowledge founded on an appropriate relationship between the mind and the external world. One of the project’s main goals is to demonstrate how this framework will solve a number of problems central to epistemology.

Although the development of the epistemological framework is the primary objective, another goal is to apply it to societally topical phenomena, such as epistemic bubbles, structures that produce distorted evidence and the way in which our attention shapes our mental state.

Name and duration of the project

Competence and Success in Epistemology and Beyond, 2018–2022.

Past projects

In her ERC-funded project, Maria Vartiainen investigated the structure of the cell nucleus and particularly the functioning of the actin protein as part of cell metabolism.

Project name and duration

Actin as the Master Organiser of Nuclear Structure and Function, 2012–2018

Atte Moilanen has developed methods for analysing datasets to support land-use planning founded on conservation and ecology.

One of Moilanen’s most significant achievements is the development of the Zonation software. In a balanced manner, Zonation takes into account even large numbers in analysing different geoinformation layers related to biodiversity, prioritising various areas by their natural value.

Analyses produced by the program can be applied to planning conservation area networks and avoiding negative biological effects, as well as in support of zoning and targeting ecological compensation.

Project name and duration

Global Environmental Decision Analysis, 2011–2015.

Hannes Lohi investigates human diseases by modelling them in dogs. Thanks to breeding, mutations that result in diseases in pure-bred dogs are easier to monitor than human diseases.

With his ERC grant, Lohi investigated neuropsychiatric diseases in dogs and how they can be used to model human diseases.

Among other things, Lohi’s research group has discovered new gene loci associated with hip dysplasia, a variant of the regulatory element of a gene associated with joint development that may protect against hip dysplasia, the reason for a predisposition to epilepsy in Rhodesian Ridgebacks as well as common factors underlying human mental health problems and canine fearfulness.

Project name and duration

Canine models of human psychiatric disease: identifying novel anxiety genes with the help of man's best friend, 2010–2015.

Otso Ovaskainen investigates the ecological, genetic and evolutionary consequences of habitat fragmentation.

In the project funded by an ERC Starting Grant, Ovaskainen’s group delved into the dynamics of natural populations.

Project name and duration

Spatial ecology: bringing mathematical theory and data together, 2008–2013.

Subsequently, Ovaskainen has been conducting research with a Synergy Grant awarded by the ERC.

Akseli Hemminki develops novel forms of cancer therapy. His group focuses particularly on gene therapy and oncolytic viruses.

Project name and duration

Oncolytic adenoviruses expressing monoclonal antibody trastuzumab for treatment of Her-2+ cancer, 2008–2014.

Mikko Niemi investigates mutations associated with the efficacy and adverse effects of cholesterol medication.

Project name and duration

Transporter pharmacogenomics – the contribution of transporters to variability in drug response, 2012–2017.

Subsequently, Niemi has been conducting research with a Consolidator Grant awarded by the ERC.

Anna-Liisa Laine investigates the evolution of resistance. Her focus is on plants, but the disease and resistance mechanisms are very similar in other species.

In her project, which was awarded a Starting Grant by the ERC, Laine investigated how plants as well as individuals and populations in general survive and develop their resistance under the simultaneous attack of several pathogens.

Project name and duration

Linking Pathogen Evolution and Epidemiology, 2011–2016.

Subsequently, Laine has been conducting research with a Consolidator Grant awarded by the ERC.

In her ERC-funded project, Tiina Sikanen developed a technical solution to simplify drug testing. Sikanen received a commercialisation grant from the ERC for progressing the rapid test for hepatic enzyme activity that she had developed to a marketable form.

Sikanen has also contributed to a research project focused on solving environmental threats related to the manufacturing, consumption and disposal of drugs.

Project name and duration

Customized Micro Total Analysis Systems to Study Human Phase I Metabolism, 2013–2019.

In Jukka Corander’s ERC-funded project, mathematical methods were developed for matching statistical models with extremely challenging datasets.

The statistical models developed by Corander’s group produce new information on bacterial distribution, behaviour and resistance to antibiotics.

Project name and duration

Intelligent Stochastic Computation Methods for Complex Statistical Model Learning, 2009–2014.

In their ERC-funded project, Hélder A. Santos and his research group designed microscopically small drug carriers, which deliver the pharmaceutical agent precisely to the intended location in the human body and also release it at precisely the right time.

Santos has also received funding from the ERC for commercialising nanovaccines.

Project name and duration

Multistage-Multifunctional Porous Silicon Nanovectors for Directed Theranostics, 2013–2017

Tuomas Hytönen investigates harmonic analysis. In his ERC-funded project, he utilised probabilistic tools and random constructions to identify answers to questions of traditional mathematical analysis.

Project name and duration

Analytic-probabilistic methods for borderline singular integrals, 2011–2016.

Sanna Lehtonen specialises in diabetes and diabetic nephropathy.

With their ERC grant, Lehtonen’s group focused particularly on the initial phase of the disease.

Subsequently, Lehtonen has discovered a mechanism underlying metformin, a commonly used diabetes drug, which can both expand its uses and break ground for the development of new drugs.

In both cell cultures and an animal model, Lehtonen demonstrated that metformin binds to the lipid phosphatase SHIP2, reducing its activity. The reduction in SHIP2 activity increases glucose uptake in muscle cells and decreased cell death in podocytes, or glomerular epithelial cells.

Project name and duration

Insulin resistance and diabetic nephropathy – development of novel in vivo models for drug discovery, 2009–2014

Kaius Tuori’s research focuses on Europe. In their project funded by a Starting Grant awarded by the ERC, Tuori and his research group surveyed legal tradition and political intellectual history in Europe.

Project name and duration

Reinventing the Foundations of European Legal Culture 1934–1964, 2013–2018

Tuori has subsequently carried out research with a Consolidator Grant awarded by the ERC and has headed an Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence.

Ville Hietakangas investigates the body’s signals related to nutrition.

With a grant awarded by the ERC, Hietakangas’s group focused on the transmission of information pertaining to the nutritional state, utilising fruit flies in their studies and determining how glucose is sensed.

Hietakangas’s group has observed that the ability to use glucose as nourishment varies considerably between closely related fruit fly species. The research also lays the ground for investigating the variation in glucose tolerance in different human populations.

Project name and duration

Transcriptional networks in glucose sensing, 2012–2017.

Hanna Vehkamäki investigates atmospheric particles and the particle clusters formed by them.

Project name and duration

Role of Molecular Clusters in Atmospheric Particle Formation, 2011–2016.

Subsequently, Vehkamäki has been conducting research with an Advanced Grant awarded by the ERC.

Iiris Hovatta, professor of behavioural genetics, investigates anxiety, its different forms and the effect of genes on it.

With her ERC grant, Hovatta studied how anxiety functions in different species, and what takes place in the animal and human brain in connection with anxiety.

Project name and duration

A cross-species neurogenomics approach to anxiety, 2012–2017.

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