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Sirpa Jalkanen receives honorary title of ‘Academician of Science’

Vice Chair of the TTY Foundation’s Board, Academy Professor Sirpa Jalkanen has been awarded the prestigious title of ‘Academician of Science’.

Based on nominations made by the Academy of Finland, the President of the Republic of Finland may confer the honorary title of Academician (of Science) to highly distinguished Finnish or foreign scientists and scholars. The title of Academician can be held by no more than sixteen Finnish scientists and scholars at a time. There are no restrictions on the number of foreign Academicians.

Academy Professor Sirpa Jalkanen (born in 1954) from the University of Turku is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the migration mechanisms of lymphocytes in the human immune system. One of her key achievements is the discovery and characterization of trafficking molecules that regulate inflammatory diseases and the spread of cancer. Her research group has achieved ground-breaking results that have reshaped our understanding of immunology and vascular biology.

“The most fascinating aspect of research is the thrill of the hunt and the joy of discovery. I’ve always sought to study the unknown, to uncover something of significance to the treatment or prevention of diseases. Admittedly, this approach may often lead you into uncharted territory with no map or signposts. And when you suddenly find the answer you were looking for – be it a new phenomenon, molecule or mechanism – you see things in a new light and find your way forward,” Jalkanen explains.

Jalkanen heads a research team within the Academy of Finland’s Centre of Excellence in Translational Cancer Biology at the University of Turku.

Sirpa Jalkanen has received a number of national and international awards in recognition of her scientific achievements, such as the Anders Jahre Award in 2005, the most prestigious award available in the Nordic countries in the field of medical sciences. In addition, her findings have contributed to the establishment of two biotechnology companies that focus on trafficking molecules as targets for drug development.

Sirpa Jalkanen is also an active figure in society and business. She has been given numerous expert assignments both in Finland and abroad as well as memberships in foundations, research organisations and companies. She is currently serving, among others, as the Vice Chair of the Board of the TTY Foundation.  

Jalkanen considers it an honour to be conferred the title of Academician.

“I hope to carry the title wisely so that I can use my experience for the benefit of the scientific community and society at large.”

Another newly appointed Academician is Academy Professor Ilkka Hanski of the University of Helsinki. Hanski is one the world’s leading scientists in the field of ecology.

News submitted by: Anna Naukkarinen
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