The winning ideas in the Oriontation competition related to cancer research, monitoring Parkinson’s disease symptoms and modelling the effects of treatment for inherited muscle disorders.
Representatives of each of the 20 finalist teams were present at the gala. There was active discussion, and many participants expressed the wish that networking and research collaboration would increase in future.
Finalists from various fields of research in Finland
The winning trio included Team Taina Pihlajaniemi, cancer research, University of Oulu, Team Pauli Turunen, Parkinson research, University of Eastern Finland, and Team Susana Garcia, modelling drug effects, University of Helsinki.
The other 20 finalists included several cancer research projects: Team Marja Heiskala, University of Tampere, Juha Klefström, University of Helsinki, Team Olli Silvennoinen, University of Tampere, and Team Jukka Kero, University of Turku, who participated with two different research topics on thyroid disorders. The finalists also included a number of ideas about using various instruments and artificial intelligence in diagnosing and monitoring diseases and ensuring drug quality: Team Seppo Vainio, University of Oulu, Team Jussi Paananen, University of Eastern Finland, Team Miguel Bordallo López, University of Oulu, Team Niklas Sandler, Åbo Akademi University, and Team Ilmari Tamminen, BioMediTech, Tampere. The other finalists were Elena Puris, University of Eastern Finland, and Team Marco Castelejn, University of Helsinki, with their ideas about the identification of new biomarkers, and Team Teemu Turunen, Aalto University, Team Erkka Järvinen, University of Helsinki, and Team Reeja Maria Cherianin, University of Tampere, with their ideas about methods to support pharmaceutical development. Two other finalists were Team James David Evans, University of Helsinki, with a new identification method for target proteins, and Team Lloyd Ruddock, University of Oulu, who presented a method for more efficient production of therapeutic proteins.
Orion is investing a lot in its own research, and Orion’s Research Foundation also offers grants for medical research every year. As both Finland and Orion celebrated their centenaries last year, Orion wanted to highlight the world-class research conducted in different parts of Finland. Research teams from Helsinki to Oulu participated in the Oriontation - 100 Ideas competition, with more than 80 entries. Judging criteria involved the novelty and usability of the research idea as well as its coverage as regards the subject matter and geography.