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The Sakari Alhopuro Foundation promotes and supports medical research, biodiversity, entrepreneurship as well as cultural and social well-being in Finland.

Medical Science

The Foundation specifically supports young doctors, so that they might have the opportunity to conduct research already during their studies and immediately after graduating.  

Grant applicants


More research data is needed about the impacts of climate change on our planet’s future. The Foundation seeks to advance an understanding of the biodiversity of nature as a means of promoting a more sustainable use of our natural surroundings.

Grant applicants

What's new

The application period has ended

The application period for 2024 has now ended. We wish to thank all those who submitted applications! The names of the grant recipients will be published by the end of May on the Foundation’s website.

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Sakari Alhopuro:


‘What is the purpose of life? As a doctor, I have often considered that the purpose of life is found in helping others’, states Sakari Alhopuro, founder of the Foundation.

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Get to know the work of researchers by reading our blogs!

It’s getting hot in here – how does phytoplankton adapt to rising temperatures?

Phytoplankton plays a key role in marine ecosystems while also producing half of the Earth’s oxygen. Climate change is a challenge to the phytoplankton floating in the water. A group of scientists is investigating the ability of phytoplankton to adapt to rising water temperatures across Europe.

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Metastatic cancer can be treated with drugs in the future

Metastatic cancer is in many cases incurable, and the treatment of advanced cancer remains an unresolved problem for the field of medicine. The development of effective treatments requires profound understanding of the ways metastases are formed in different tissues.

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Developing a vaccine for bank voles to prevent epidemic nephropathy

In Finland, more than a thousand individuals are annually infected with epidemic nephropathy, a kidney disease that is spread by common bank voles. There is no vaccine against the disease. However, it might be possible to reduce the number of infections by preventing the disease in wild animals. Current research aims to develop an oral vaccine for bank voles.

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‘My path to research began on the island of Seili’

In the summer of 2011, biology student Katja Mäkinen could not have imagined that her first internship in the field, at the Archipelago Research Institute of the University of Turku, would alter her dreams of becoming a teacher. However, that’s exactly what happened, and that field work on Seili sparked her interest in research work and led her to a career as a researcher.

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Fighting the coronavirus with nasal sprays

According to researchers at the University of Helsinki, coronavirus infections can best be prevented by means of a nasally administered vaccine. In addition to the vaccine, the researchers are also developing a nasal spray to serve as a ‘biological mask’. These are two separate preparations, which are based on different technologies and used differently. The nasal spray may complement the protection provided by vaccines and be particularly suitable for individuals responding poorly to vaccines.

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The first ever Sakari Alhopuro Prize awarded to Professor Kalervo Väänänen and archipelago nature photographer Jaakko Ruola

The Sakari Alhopuro Foundation’s Board has selected Professor Kalervo Väänänen and nature photographer Jaakko Ruola as the recipients of the Sakari Alhopuro Prize. The prize is awarded in recognition for their influential contribution to the protection of the Archipelago Sea. Now awarded for the first time, the prize sum amounts to 50,000 euro to be shared by the prize winners.

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Saving the Archipelago Sea calls for legislative actions, the stick and the carrots

The Archipelago Sea is one of the most spectacular natural environs in Finland – but for how long? Eutrophication caused by phosphorus and the resulting algal blooms in the sea pose a serious threat to the natural and recreational values of the unique marine environment and the various forms of livelihood in the archipelago. Immediate, binding and efficient actions are needed to reverse the current development.

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Professor Pentti Huovinen received the A. I. Virtanen Prize

Named after the only Finnish Nobel laureate in science, the A .I. Virtanen Prize has been awarded to Professor Pentti Huovinen in recognition of his internationally significant research in the field of bacteriology.

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Contact information

Sakari Alhopuro Foundation

Carita Rantanen, M.Sc. (Econ.), eMBA
Managing Director
phone. 040 503 9609

Board of Directors of the Foundation

Pentti Huovinen, D.Med.Sc.,
Professor of Bacteriology
Chairman of the Board
Jyri Heinonen, LL.M. with court training
Vice Chairman of the Board
Ilppo Vuorinen, Ph.D.,
Professor Emeritus of Environmental Research
Member of the Board
Saara Alhopuro, Master of Political Science, diplomat
Member of the Board

Email addresses are in the form: firstname.lastname(at)

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