The Sakari Alhopuro Foundation awarded 750,000 euro to researchers in the fields of medical science and the natural sciences

The Sakari Alhopuro Foundation has awarded a total of EUR 750,000 to fund the work of 16 researchers and research groups. The funding was awarded for, among other projects, research focusing on Lyme borreliosis diagnostics and vectors, and a project that endeavours to determine the significance of green exposure to one’s health.

Published 28 May 2020

The Sakari Alhopuro Foundation, which initiated its activities this year, received 186 grant applications by the application deadline. A total of 16 applicants were approved and will share a total of EUR 750,000 in grant funding.

Of the applications received by the Foundation, 65% concerned medical science projects and 35% natural science projects. Some of the applications concerned both areas.

‘We received many worthy applications, so it made the decision very difficult. This year, we decided to award funding to post-doctoral research work as a means of encouraging talented young people to continue to pursue a career in research’, states Sakari Alhopuro, Chairman of the Foundation Board.

One of the grant recipients is Annukka Pietikäinen, whose Lyme borreliosis diagnostics research was awarded EUR 60,000 in funding. The research project concerns the development of a method based on positron emission tomography–computed tomography (PET-CT) that would facilitate imaging related to Lyme disease. The objective of the researchers is to develop a marker that would identify the infection caused by the Borrelia bacterium.

A total of EUR 60,000 was also awarded to Jani Sormunen’s research project to determine the impact of the diversity of the fauna on Seili island on the presentation of ticks and the diseases transmitted by ticks.   

Jenni Lehtimäki’s multidisciplinary VIHERIKKUNA project received EUR 45,000 in funding. This extensive project endeavours to determine the amount, type and timing of green exposure necessary to protect one from childhood-onset diseases of affluence.

All the names and research projects of the grant recipients are listed on the Foundation’s website.


Further information:
Carita Rantanen, Managing Director
tel. +358 40 503 9609


The purpose of the Sakari Alhopuro Foundation is to support and promote  high-quality medical research, biodiversity, entrepreneurship as well as cultural and social well-being in Finland. The Board of the Foundation decides annually on the target areas for upcoming grant applications. The areas are stated on the Foundation’s website.

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