Aaltalo, Häkkinen get Academician of Science title

28 Nov 2020, 02:07

  DF Report

A combine picture of Kari Alitalo and Kaisa Häkkinen. Photos: Ministry of Education and Culture by Teemu Kuusimurto and Mikko Suominen.

President Sauli Niinistö has awarded the title of Academician of Science to Professor Emeritus Kari Aaltalo and Professor Emeritus Kaisa Häkkinen, said the Ministry of Education and Culture in a press release on Friday.

Academy Professor Kari Alitalo, born in 1952, has been the director of the Molecular/Cancer Biology Research Programme at the University of Helsinki since 1999. He was a professor of Medical Biochemistry at the University of Turku in 1986-1987, a research professor at the Finnish Cancer Institute in 1987-1988, and a professor of Cancer Biology at the University of Helsinki in 1989-1993. 

He was appointed as a permanent academy professor in 1993, a position he held continuously until 31 May 2020.

Alitalo’s main areas of research interest include the pathophysiology of cancer, particularly the role of lymphatic vessels in tumour metastasis, and the development of more targeted therapeutic strategies to prevent the growth and spread of cancer.  He has identified several new growth factors and receptors that regulate the development of the vascular and lymphatic system. One of Professor Alitalo’s most significant recent research findings is the discovery of a lymphatic system in the brain.

Professor Emeritus Kaisa Häkkinen, born in 1950, served as an acting professor and a professor of Finnish Language and Literature at Åbo Akademi University in 1993–1999 and as a professor of Finnish Language at the University of Turku in 1999–2015. She was the dean of the Faculty of Humanities, University of Turku, in 2004–2009.

Her main research interests include the history and development of the Finnish language, its phonetic and morphological structure, the history and etymology of Finnish words, and the history of language research. She is known primarily for her studies into the origin and history of words. In the 2000s, she has taken a special interest in studying old literary Finnish and the Finnish language in the works of Mikael Agricola.

Based on nominations made by the Academy of Finland, the president of Finland may confer the honorary title of Academician of Science to highly distinguished Finnish or foreign scientists and scholars.

There are currently 14 Finnish Academicians of Science.

The title of Academician can be held by no more than sixteen Finnish scientists and scholars at a time, and were last awarded in 2017.