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Five new Academy Research Fellows for the University of Jyväskylä

The Academy of Finland has decided to fund five new Academy Research Fellows at the University of Jyväskylä. Laura Karavirta and Elina Sillanpää from the Faculty of Sport Sciences and Gerontology Research Center as well as Nerea Abrego, Antti Eloranta and Jussi Lehtonen from the Department of Biological and Environmental Science at the Faculty of Mathematics and Science were each granted a five-year funding.

Each researcher was granted around 450,000 euros for paying their own salaries.

Academy Research Fellows implement scientifically high-level research plans and have versatile networks. They have an opportunity to qualify for more demanding researcher positions and establish independent researcher positions in the international researcher community. The awarded funding was directed to the Academy of Finland’s research projects in Biosciences, Health and the Environment. Funding was granted to 24 new postdoctoral researchers.

The new Academy Research Fellows from the Faculty of Sport Sciences and Gerontology Research Center:

Laura KaravirtaLaura Karavirta’s research focuses on the physical activity of older adults. Our understanding of older people’s physical activity in relation to recommendations is based on models that do not account for individual abilities. Methods based on the speed or volume of movement may underestimate the actual load experienced by an older person. Karavirta will develop a method for quantifying physical activity in older people that takes into account individual differences in performance and makes it possible to develop personalised physical activity recommendations.



Elina SillanpääElina Sillanpää seeks to research causal associations between genetic inheritance, physical activity and CMD by utilising large population based datasets (FinnGen, HUNT), genetically controlled longitudinal follow-up data on twins (Finnish twin cohort), polygenic scores and advance statistical methods. She aims to use DNA methylation data to identify potential mechanisms and pathways that regulate associations between genetic risk and CMD and mortality and validate these findings with gene expression analysis and metabolomics.

For more information:

  • Laura Karavirta,, +358408055041
  • Elina Sillanpää,, +358401429639

University of Jyväskylä’s press release

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