Since 2005 Professor Taina Rantanen has been the full Professor of Gerontology and Public Health at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. She is one of the leading scientists in the field of gerontology, nationally, in the Nordic region, as well as internationally. In 2016, she received an ERC advanced grant of over 2 milj. euros from the European Research Council to a study “Active Ageing – Resilience and External Support as Modifiers of the Disablement Process”.
Active aging is a widely endorsed policy goal, which Professor Rantanen defined in a quantifiable way at the individual level as a striving for activities as per one’s goals, abilities and opportunities. Professor Rantanen has a wide global network and has previously been employed by the National Institute on Aging in the United States and the World Health Organization. She holds several expert positions in the academia and in the boards of prestigious scientific journals. She has received a number of honors for her contribution to the ageing research, science information recognition and promoting international research collaboration.
Professor Rantanen was the co-founder of the Gerontology Research Center 2012 as a joint effort of Universities of Jyväskylä and Tampere, and she has served as its leader and co-leader.
Professor Rantanen has published 280 articles in international peer-reviewed journals including high impact journals such as JAMA, Journals of Gerontology, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society and Age Ageing. She has supervised 24 completed PhD students’ theses and 19 post-doctoral programs.
Professor Rantanen has developed a strong interdisciplinary research group and her research has had a major influence in gerontological research in several core areas, such as disability, functional capacity, mobility, physical activity and active ageing. Moreover, professor Rantanen has been instrumental in administrative leadership promoting ageing research as well as educating new professionals to the field of gerontology. She has also active connections in the Nordic region including the position of Secretary General of the 18th Nordic Congress of Gerontology, which was held in Jyväskylä in 2006.
The Nordic Gerontological Federation (NGF) awards the most prestigious Nordic Prize in Gerontology, the Sohlberg prize every other year. The Sohlberg prize of 10.000 euros is sponsored by the Päivikki and Sakari Sohlberg Foundation and it was awarded at the Opening Ceremony of the 24th Nordic Congress of Gerontology in Oslo.