Mervi Ristola from the BioMediTech Institute was the only researcher at the University of Tampere to receive funding for the post of a Postdoctoral Researcher from the Research Council for Health of the Academy of Finland. The Research Council for Health granted project funding for only fourteen new postdoctoral fellows for the three-year period starting in September 2016. This year, the competition for the funding was especially stiff because there was money to fund only nine per cent of the applicants.
All researchers who received the top scores in the international peer-review and a third of those who received the second best score received funding. The newly appointed Postdoctoral Researchers represent the fields of biomedicine, brain research, pharmacy, bioinformatics, genetics and public health.
Ristola is investigating multiple sclerosis (MS) and other disorders in which the central nervous system is demyelinated. Such conditions are the most common disabling neurological diseases of young adults. There is no cure for these diseases, and there is currently insufficient knowledge about the underlying mechanisms of myelination defects.
Ristola’s research will generate a novel kind of in vitro myelination model. The model will provide a significant new tool for myelination research, drug development and research on related conditions. MS is a model disease in the project. The research can contribute to a better understanding of myelination and improve the development of enhanced treatment options.