Swedish Researcher to Receive EURYI Award

The Swedish researcher Kerstin Lindblad-Toh is one of 20 European scientist to receive the prestigious European Young Investigator Awards, EURYI 2007. From the Nordic region, Finland and Sweden participated in this year’s EURYI Awards.

Nobel Prize-sized awards for young researchers
The EURYI Awards scheme has been developed by the European Heads of Research Councils (EuroHORCS), in collaboration with the European Science Foundation (ESF), to attract outstanding young researchers from anywhere in the world to work in Europe for the further development of European science. The prize money enables the winners to create their own research teams at European research centres and launch potential world-leading research careers. Most awards are between 1 000 000 and 1 250 000 Euro, comparable in size to the Nobel Prize.

The Swedish Awardee
Kerstin Lindblad-Toh will receive 1.2 million Euro over five years, to develop her research on dogs‘ disease genes. “The dog is a very useful model since dogs and humans have more or less the same genome and the same diseases", she says in a comment to the Swedish Research Council. "In addition dogs have a genome structure which simplifies finding disease genes.”

Lindblad-Toh and her colleagues will look at different diseases and also different behaviour, but the main focus will be on cancer. “Once we have identified the dogs‘ disease genes we will collaborate with clinicians and human geneticists to study if the same genes are significant for the disease in human patients”, Lindblad-Toh explains.

EURYI 2007: The 4th Call of the EURYI Awards
The fourth call was launched in September 2006 with a deadline on 30 November to which 17 research councils from 15 countries contributed. More than 450 applications were received. Twenty EURYI awards were approved in late July 2007. The award diplomas will be presented at a ceremony to be held in Helsinki, on 27 September 2007.

The first call of the EURYI Awards scheme was launched in September 2003, and the first three calls resulted in 75 awards. “It has been amazing to witness how the EURYI scheme has evolved and become a force to be reckoned with in recognising young researchers’ works by granting them Nobel Prize-scale funding for the past four years,” commented Dr. John Marks, Chief Executive of the ESF. “The concept of EURYI has made a huge impact both scientifically and for the European Research Area”, he says.