Media release – MEDIX PRIZE 2022

Minerva Foundation

Media release

The Minerva Foundation’s Medix Prize awarded to a research group of the University of Helsinki

NEW DATA ON THE MODES OF ACTION OF ANTIDEPRESSANTS

The Minerva Foundation’s Medix Prize for 2022 awarded to a research group from the University of Helsinki. The research group produced new data on the modes of action of antidepressants.

Patients suffering from depression benefit from serotonin-increasing medications. This finding has resulted in a conclusion, commonly accepted for decades, that the primary cause of depression is a depletion in serotonin.

Antidepressants have been considered to influence the brain by means of serotonin or glutamate receptors. Receptors are protein molecules that bind neurotransmitters and medicinal agents. The findings of a research group of the University of Helsinki indicate that the matter is more complex than this. The research group is headed by MD Eero Castrén.

The article by the research group, published in the international journal Cell, demonstrates that antidepressants bind directly to TRKB neurotrophin receptors. The study questions the role of serotonin and glutamate receptors as the primary targets of antidepressants.

The research group was awarded with this year’s Medix Prize, worth €20,000, for their work. According to Dr Eero Castrén, his research group has worked in cooperation with the research groups of Professor Ilpo Vattulainen and Professor Mart Saarma.

“Their research groups have had a significant impact on the work of our research group, and the award will, thus, be divided between the researchers in the three groups,” says MD Castrén.

According to Dr Castrén, although antidepressants bind to the TRKB receptor, their binding affinity is modest, yet therapeutically significant.

“A problem with antidepressants is that their clinical effects are delayed. It may take up to several weeks before their impacts are translated into clinical mood recovery. For this reason, our research group would like to find molecules, which would bind better to the TRKB receptor. Such findings would allow the development of new kinds of antidepressants with a faster effect,” says Dr Eero Castrén.

The Finnish championship in biomedicine

The Medix Prize by the Minerva Foundation is an important annual award for internationally high-level Finnish medical research. The Medix Prize is, in a manner of speaking, the Finnish championship for biomedicine. This year’s Medix Prize was awarded for the 35th time.

The Medix Prize is awarded by the University of Helsinki, and is donated to the university by the Minerva Foundation, which funds the Minerva Foundation Institute for Medical Research at Biomedicum Helsinki.

The prize is awarded annually for excellent Finnish scientific research published as one article during the previous year. The research is to be in the fields of biomedicine or clinical medicine and performed fully or in its essential parts in Finland.

The awardee is selected by a committee consisting of representatives from the universities of Helsinki, Turku, Tampere, Eastern Finland and Oulu, who are appointed for a period of three years.

INVITATION:

The research group will receive the Medix Prize and give a lecture on 12 September 2022 at 12.15 at Biomedicum, Helsinki, Finland. The award is given by Vice-Rector Tom Böhling of the University of Helsinki.

We kindly invite your reporter to follow the event.

Address: Lecture hall 2, Biomedicum, Haartmaninkatu 8, Helsinki, Finland

FURTHER INFORMATION AND MATERIALS:

Photographs and captions of the award-winning research group:

Photographer Juha Sarkkinen.

The images are free for media use.

Article published in Cell:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0092867421000775?via%3Dihub

Further information on the award-winning study:

Eero Castrén, Research Director, MD, PhD, University of Helsinki, Neuroscience Center/HiLife

+358 (0)50 52 07 974, eero.castren(at)helsinki.fi

Website of the research group: https://www2.helsinki.fi/en/researchgroups/neuroplasticity-and-neurotrophic-factors

Further information on the Medix Prize and the Minerva Foundation:

Professor Vesa Olkkonen

+358 (0)50 41 12 297, vesa.olkkonen(at)helsinki.fi

minervafoundation.fi 

This media release is distributed by PR Officer Martti Ahlstén

Viestintätoimisto Verbi

+358 (0)50 05 82 588

martti.ahlsten(at)verbi.fi

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Medix Prize of the Minerva Foundation 2022

Award Ceremony and Lecture on Monday, September 12, at 12:15

The prize lecture is presented by 

Research Director Eero Castrén
Neuroscience Center, University of Helsinki

“Antidepressant drugs act by directly binding to TRKB neurotrophin receptors.”

Hybrid seminar: Lecture Hall 2 (BM1, P floor) or Zoom (https://helsinki.zoom.us/j/67985748419)

Media release: https://minervafoundation.fi/2022/09/12/media-release-medix-prize-2022/

Host: Vesa Olkkonen

The Medix Prize by the Minerva Foundation is an important annual award for internationally high-level Finnish medical research. The Medix Prize is, in a manner of speaking, the Finnish championship for biomedicine. This year the Medix Prize will be awarded for the 35th time.

The Medix Prize is awarded by the University of Helsinki and is donated to the university by the Minerva Foundation, which funds the Minerva Foundation Institute for Medical Research at Biomedicum Helsinki.

#bmhsem

Ralph Gräsbeck Scholarship for Research in Laboratory Medicine – Decision 2022

The 2022 Ralph Gräsbeck Scholarship for Research in Laboratory Medicine is awarded to M.D., Dr.Med.Sci, Docent Oscar Brück at Helsinki University Hospital. The Ralph Gräsbeck Scholarship is granted to Brück for his research “The cytomorphological digital twin“.

The Ralph Gräsbeck Scholarship is awarded every other year for a scientist who has defended his/her doctoral thesis during the past seven years in the field of laboratory medicine and continued innovative and high-quality research in the same field. The amount of the scholarship is 10.000 EUR and this is the third time the scholarship is awarded.

Minerva Foundation’s Bror-Axel Lamberg Prize in Endocrinology 2021

The 2021 Bror-Axel Lamberg Prize in Endocrinology is awarded to Professor Olle Kämpe at Department of Medicine (Solna), Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. The prize is 10.000€ and this was the third time the prize was awarded.The award ceremony took place on Thursday, 4 November 2021, on the 74th Annual Meeting of the Finnish Endocrine Society. The chairman of the board of directors of the Minerva Foundation, Professor Caj Haglund, delivered the prize.

The motivation of the Prize Committee: “Olle Kämpe has a record of accomplishment in endocrine research spanning three decades and covering studies from basic genetic studies to registry and epidemiology research. The red thread in his research has been autoimmune endocrine diseases.

Kämpe has described several autoantigens and autoantibodies in organ-specific autoimmune diseases. His research is characterized by broad and complementary methodological approaches including the use of untraditional disease models to understand the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases and his work has significantly improved the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of patients.

Kämpe has received numerous awards. In 2010 he was elected member of The Swedish Royal Academy of Science and in 2016 member of the Nobel Assembly. He is currently member of the Nobel Committee for Medicine or Physiology. He received the European Hormone Medal in 2020.”

The Minerva Foundation’s Bror-Axel Lamberg Prize in Endocrinology is a 10.000€ prize awarded every other year in the Annual Meeting of the Finnish Endocrine Society. It is awarded to a Scandinavian scientist for innovative, high-quality research in the field of endocrinology. The Finnish Endocrine Society nominates three candidates for the prize from whom the Minerva Foundation selects the winner. The first prize, year 2017, was honored to a Professor of Physiology Jorma Toppari at the University of Turku.

Medix Prize 2021 awarded to research groups of the University of Helsinki

Award Ceremony and Lectures on Monday September 20 at 12 noon

The Minerva Foundation’s Medix Prize 2021 is awarded to an article published in Cell by research groups of the University of Helsinki:

Maternal Fecal Microbiota Transplantation in Cesarean-Born Infants Rapidly Restores Normal Gut Microbial Development: A Proof-of-Concept Study
. Korpela K, Helve O, Kolho KL, Saisto T, Skogberg K, Dikareva E, Stefanovic V, Salonen A, Andersson S, de Vos WM. Cell. 2020; 183(2):324-334.e5

Zoom link to Medix Prize Award Ceremony and Lecture on 20 September 2021 at 12 noon: https://helsinki.zoom.us/j/63015516737

Medix Prize Lectures are given by

Professor Willem M de Vos
University of Helsinki, Finland
Wageningen University, the Netherlands

Human Microbiome and Early Life.

And

Professor Otto Helve
University of Helsinki
Helsinki University Hospital
Finland

Maternal Fecal Microbiota Transplantation.

Welcome!

The Minerva Foundation’s Medix Prize 2021

Award Ceremony and Lecture on Monday, September 20, at 12:00.

HiLIFE Webinars – Fall 2021 – Join the webinar https://helsinki.zoom.us/j/63015516737

The award lecture will be in the area of gut microbiota. Media release is published on September 20, 2021.

The Medix Prize by the Minerva Foundation is an important annual award for internationally high-level Finnish medical research. The Medix Prize is, in a manner of speaking, the Finnish championship for biomedicine. This year the Medix Prize will be awarded for the 34rd time.

The Medix Prize is awarded by the University of Helsinki, and is donated to the university by the Minerva Foundation, which funds the Minerva Foundation Institute for Medical Research at Biomedicum Helsinki.