Tiina Sikanen granted the Academy of Finland Award for Scientific Courage

18.6.2020 | The pharmaceutical chemist was chosen for her multidisciplinary work on microchip biotechnology.
PhD Tiina Sikanen
Bild vergrößern
(© Tiina Sikanen)

PhD Tiina Sikanen

Every year the Academy of Finland presents the Award for Scientific Courage to an outstanding and distinguished researcher. Dr Tiina Sikanen, currently based at the University of Helsinki, was presented with the prize at an award ceremony in February. She received it for creatively combining several different scientific disciplines in her work, such as microfluidics, bioanalysis and nanotechnology.

Dr Sikanen, who is an Academy of Finland Research Fellow, works on the development of new microchip biotechnology, for example for the purpose of screening drugs. Her devices are polymer-based, low-cost and can be produced on demand. Application-wise, she is particularly interested in the interactions between drugs and environmental pollutants.

She has been based at the University of Helsinki for most of her career. In 2007, she gained her PhD in pharmaceutical chemistry there before continuing as a postdoctoral researcher. During her postdoc, she gained a second master’s degree from Aalto University, this time in chemical engineering. In 2012 she was able to set up her own research group after winning a starting grant from the European Research Council. Dr Sikanen is currently leading on a series of grants worth over €2.5 million, and since 2015 she has been the coordinator of an initiative on sustainability in pharmaceutical sciences called Generation Green.

The prize, one of two presented annually by the Academy of Finland, is given to a researcher who has shown exceptional scientific audacity, creativity or innovation in research. “In my own field, the introduction of new technologies and the combination of methodological skills help in the discovery of new knowledge,” Dr Sikanen said in a press release, “Scientific courage is needed to break away from the mainstream, which is essential for the renewal of science.”

The other prize, the Academy of Finland Award for Social Impact, was awarded to Dr Emilia Korkea-aho, who researches lobbyism.

  (© AcademiaNet)

More information


  1. Read what our members say about AcademiaNet.

Follow us

No more excuses!

  1. Please download the brochure "No more excuses" and read more about female experts in Europe, and about AcademiaNet.


  1. Michela Massimi and Niki Vermeulen secure funding from the Royal Society of Edinburgh

    The grants are part of the £1.8 million RSE Saltire Research Awards.

  2. Flaminia Catteruccia becomes Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator

    The immunologist plans to use the accompanying funding to develop new and better antimalarial drugs.

  3. Uta Frith: ‘The ability to reflect on our thoughts – I call it the human superpower’

    What is it about humans that makes us so good at social interaction and what happens when it goes wrong? We spoke to Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Development Uta Frith DBE about her upcoming book What Makes Us Social and what she’s learned from a long career at the forefront of autism and dyslexia research.

  4. Madeline Lancaster awarded 2021 Vallee Scholarship

    The biologist is recognised for her work on cerebral organoids or ‘mini-brains’, grown from human pluripotent stem cells and used to model human brain development.

  5. Jane Hillston and Julie Welburn awarded medals by the Royal Society of Edinburgh

    The AcademiaNet members received their medals for outstanding work in computer science and cell biology, respectively.

Academia Net