Cancer researcher from Stockholm wins Finnish Slush 2018 startup competition

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-06 09:48:42|Editor: ZD
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HELSINKI, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Cancer researcher Sandra Jarnstrom emerged as the winner out of eight finalists at the 2018 Slush, a massive startup event that concluded here Wednesday.

Jarnstrom works at the Karolinska Institute, a medical research institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Her ambition is to develop a system of trying all available cancer drugs on patients.

"Currently only the clinically tested drugs would be offered to a patient, but perhaps none of them would work," she said.

The winner this year got a grant of 100,000 euros (about 113,000 U.S. dollars) financed by donors associated with Slush.

As an annual startup and investor event, Slush has in recent years included some academic researchers without a startup role.

Following cuts in public spending on research in Finland, there is a shortage of funding for post-doctoral researchers.

Petri Koikkalainen, chairman of the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers, said that currently only some 10 percent of research applications submitted to the Academy of Finland get accepted.

Koikkalainen noted that in the traditional academic screening for grants a long process of peer evaluations is done.

"In a pitch competition, the presentation could be decisive and a less communicative researcher may lose although the academic merit was there," said Koikkalainen.