Sandra Jernström wins Skolar Award!

Eight young researchers pitched new research ideas at Slush at the Skolar Award research pitching finals. The main prize, a 100 000 euro research grant, went to Finnish Sandra Jernström from Karolinska Institute, who’s winning idea strives to find a new kind of treatment to cancer.

Skolar Award winner 2018 Sandra Jernström

Sandra Jernström aims to find a new kind of treatment to cancer by analysing not just the type of cancer but the composition of the tumour. That way patients could get more personalised treatment and faster results.

Jernström is at a loss for words. “I have never won such a big prize, so I am baffled how to react. The other pitches were so good. I am extremely happy now.”

As the number of cancer patients increases in the future, efficient treatment becomes more and more important. Jernström hopes to employ another researcher to her team with the prize money.

“That way we could pursue the research further much faster. In the future I would also like to work in the industry, but at the moment my research still needs to be developed inside the academia.”

Skolar Award, an international research pitching competition for postdoc researchers, was held at Slush, Helsinki on Wednesday, December 5th. The main prize of 100 000 euros is meant for advancing the winner’s research idea.

The eight finalists’ ideas varied from tackling the plastic problem to producing food from wood. The researchers pitched their work on the Pink Stage at Slush.

The jury says the decision was hard to make since all the researchers introduced such good ideas.

“All finalists would have earned this prize, but Jernström’s idea showed great impact also in the long run. Her pitch was also very clear and inspiring,” says a jury member Jussi Parikka, professor of technological culture and aesthetics.

The academic jury selecting the winner at Slush consisted of Jussi Parikka, Timo Honkela, Johanna Ivaska, Miiri Kotche ja Anne Toppinen.

Watch Sandra's pitch below and read more about Sandra's idea here.