21.10.2019

Grants for Sports Medicine from the Professor Sakari Orava Fund

On 27 September, the Professor Sakari Orava Fund gave out two grants for research and development in sports medicine.

One of the recipients was Kristian Johansson of the Paavo Nurmi Centre and the University of Turku, who will use the grant to fund his PhD thesis research on “Achilles tendon region pains among athletes – with special reference to operative findings”.

“In his research, Johansson is analysing a large number of achilles surgery patients, including their symptoms and surgery findings. The outcomes can be used for developing surgery techniques and further personalising each patient’s care. The research is partly based on Sakari Orava’s extensive experience and on decades of achilles surgery in Finland,” says Jussi Rantanen, Chief Surgeon at Mehiläinen’s Turku hospital unit and board member of the Hospital Neo Foundation.

The other grant went to Sergei Ilyukov from the Sports Medicine unit at Clinicum in the University of Helsinki. His PhD thesis subject is “Athlete’s performance passport: a new methodology in anti-doping efforts”.

“Ilyukov’s research in the field of anti-doping is pioneering. His methodology focuses on continuous monitoring of an athlete’s performance and competition results. The monitoring is intended to pick up on inconsistencies and irregularities in athletes’ results, which could indicate use of illicit procedures. Besides sports surgery, anti-doping activity is one of the major focal points of sports medicine in Finland,” says Rantanen.

The Professor Sakari Orava Fund supports research and development in sports medicine. The grants are paid out by the Hospital Neo Foundation, which administers the fund. The fund was established when Sakari Orava turned 70 in 2015, based on capital donated by Neo Terveys Oy and friends of Professor Orava. The foundation does not administer any other funds.