Biomathematician Laura Elo Received Highly Competitive ERC Funding

​The 5-year ERC Starter Grant is awarded to a top researcher in the early stages of their scientific career. The project of Dr. Elo develops computational modelling methods that enable the use of extensive longitudinal proteomics measurement data in determining individualized disease risk dynamically.

Laura Elo works as a Research Director at Turku Centre for Biotechnology where she and her research group study a number of areas, including early prediction of type 1 diabetes, adverse events of chemotherapy, and the progress of renal cell carcinoma at molecular level. Additionally, the group develops computational methods to study patient and molecule registers of biobanks.

- As a mathematician it is my job to develop computational methods that enable the search of predictive markers from these data together with the clinicians. We can predict, for instance, the onset and progression of diseases, or the efficacy of treatment in patients, says Elo.

The technology and the computational methods required by the research have evolved enormously during the past decades. The human body and diseases can be characterized and understood in more and more detail.

- Biology is a complex matter. One disease can manifest differently in different patients and different patients benefit from different treatments. We mathematicians can help the clinicians to identify these factors, says Elo.

According to Elo, without mathematicians, a prevailing strategy in many areas of medicine would still be to give all patients the same treatment for a disease.

- Our work enables medicine to evolve. In the future, it will be possible to offer patients increasingly personalized treatment options.

At the beginning of May, Dr. Elo also received 0.5 million euros from the Academy of Finland for her research project “Boosting personalized prediction of disease and treatment risks”.

Text: Erja Hyytiäinen
Translation: Turku Centre for Biotechnology
Photo: Hanna Oksanen

Published date 5/12/2016 10:00 AM ,  Modified date 5/12/2016 10:12 AM

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