Tuula Heinonen received BEM Award 2014 PDF Print

Björn Ekwall Memorial Foundation (BEMF) nominated Dr. Tuula Heinonen as the recipient of the Björn Ekwall Memorial Award 2014.

The BEM award was handed out to Tuula Heinonen in the "9th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences" on 24-28.8.2014 in Praque. In that connection she gave the BEM honorary lecture on her own research.

BEMF awardTuula Heinonen award lecture

Dr. Tuula Heinonen (Ph.D., Adjunct Professor, Director of FICAM) from the School of Medicine, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland has been nominated for the Björn Ekwall Memorial Award in recognition of her achievements in promotion and implementation of alternative methods by developing human cell based tissue/organ models, as well as by establishing the Finnish Centre for Alternative Methods (FICAM).

Dr. Heinonen defended her PhD thesis in 1982 in the field of toxicology, at the University of Turku. She is Adjunct Professor in biochemistry at the University of Helsinki, and adjunct professor in toxicology at the University of Turku. Dr. Heinonen has worked as scientist at the Institute of Occupational Health (1979-83) and as toxicologist and in leading research positions in pharmaceutical industry (1983-2007). She has worked in the University of Tampere from 2007 on first in Cell Research Center, and after the establishment of FICAM in 2008 as director of it. Dr. Heinonen and her group will develop human cell based tissue models for biomedical research and toxicology. The focus of Dr. Heinonen is on the development and validation of better methods for prediction of human effects by using human cell based tissue models instead of animal experiments. The first validated model developed by Dr Heinonen’s group is angiogenesis model applicable for both biomedical and toxicological purposes.

Dr. Heinonen has developed FICAM to a high-level research laboratory with an official GLP-status and ability to function in method validations coordinated by EURL-ECVAM (European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing). The staff of FICAM (about 20 persons) consists of professors, senior scientists, doctoral students and technicians. In addition to research Dr. Heinonen will educate scientists by organising high level courses on alternative methods in FICAM and by giving lectures also in other universities in Finland.

Dr. Heinonen is member of several international and national expert groups and the Finnish representative in the PARERE (Preliminary Assessment of Regulatory Relevance) network in EU. She has been the President of the Finnish Society of Toxicology (FST) 1998-2000. In 2010 she became the President of the Scandinavian Society for Cell Toxicology (SSCT). She is Vice President of the European Consensus Platform for Alternatives (ECOPA), President of the Finnish Consensus Platform for Alternatives (FINCOPA), and she is European Registered Toxicologist (ERT).

Dr. Heinonen has been Associate Editor of „Frontiers in Toxicology“ (from 2010 on), Quest Editor of Toxicology in Vitro Special Issue 2013, and reviewer in several toxicological journals. Her list of publications includes thirty articles in peer reviewed scientific Journals, and dozens of pharmaceutical study reports.