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Falling Walls Finland prize goes to novel eye research

Work on corneal blindness by competitor from University of Tampere gets the top prize at inaugral event at Aalto Design Factory
Falling Walls. Kuva: Mikko Raskinen.

The inaugural Falling Walls Lab Finland at Aalto university was won by Laura Koivusalo, a researcher from the University of Tampere for her talk on “Breaking the walls of Corneal Blindness”.

“Our research group focuses on stem cell therapies for different eye diseases. Our corneal therapy could restore vision to previously untreatable cases of limbal stem deficiency, which is a firm of corneal blindness often affecting especially young and working age people.” Laura Koivusalo said.  

“I'm really excited about going to Berlin, although it still feels a bit unreal! This was my first time pitching this idea, so I need to start honing my pitch to get it perfect.” 

The judges were impressed with the potential impact of Laura’s work, which she explained in a 3 minute speech as part of the international pitching competition. She will now be flying to Berlin to take place in the world final of the Falling Walls competition, competing with other researchers from around the globe.

Hanna Ollila, from the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare came second place with her talk “Breaking the wall of Sleep and Exhaustion” and Mustafa Ahmad Munawar came third for his talk “Breaking the wall of PCR carryover contamination”.

The event was hosted by The Accademy of Finland and Aalto university at Design factory. The other competitors were Arturs Holavins, Anatoly Lvov, Julle Oksanen, and Konstantin Vostrov.

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