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She will be in charge of Orion’s oncology research

Johanna Ivaska

Johanna Ivaska, Academy Professor of Biochemistry has been appointed Head & Vice President of Oncology Research in Orion Corporation as of 1 October 2018.

Ivaska joins Orion from the University of Turku and will continue working also there with her research team. In the role of  Head & Vice President of Oncology Research in Orion R&D Ivaska will have all oncology discovery directly reporting to her. In addition, she will act as the Director of Orion Research Center for Biotechnology and Translational Research in Turku. Johanna Ivaska will report to Vice President, R&D Global Head, Therapy Area Oncology, professor Heikki Joensuu.

“I warmly welcome Johanna Ivaska to the Orion Oncology team. Johanna Ivaska has an outstanding career in science, and she is a widely recognized scholar internationally. In particular, she has an exceptional ability to be creative in her science, which skill is highly appreciated when developing novel drugs for serious diseases, such as cancer. Oncology is one of Orion’s main focus areas in the pharmaceutical  Research and Development. Johanna Ivaska will have an important role in shaping the aims and structure of Orion Oncology. We feel privileged in hiring Johanna Ivaska,” says Heikki Joensuu, R&D Global Head, Therapy Area Oncology in Orion.


An intrenationally distinguished researcher

Ivaska is an internationally distinguished researcher specialising in the role of cellular changes in metastatic development in cancer. Twice during her career, Ivaska has received research funding awarded by European Research Council (ERC), which is among the most notable grants in the world and highly competed. Ivaska and her academic research team are also the recipients of many scientific awards including most recently the Medix prize 2018 for the best scientific publication in medicine in Finland and in 2017 the prestigious A.I. Virtanen prize for internationally recognized excellence in research.

“I am excited to extend the co-operation with Orion Corporation. As a scientist, I have been passionately tackling biomedical research questions for over 20 years. Every new drug is based on curiosity driven fundamental research. However, drug development requires resources and know-how beyond academia. With my new appointment, I will have the opportunity to contribute to the other end of the process, the pharmacological therapy,” says Johanna Ivaska.