Hilkka Soininen, professor of neurology at the University of Eastern Finland and senior physician of neurology at Kuopio University Hospital, is Kuopio’s first congress ambassador. Soininen is active in international research and she represents gloriously the expertise of her area in the world.
The rewarder, Kuopio Convention Bureau, emphasizes Soininen’s activity in domestic and foreign research teams. She also actively invites both domestic and international congresses to Kuopio, promoting the growth of congress tourism in the region.
– Kuopio Ambassador selection highlights the importance of scientific congresses for the researcher, the organization she represents, the city of Kuopio, the entire region and the companies in the area, says Kirsi Vartiainen, marketing manager at Kuopio Convention Bureau.
– Soininen has been organizing more than twenty international congresses focusing on neurological diseases research, continues Vartiainen.
As a prize, Soininen received a unique glass artwork designed by local, internationally renowned, artist, Ritva-Liisa Pohjalainen. The work reflects the courage and activity of the new Kuopio Ambassador 2018.
– This work is a red-haired ambassador, who is not afraid to take action, but goes forward with joy, getting others around inspired to achieve common goals, says Pohjalainen.
Internationally respected researcher
Soininen is a respected physician and an internationally renowned researcher whose field of publication includes over 500 high-quality scientific publications.
– She is also a respected lecturer in international scientific congresses. She has several positions of responsibility. She is a member in several research networks. During her career, she has received many awards and recognitions, says Tuomo Meriläinen, director of administration at the University of Eastern Finland.
Soininen’s research focuses on memory disorders, especially Alzheimer’s disease.
– She has done extensive research to develop memory disease prevention, treatment and diagnostics, says Jorma Penttinen, director of the Kuopio University Hospital.
An example of Soininen’s recent research, is the Finnish national FINGER study. The study investigated the possibilities of prevention of memory disorders through intervention aimed at nutrition, physical activity, social and intellectual activity, and the monitoring of cardiovascular risk factors. The study found that multifaceted intervention can slow down cognitive impairment and also produce a practical model for preventing memory disorders. Research is the first of its kind in the world and was released in the prestigious Lancet series.
Aiming for a multiple number of congresses
Kuopio Convention Bureau aims to quadruple the number of international congresses in Kuopio by 2025. To achieve this goal, the key players in the city are those who apply for international science conferences to the area.
– Kuopio Ambassador encourages other scientists and research community to participate in international activities. The aim is also to inform how organizations, the Kuopio City and the Kuopio Convention Bureau will support and assist in the congress application process and arrangements, says Vartiainen.
The first Kuopio Ambassador was chosen by a committee, including Tuomo Hyttinen (Savonia University of Applied Sciences), Kirsi Soininen (City of Kuopio), Tuomo Meriläinen (University of Eastern Finland) and Jorma Penttinen (Kuopio University Hospital). In the coming years, scientists can themselves propose and vote for a person who would be a suitable Kuopio Ambassador.