The 2021 Per Brahe Prize goes to Hongbo Zhang - Stiftelsen för Åbo Akademi sr
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The 2021 Per Brahe Prize goes to Hongbo Zhang

Hongbo Zhang. Photo: Marcus Prest.

The Åbo Akademi University Foundation is giving the 2021 Per Brahe Prize to Hongbo Zhang, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Åbo Akademi University. A prize sum of €12,000 is annually awarded to a promising researcher at Åbo Akademi University with the hope that he or she will continue his or her research. The prize will be acknowledged at the Åbo Akademi University Foundation Delegation’s ordinary general meeting on 9 December at 17.00.

“I am honoured to have my work recognised in this way. The prize will enable me to continue working hard and serve Åbo Akademi University by achieving new scientific findings,” says Zhang.

Zhang (born in1982 in China) was nominated by the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Åbo Akademi University. Dean Patrik Henelius supports the nomination due to Zhang’s great potential to benefit Åbo Akademi University research, education and innovation. Henelius also notes Zhang’s spirit of cooperation, capacity, and multidisciplinarity beyond the limitations of traditional research boundaries.

Zhang has a multidisciplinary background: he has carried out research in pharmacy, nanotechnology, microfluidics, precision medicine and bioimaging. Zhang received his PhD from the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Helsinki in 2012, after which he spent three years as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University in the United States. In 2016, Zhang was recruited as a tenure track professor within Åbo Akademi University’s strategic research field Solutions for Health. It took him only two years to advance from the first tenure track level to the second, and he was appointed as an Associate Professor in 2018. The estimated progression time between the first and second levels is usually four years. 

“I really like the atmosphere at Åbo Akademi University, and I have also received a great deal of support during my tenure track process. Åbo Akademi University and Turku Bioscience Centre have excellent infrastructure and tools that facilitate our daily research work,” says Zhang.

Zhang also holds a visiting professorship at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. The collaboration between Åbo Akademi University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University has resulted in the establishment of the International Research Centre in Advanced Biomedical Materials at Ruijin Hospital, from where PhD students have also been admitted to Åbo Akademi University.