The Jens Wærhaug prize to Prof. Sirkka Asikainen

Posted 09.09.2017

Scandinavian Society of Periodontology awarded Professor Sirkka Asikainen with the prestigous Jens Wærhaug Prize. Award was presented to Prof. Asikainen in conjuction with the ScSP2017 Congress, which took place in Mariehamn, Åland, Finland.

Dr. Asikainen graduated as a dentist (1966), specialized in periodontology (1979) and received the PhD (1986, “Subgingival Microflora in Relation to Clinical Conditions in Juvenile Periodontitis”) and Adjunct Professor (1991) degrees in the University of Helsinki, Finland. During 1975-2000 she worked as a teacher and Acting Professor in Periodontology in the Department of Periodontology and in various positions in the Academy of Finland. She was appointed as the Professor of Oral Microbiology in the Umeå University, Sweden (2001-2010), and Professor of Periodontology (2010-2013) and Professor of Oral Microbiology (2014-2016) in Kuwait University, Kuwait. She has worked as a Visiting Researcher in the University of Gothenburg (1980), Visiting Professor in the Department of Periodontology, University of Pennsylvania (1988) and in the Department of Periodontology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles (1993-1994). Dr. Asikainen initiated research on periodontal microbiology in Finland. She has supervised thirteen PhD theses, ten postdocs and tens of academic project students in the fields of periodontology and oral microbiology. She has served in editorial boards of periodontal and oral microbiology journals, as a reviewer in tens of scientific journals, external reviewer in professor appointments, opponent in PhD dissertations, a variety of university committees and has organized continuous education courses in periodontology and oral microbiology. She has given a couple of hundred invited lectures, seminars and courses in meetings of scientific societies, research institutions and dental associations worldwide. Dr. Asikainen has received several awards for teaching and research.
Dr. Asikainen’s research interest includes periodontal diseases as bacterial infections and their local and systemic effects with a special reference to cardiovascular diseases. Studies first sought answers to questions such as, which bacteria relate to periodontitis, age they colonize oral cavity, occurrence in periodontal health and disease, from where they come and how, and their systemic effects. Later, the main research line has focused on mechanisms how a chronic biofilm-associated periodontal infection can contribute to systemic effects. Dr. Asikainen has published 140 articles in international peer-reviewed journals. She has research collaborators from Finland, Sweden, USA, Turkey, Kuwait and China. She has received major financial support for her research work from the Academy of Finland, University of Helsinki, Finnish Dental Society, Swedish Research Council, Umeå University, Västerbotten County Council and Kuwait University.