Mentor Programme sparks idea development


To move forward with her idea on creating an animal model platform, Emmi Puuvuori
has received support from UU Innovation, including advisors and an external mentor.
Photo: Mikael Wallerstedt.

Hello there Emmi Puuvuori, PhD in translational medicine. Apart from recently receiving your doctorate degree from the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, you also participated in the UU Innovation mentor programme, which is open for applications.

Why did you apply to the mentor programme?
"I saw an advert for the programme and was really excited to see that you could apply as a PhD student. During my PhD studies, I realised that finding information about different animal models and how they correlate to human diseases was not easy. This is how I got the idea to create such a platform. Getting accepted to the mentor programme really kickstarted the project, making it more real.”

You decided to start creating a website called In Vivo Library, where protocols of different animal models will be easily accessible through a user-friendly search function. How will this platform make a positive difference?
"Finding information about different animal models is often time-consuming and unreliable, with information scattered in different publications and books, or simply existing as spoken knowledge. This makes it difficult for preclinical research groups in academia and industry to start working with new and better models or to find relevant translational information about already existing models. The platform is designed to provide easy access to protocols for different animal models, making it easier for preclinical research groups to find relevant translational information.”

What kind of support did your mentor provide?
“I got a lot of valuable feedback and questions from my mentor about things I could fine-tune in my project. It was very valuable to get the perspective from someone who had done something similar before.”

You have also received ongoing support from UU Innovation’s advisors. How has this worked?
“Extremely good, I think. They have helped me understand the next steps to take and have provided guidance on how to get feedback from potential users. Thanks to their funding, I was able to build a prototype of the website, which is making it possible to present my idea to potential users and collaborators. The prototype developed with support from UU Innovation is instrumental to demonstrating the website's key features.”

What’s next for your innovation project?
“Looking ahead, I am applying for long-term funding to set up and run the platform and also starting to work on curating translational data. I am also looking to connect with people who want to test the platform.”

Text: Frida Johnson

Do you want a mentor?

The next round of UU Innovation's mentor programme will start in September 2023. Applications are open until 15 May. The programme is open to researchers and doctoral students from all disciplines at Uppsala University, and is geared towards those who want to develop their results and ideas for wider use with the support of a mentor who works outside of academia.

Learn more and apply by 15 May

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Last modified: 2023-12-01