A.I. Virtanen Prize

Founded for the scientific legacy of honorable scientist and Nobel laureate Artturi Ilmari Virtanen the A.I. Virtanen Prize is awarded biennially by Biobio Society, Finnish Chemical Society and Foundation for Nutrition research to acknowledge groundbreaking and meritorius scientific work.

Prize is awarded to a Finnish or a foreign researcher with significant achievements in the fields represented by the aforementiones societies and foundation. Special attention is paid to a broad-minded, scientifically active nominee. Interdisciplinary approach to research is also highlighted.

The prize consists of a silvery medal designed by sculptor Aimo Tukiainen, grant and a diploma.

A.I. Virtanen awardwinners and field of research:

2019 Tapio Salmi, chemistry
2017 Johanna Ivaska, cell biology
2015 Hania Szajewska, nutrition
2013 Kari Alitalo, medicine
2011 Markku Leskelä, chemistry
2009 Pirjo Pietinen, nutrition
2006 Kai Simons, biochemistry, molecular biology
1997 Pekka Pyykkö, chemistry
1995 Ari Helenius, biochemistry, cell biology
1993 - no award
1991 Pirjo Mäkelä, medicine (bacteriology)
1989 Mårten Wikström, biotechnology, biophysics
1987 Esko Nurmi, veterinary
1985 Leevi Kääriäinen, molecular biology
1983 Tor-Magnus Enari, biochemistry
1981 Jarmo Visakorpi, medicine (pediatrics)
1979 Ichiro Chibata, biotechnology
1975 Melvin Calvin, biochemistry
1974 Eino Kulonen, medicinal chemistry
1970 Nils Ellfolk, protein chemistry
1965 1. medal A.I. Virtanen, 2. medal The National Museum of Finland


A.I. Virtanen -medal

In 1961 the excecutive board of Societas Biochemica, Biophysica et Microbiologica Fenniae decided to celebrate its founder A.I. Virtanen by commissioning the sculptor Aimo Tukiainen for a medal. Alltogether 20 medals were minted, where from the first one was given to A.I. Virtanen himself and the second one was given to the National Museum of Finland. Medals were prepared by the society with the help of its supporting members.

Together with the Finnish Chemical Society and the Foundation for Nutrition Research, Biobio Society awarded the last medal from the original series of the silvery A.I. Virtanen prizes to Professor Johanna Ivaska in November 2017.

In 2017 the excecutive board of the Biobio Society reached out to its honorary and emeritus members, foundations and associations to mint a new series of A.I. Virtanen medals. With the help of these supporters, altogether 25 new silvery medals were minted. For this the board would like to warmly thank all the supporters!

In accordance with the wishes of the heir of the copyright holder, scupltor Aimo Tukiainen, the first medal of the new series was handed over to the Art Center Purnu, which cherishes the legacy of the sculptor. With the new series of the medal the Society can pursue to honor the Nobel Laureate A.I. Virtanen and his meritorious scientific work, encouraging the well deserving researches to advance in their careers and thus nurture the Finnish cultural heritage related scientific work.

The main supporters of the new A.I. Virtanen medal series:

Johan Järnefelt
Marjaana Ellfolk
Dennis Bamford
Sirkka Keränen
Karri Wichmann
Matti Sarvas
Reijo Vihko
Hannu Koistinen
Timo Korhonen
Kristiina Mäkinen
Marc Baumann

Finnish Peptide Society (FIPS)
Foundation for Nutrition Research
Finnish Chemical Society

and one anonymous supporter

Other supporters:

Pirjo Veijalainen
Yrjö Mälkki
Oili Hietala
Seija Mäkinen

and two anonymous supporters