Congratulations, Dr. Khushbu Rauniyar!

VEGF-C: The evolutionary origin, activation, and potential as a drug target

Defending a PhD thesis is a BIG thing in Finland, and you just did it. Unlike the rest of the world (perhaps except for Sweden), no other country requires as much demonstration of perseverance from PhD candidates as Finland does. On average, it takes four publications and 7 years. The long duration and the lack of well-defined requirements are two problems the Finnish Ministry of Education wants to address over the next few years to level the playing field for Finnish PhD graduates in the international job market. Completing a PhD in Finland takes a lot of Sisu. Sisu is a Finnish word which cannot be translated into any other language, but the recent movie with the same title can give you an idea. Wikipedia defines Sisu as extraordinary determination in the face of extreme adversity.

In the "old times", drugs were discovered based on their effects while not knowing their mechanism of action. This paradigm is more and more turned on its head. Researchers try to understand the mechanism that leads to disease before they start developing or finding a drug. Much of Khushbu's thesis is about better understanding the mechanisms that govern the action of the primary lymphangiogenic growth factor VEGF-C: The evolutionary origin, activation, and potential as a drug target. Prof. Eckhard Lammert did a great job as the opponent, and Prof. Kari Keinänen did the same as the custos. Dear Khushbu, we wish you all the best for your next big project!