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News: Society affairs & governance

A tribute to Prof Christian "Enis" Ehnholm

Tuesday 29 September 2020   (1 Comments)
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It is with sadness that we share the news of the death of Professor Christian “Enis” Ehnholm, after a short sickness, on 7th September 2020 in Grankulla, Finland. He was an internationally renowned researcher in the field of cardiovascular diseases who made pioneering discoveries and authored 470 scientific publications. We have lost a warm-hearted research personality, who has left a legacy both nationally and internationally.
Professor Ehnholm was born in Tammerfors, Finland 1939. He studied medicine in University of Helsinki and decided early on to devote his medical studies to a career in research.

After 2 years at Cornell University, in Ithaca and USCD in La Jolla, USA, he returned to Helsinki, Finland, to employment at Haartman Institute in Meilahti. Here Professor Ehnholm helped build up an international Center for research in medicine. Professor Ehnholm was known for his witty and humorous comments and remarks, which created a lively and stimulating research environment, where young researchers flourished, many going on to become international actors in their field. This support of young talent was unique in Finland.

Professor Ehnholm left the Haartman Institute for a position as a head of Molecular Medicine department at the National Institute of Public Health, where he stayed until his retirement. He was the first in Finland to develop clinical DNA test for paternal determination. Professor Ehnholm had a wide research field and worked mostly with fat metabolism in our cells and with proteins, which transported cholesterol and triglyceride in our blood circulation.

During Professor Ehnholm’s active research career, he was often a guest lecturer and professor abroad. During the eighties he visited Gladstone Institute in San Francisco, USA, and later changed continent, to Australia, to carry out research in Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney. Through his contributions at all these state-of-the-art laboratories, he built up an astonishing network with leading atherosclerosis researchers around the world. Travelling with his family – his wife, Biggi and his children (in the end it was four of them) - he formed many life-long friendships.

Professor Ehnholm took an active part in the atherosclerosis international organisations, IAS and EAS being a co-chair for EAS Helsinki congress 2007. He coordinated numerous multinational research networks both in Europe and throughout the world.  He was also an active member in the leadership of national research institutes such as, Minerva and Medix.

Research into fat metabolism in Finland has been world leading, thanks to Professor Ehnholm’s contributions, which have made an impact both nationally and internationally. He was interested not only in basic research, but also how to implement it in practice. In Finland, the National Institute of Public Health succeeded in lowering the number of deaths caused by cardiovascular disease in men, which had been among the highest in the world, thanks to a research team where Professor Ehnholm had a seminal position. One of the campaign’s most important elements was to lower the disproportionally high figure of fat consumption in East Finland.

Professor Ehnholm was a man who had many hobbies. He was a hunter and a fisherman, and he also had time for carpentry and to play football and ice-hockey. The whole family Ehnholm enjoyed spending their summers in Köklot, Kvarken. Their big fisher boat Clupea “Strömming”, eventually became too small to accommodate the grown-up children and the 15 grandchildren in the affectionate hospitality of Biggi and “Enis”.

The atherosclerosis community is deeply saddened Professor Ehnholm's loss. He will be missed both as a scientist and a wonderful personality.

EAS President

Lale Tokgozoglu

Comments...

Manuel Castro Cabezas says...
Posted Wednesday 30 September 2020
It is indeed a sad message and a great loss for our community. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Chris. Indeed EAS has lost a great representative. Chris will not be forgotten. with respect, manuel castro cabezas

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