The Finnish Epilepsy Lifetime Achievements Award was given to professor Matti Sillanpää by Finnish Epilepsy Association, Epilepsy Research Foundation and Finnish Epilepsy Society on August 4. This Award recognises senior members of the society who have a record of lifetime contributions and accomplishments related to epilepsy research.

Professor emeritus Matti Sillanpää celebrates his 80-year anniversary in Turku on August 4. His career as a pediatric neurologist, teacher and researcher is remarkable. His most important research project in epileptology is a population-based longitudinal follow-up study of children with epilepsy. He has followed the same patients at five-year intervals during 50 years. His research work has been widely cited and is well-known all over the world.

Professor Sillanpää has also had time for work in both professional and lay organisations on international, national and local levels. He has acted as the President of the Finnish Epilepsy Society, Finnish Epilepsy Association and Epilepsy Research Foundation. Matti Sillanpää’s work has influenced the status of people with epilepsy and improved their possibilities to lead a normal life.

People with epilepsy have always been very much at his heart. He sees with great satisfaction that the attitudes towards epilepsy have improved and people with epilepsy have better possibilities to get education and employment nowadays. Better knowledge of epilepsy, research and active work in lay organisations have positively influenced on this development.

Professor Matti Sillanpää´s video interview:

He was interviewed by Liisa Metsähonkala (subtitles in English).