Research Highlights

Systems medicine paves the way for improved treatment for leukaemia patients - A model for other cancer treatments in the future?

A new individualized systems medicine strategy, developed at FIMM and the Helsinki University Central Hospital, enables a selection of potentially effective cancer therapies for individual patients. The promising results achieved by applying this strategy to chemo resistant adult acute myeloid leukaemia patients were published in the Cancer Discovery journal in December 2013.

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Disruption of TOP3B is associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia, as well as with impairment in intellectual function and learning

An international team of researchers, including several FIMM researchers, showed that schizophrenia and a disorder associated with autism and learning difficulties share a common biological pathway. This is one of the first times that researchers have uncovered genetic evidence for the underlying causes of schizophrenia. The team found that a disruption of the gene TOP3B, an exceedingly rare occurrence in most parts of the world, is fairly common in a uniquely genetically distinct founder population from North-Eastern Finland. In this population, which has grown in relative isolation for several centuries, the disruption of TOP3B is associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia, as well as with impairment in intellectual function and learning.

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Stripped mobile phone camera turned into a
mini-microscope for low-cost diagnostics

Microscopy, being relatively easy to perform at low cost, is the universal diagnostic method for detection of most globally important parasitic infections. Methods developed in well-equipped laboratories are, however, difficult to maintain at the basic levels of the health care system due to lack of adequately trained personnel and resources. Researchers at FIMM and Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, showed that novel techniques for high-resolution imaging and image transfer over data networks may be utilized to solve these diagnostic problems. The team modified inexpensive imaging devices, such as a webcam selling for ten euros and a mobile phone camera, into a mini-microscope. The test sample was placed directly on the exposed surface of the image sensor chip after removal of the optics. The resolution of such mini-microscopes was dependent on the pixel size of the sensor, but nevertheless sufficient for identification of several pathogenic parasites.

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Kuva 4

 

Furthermore, FIMM researches were involved in several large consortium studies were new risk variants were identified for various diseases and traits, such as migraine, multiple sclerosis triglyceride levels and anthropometric traits.

 

Research Highlights