Infrastructures and Services

World-class Infrastructure and State-of-the-Art Core Facilities

The mission of FIMM technology platforms is to operate a world-class infrastructure to enable outstanding science and early introduction of the state-of-the-art technologies in translational research and clinical operations. FIMM Technology Centre and Biobank provide professional research services to researchers locally, nationally and internationally. We are constantly upgrading our infrastructure and services to remain the state-of-the-art by further investing in the equipment and by developing and implementing novel methods in collaboration with research groups. This can be achieved with support from the Academy of Finland and the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI).

In 2015, FIMM’s research infrastructure was upgraded with a few new equipment. Technology Centre’s Genotyping unit purchased a new Biomek pipetting robot from Beckman Coulter and High Throughput Biomedicine Unit increased its service capacity by acquiring a new Cytomat 10 plate hotel and a new Cytomat 10C automated plate incubator. The plate hotel duplicates the capacity of compound plate production to meet the needs of increasing interest in assay ready compound plates. The new incubator enabled the Unit to move towards 1,536 well format in cell based assays, increasing the capacity even further.

Academy of Finland Infrastructure Funding

 Finnish Research Infrastructure (FIRI) Committee of the Academy of Finland monitors and develops Finnish and international research infrastructure activities and selects the infrastructure projects to be funded in Finland. In the FIRI 2015 call by the Academy of Finland, FIMM researchers (Janna Saarela as the PI) together with collaborators received funding to build up the infrastructure for single cell capture and processing that has been lacking in Finland. The total investment to this novel infrastructure in Helsinki and Turku, including the share of the host universities, is 1 million €.

In addition, FIMM received some support for the BBMRI.fi coordination activities and nearly 300,000 € for further development of the eSISu infrastructure. SISu (Sequencing Initiative Suomi) is a data resource of Finnish genome sequences for researchers and clinicians. The current version of eSISu contains allele frequency data from more than 6,000 individuals’ exomes. The aim is to increase the total number of sequenced individuals to 35,000 and that of sequence variants to 30 million. This would significantly improve the SISu database for the benefit of patients, clinicians and researchers.


 

ESFRIs and National Roadmap

FIMM is involved in five research infrastructures included in the national roadmap that was published in March 2014. In addition to Biocenter Finland, EATRIS, EU-OPENSCREENBBMRI and EURO-BIOIMAGING were included in the roadmap. Both EATRIS and BBMRI have received the status of an ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium). This specific legal form is designed to facilitate the joint establishment and operation of research infrastructures of European interest. Professor Olli Kallioniemi was the national coordinator of EATRIS for 2014-2015. He also chairs the EATRIS Biomarkers Product Group - one of the five technology areas in EATRIS. Dr. Krister Wennerberg is the national coordinator of EU-OPENSCREEN. Project Director Andreas Scherer, Research Coordinator Heidi Virtanen and Senior Researcher Carina von Schantz-Fant coordinate these projects at FIMM.

Ongoing EU Infrastructure Projects

In 2015, two EU Infrastructure Projects were ongoing at FIMM. Of these, the Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure – Large Prospective Cohorts (BBMRI-LPC) project is coordinated jointly by FIMM (Research Professor Markus Perola and Project Manager Birgit Simell) and Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC). By providing networking platforms and transnational access to the BBMRI-LPC participating cohorts, the project aims to increase the utilization of large European sample collections. During 2015, project launched the second and third BBMRI-LPC scientific calls, which raised lots of interest among European scientists and resulted in many scientifically high-level applications. A third annual LPC Forum meeting was organised in September 2015 in Budapest, Hungary, in order to continue building of a platform for transferring expertise from the established European large-scale biobanks to new biobank initiatives in emerging biobanking countries.

Ongoing EU Infrastructure Projects

Project

Years

Link

Description

BioMedBridges

2012-2015

www.biomedbridges.eu

 

Building Data Bridges between Biological and Medical Infrastructures in Europe

BBMRI-LPC

2013-2017

www.bbmri-lpc.org

 

European Biobanking and Biomolecular Research Infrastructure - Large Prospective Cohorts

Infrastructures and Services