A high-resolution approach to multi-dimensional clonal phenomics

Researchers from FIMM and BRIC have developed a first-in-class algorithm for systematic analysis of cellular DNA barcoding experiments. The algorithm enables reliable detection of differentially responding clonal lineages by accounting for statistical properties of the barcode count data.


COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative

Our researchers are launching the "COVID-19 host genetics initiative" - a community effort to identify genetic variants associated with COVID-19 susceptibility and severity.


FIMM is taking proactive measures regarding the COVID-19 outbreak

FIMM leadership has provided recommendations concerning the coronavirus outbreak. These recommendations are a proactive step to increase social distancing and assist in the larger public health effort, not a reaction to any FIMM-specific concern.


Balaguru Ravikumar’s dissertation demonstrates the value of computational frameworks on interpreting large-scale drug screening data

M.Tech. Balaguru Ravikumar’s thesis entitled "Computational frameworks to aid pharmacological studies: Tools, Databases and Prediction models” will be examined on 28 February 2020 with the permission of the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences of the University of Helsinki. The thesis focused on developing novel computational methods, databases and tools for interpreting drug screening data.


FinnGen wel­comes Janssen and Maze Thera­peut­ics

FinnGen, a large-scale academic – industry, genome research collaboration in Finland coordinated by FIMM researchers now includes eleven industry partners with the addition of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson and Maze Therapeutics.


FIMM meets Pharma 2020

The second FIMM meets Pharma event will be organized at the University of Helsinki Meilahti campus during the autumn.


Novel bioin­form­at­ics tool en­ables iden­ti­fic­a­tion of drug com­bin­a­tions with in­creased po­ten­tial for clin­ical suc­cess

Researchers from the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland FIMM, University of Helsinki, have developed a new method that facilitates top hit selection in combinatorial drug screening. The freely available SynToxProfiler tool is based on integrated analysis of drug efficacy, synergy, and toxicity.


Novel genetic variant with implications on heart failure pathogenesis identified

Researchers from FIMM and the University of Turku have identified an exonic variant in the TRIM55 gene, which affects cardiomyocyte specific functions and reduces cardiac contractility.


Applications invited for the 2020 FIMM-EMBL/HIIT International PhD Programme

The call for applications for PhD positions in the fields of molecular medicine, bioinformatics, and artificial intelligence is open until February 2, 2020.


Ma­chine learn­ing de­creases ex­per­i­men­tal costs of drug com­bin­a­tion screen­ing for trans­la­tional ap­plic­a­tions

FIMM researchers have developed an efficient machine learning model that requires only a limited set of dose-response measurements for accurate prediction of drug combination synergy in a given patient sample. The minimal-input web-implementation, named DECREASE, supports cost-effective combinatorial screening in precision medicine projects with decreased experimental costs, translational time and number of patient-derived cells required.


Joel Rämö’s thesis rethinks the causes of dyslipidemias in families

Joel Rämö will defend his doctoral dissertation “Genomic, metabolic and clinical profiling of dyslipidemias in families” on November 6.


Study de­codes gene func­tion that pro­tects against type 2 dia­betes

An international research collaboration led by researchers from the Universities of Helsinki and Oxford has identified the biological mechanism through which a genetic variant protects against type 2 diabetes.


Science by the Seafront: researchers from around the world connected at the annual EMBL Partnership Conference “Perspectives in Translational Medicine”

Hosted by EMBL Barcelona, the 3rd annual EMBL Partnership Conference took place from 25-27 September in Barcelona, Spain.


Ashwini Kumar’s dissertation shows the power of bioinformatics in precision medicine

MRes Ashwini Kumar’s thesis entitled "Transcriptomic data integration for precision medicine in leukemia” was examined on October 11th, 2019 with the permission of the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciencesof the University of Helsinki. The thesis focused on utilizing gene expression information for advanced precision medicine outcomes in patients with hematological cancers.


Olli Silvennoinen appointed director of HiLIFE at the University of Helsinki

Silvennoinen will assume the position in November, transferring from the directorship of the Institute of Biotechnology.



WebsEdge/Health presents ASHG TV 2019. Highlights and conference news from The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) Annual Meeting - Sharing Discoveries. Shaping our Future


Meet our researchers at the ASHG 2019

Many of our researchers will be attending the 69th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) in Houston October 15-19. Come and meet us!


Jaakko Leinonen’s doctoral thesis demonstrates the value of follow-up studies of genetic associations

Jaakko Leinonen’s thesis entitled "Moving beyond GWAS: Exploring the Function of the Gene LIN28B Associated with Pubertal Timing” focuses on exploring the molecular mechanisms by which LIN28B affects puberty. His doctoral dissertation will be publicly examined on 10 October, with the permission of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Helsinki.


Riikka Karjalainen’s dissertation provides new clues on drug resistance in acute myeloid leukemia

Riikka Karjalainen’s thesis entitled "Studies on Drug Resistance and Molecular Biomarkers in Acute Myeloid Leukemia” will be publicly examined on Friday, 4th of October, with the permission of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Helsinki.


Sami Blom’s dissertation provides novel tools for analysis of tumor tissue in prostate cancer

Riku Turkki’s thesis entitled " Spatial Characterisation of Prostate Cancer by Multiplex Immunohistochemistry and Quantitative Image Analysis” will be publicly examined on Friday, 27 Septempber, with the permission of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Helsinki. The thesis presents the development of a novel multiplex Immunohistochemistry platform for quantitative analysis of tissue samples.


A comprehensive atlas of genetic regulation of lipid metabolism published

An international research team has identified several novel genetic variants associated with plasma levels of lipid species and cardiovascular disease risk in humans. The study demonstrates that genetic studies focusing on circulating molecular lipid levels over traditional lipid measures can help improve cardiovascular risk prediction and treatment.


Virtual Kinome Profiler empowers chemogenomic analysis of the druggable kinome

An interdisciplinary research team at FIMM has developed a computational kinome profiling platform for systematic prioritization of potent compound-target activities among massive number of interactions profiled in high-throughput screens. The platform utilizes chemogenomic relationships of kinases and greatly speeds-up kinase inhibitor screening process. The platform and the related datasets are publicly available as a one-click web-tool.


Dr. Katja Kivinen appointed new Head of the FIMM Technology Centre

Dr Katja Kivinen has been appointed new Head of the FIMM Technology Centre. She will start in this position on September 16, 2019. Dr. Kivinen has a wealth of expertise in both genetics and bioinformatics. Recently, she has contributed significantly to the development of cardiovascular research at the University of Cambridge.


Ad­vanced data analysis en­hances pre­ci­sion medicine pren­atal ge­netic test­ing ap­plic­a­tions in clin­ics

This novel open-source computational framework, combined with targeted high-coverage sequencing data promotes the R&D of Non-Invasive Prenatal genetic Screening (NIPT) to make it completely affordable and routinely applicable in clinics. The developed data analysis method uses high-coverage sequencing data from targeted genomic regions to detect fetal trisomies and the parental origin of the trisomic chromosome from the mother’s blood sample in the first trimester of pregnancy.


FIMM welcomes Andrea Ganna, a new FIMM-EMBL group leader

FIMM is very happy to announce that Andrea Ganna has joined the institute as a new FIMM-EMBL Group Leader. Dr. Ganna joined the FIMM Human Genomics Programme from his Post-doc position at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in March 2019.


Samuli Ripatti nominated Vice Director of FIMM

Professor Samuli Ripatti has been appointed as Vice Director of the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) for the period 1 May 2019 – 31 December 2022.


EU-LIFE calls for impactful collaborative research in European biomedicine: 6 recommendations for the Strategic programming of Horizon Europe’s Health Cluster

EU-LIFE, the alliance of 13 leading life science institutes in Europe, points out the increasing lack of opportunities for collaborative research in biomedicine at a European level and highlights how this is endangering long-lasting, positive impact in health research for the benefit of citizens. Based on the analysis on the barriers regarding participation in collaborative health research in Horizon 2020, six recommendations aim at contributing to improvement for the upcoming seven-year cycle of Horizon Europe.


Making drug combination testing a reality

Researchers from the University of Helsinki have developed a novel experimental and computational pipeline that enables more cost-effective and simultaneous large-scale drug combination testing in cancer.


Complex interplay between polygenic scores and genetic population structure

A study led by FIMM researchers evaluated the geographic distribution of polygenic scores of several complex diseases and traits in Finland. The results demonstrate that genetic population structure can give rise to spurious results even within one of the most thoroughly studied populations in human genetics.


Jarno Kivioja’s dissertation advances molecular detection and treatment of acute myeloid leukemia

Jarno Kivioja’s thesis entitled "The NUP98-NSD1 Fusion Gene in Acute Myeloid Leukemia” will be publicly examined on Friday, 31 May, with the permission of the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences of the University of Helsinki.


FIMM researches participated in the final meeting of the ACTION consortium

The final meeting of the ACTION consortium (Aggression in Children: unraveling the gene-environment interplay in aggression to inform treatment and intervention strategies) took place May 6-8, 2019 in Sardinia, Italy. The 11 collaborative partners met to share and disseminate their findings over the last 5 years of the EU 7th programme funding.


DrugComb, a one-stop solution to all your cancer drug combination data analysis needs

Assistant Professor Jing Tang, a principal investigator of the Network Pharmacology group at FIMM and at the UH Faculty of Medicine has led the development of DrugComb, an open resource for harmonizing cancer drug combination studies. Dr. Tang hopes that DrugComb would become a collaborative data analysis platform that would bring forth more effective and safer cancer treatments.


FIMM participates in HTS reproducibility study

FIMM is participating in a high-throughput screening reproducibility study.


A profile feature article of Mark Daly in Yliopisto magazine

From Har­vard to Fin­land: Mark Daly wants to turn Helsinki into the CERN of ge­netic research. FinnGen is Mark Daly’s answer to the question “why Helsinki”. This was no jump into the unknown.


New FinnGen animation released

With this new animation we hope to be able to explain all the essential characteristics of the FinnGen study in a way that is both entertaining and enlightening.


First common risk genes discovered for autism

An international research team has found the first common genetic risk variants for autism. The discovery provides novel insight into the biological processes involved in the development of autism and will help us to develop more precise diagnostic methods and provide better counselling for the individuals suffering from autism disorders in the future.


Luca Trotta’s doctoral thesis demonstrates the power of whole-exome sequencing as the diagnostic tool for primary immunodeficiencies

M.Sc. Luca Trotta defended his doctoral dissertation in the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences 24 January. The main aim of his thesis was to characterize the molecular genetic basis of primary immunodeficiency in Finnish patients.


EU project identifies several obstacles to transnational research access to large prospective cohorts

A four-year EU infrastructure project BBMRI-LPC analysed the gaps and needs involved in the transnational access provision to large human research sample cohorts in Europe. The results show that there still are substantial obstacles for sample and data transfer in Europe.


GSK and Sanofi join FinnGen, a large scale genome study of the Finnish population

GSK and Sanofi have joined the FinnGen study, a large public private partnership aiming to collect and analyse genome and health data from 500 000 Finns and thereby generate novel medically and therapeutically relevant insights.


Christian Benner’s dissertation demonstrates cutting-edge innovations in statistical fine-mapping methodology

M.Sc., Christian Benner’ doctoral dissertation "FINEMAP: a Statistical Method for Identifying Causaal Genetic Variants” will be publicly examined on Friday, 18 January, with the permission of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Helsinki. The thesis presents the development of the FINEMAP software for fine-mapping causal variants in the associated genomic regions.


Johan Lundin appointed Professor of Medical Technology at KI

Warm congratulations to FIMM Research Director Johan Lundin who has been appointed Professor of Medical Technology at Karolinska Institutet. The new professorship is focused on digital diagnostics and medical artificial intelligence to support patient care. Specific research areas include image-based diagnostics of cancer and infectious diseases, with special emphasis on point-of-care solutions for resource-limited settings.


Professor Olli Kallioniemi received the Matti Äyräpää Prize 2019

Professor Olli Kallioniemi, the founding Director of FIMM, has been awarded The Matti Äyräpää prize 2019 of the Medical Society Duodecim. Warm congratulations!


Applications invited for the 2019 FIMM-EMBL International PhD Programme

As part of the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine, we welcome applications for the 2019 FIMM-EMBL International PhD Program. The call for applications for PhD positions in the fields of molecular medicine, bioinformatics, and data science is open unti 7 February 2019.


Happy holidays!

FIMM wishes all our followers a very Happy Holiday Season! Instead of sending printed cards, our staff members have decided to support child health and Baltic Sea by giving donations to Unicef and John Nurminen Foundation.


Two FIMM Group Leaders received funding from the ERA PerMed 2018 call

Congratulations to Tero Aittokallio and Olli Kallioniemi and their teams for receiving ERA PerMed funding for their personalized medicine research projects.


Ashwini Nagaraj’s doctoral thesis highlights the importance of stratifying cancer according to etiology-related phenotypes

Ashwini Nagaraj’s thesis entitled "Unravelling Lung Cancer Heterogeneity and Associated Therapeutic Responses Using In Vivo and Ex Vivo Model Systems” focuses on investigating the role of tumor cell of origin in establishing lung cancer phenotypic and functional heterogeneity using genetically engineered lung cancer mouse models. Her doctoral dissertation was publicly examined on 7 December, with the permission of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Helsinki.


Meet us at SLUSH 2018!

The University’s Slush section (6D.6) will feature a total of 13 innovations at different stages of the commercialisation process. At Slush, they will look for partners, entrepreneurs and funders. Two of these 13 showcased innovations, KardioKompassi and VEIL.AI, come from FIMM research teams.


Two FIMM researchers ranking among the “2018 Highly Cited”

Highly Cited Researchers from Clarivate Analytics is an annual list recognizing leading researchers in the sciences and social sciences from around the world. Jaakko Kaprio and Samuli Ripatti are among the "2018 Highly Cited” in the field of Molecular Biology & Genetics. Congratulations!


Susanne Hultsch’s dissertation provides new insights into the complex mechanisms of drug resistance

Susanne Hultsch’s thesis entitled " Seven shades of tamoxifen resistance - Molecular mechanisms of drug resistance in breast cancer” focuses on the cellular events that precede the development of resistance to one the most important breast cancer treatments, tamoxifen. Her doctoral dissertation was publicly examined on 23 October, with the permission of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Helsinki.


Attending ASHG 2018 in San Diego? So are we!

More than 20 FIMM researchers will be attending the 68th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) in San Diego. Don't hesitate to come and meet them!


FIMM Research Director Janna Saarela appointed as Director of the NCMM in Oslo

Research Director Janna Saarela has been appointed as Director of the Centre for Molecular Medicine Norway (NCMM) in Oslo and will start in this position in January, 2019.


Muntasir Mamun Majumder’s thesis establishes the next level of precision medicine for myeloma

Muntasir Mamun Majumder’s thesis entitled "Improving Precision in Therapies for Hematological Malignancies” will be publicly examined on Friday, 12 October, with the permission of the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences of the University of Helsinki.


IDG-DREAM Drug Kinase Binding Prediction Challenge is open

FIMM researchers are organizing the IDG-DREAM Drug Kinase Binding Prediction Challenge that benchmarks machine learning models in the effort to accelerate mapping of drug-target space by prioritizing most potent compound-target interactions for further experimental evaluation.


FIMMPOD Annual Call for Postdoctoral Researchers at FIMM now Open

FIMMPOD is a professional development programme at FIMM aimed at enhancing the research experiences and career opportunities of postdoctoral and senior researchers. One of FIMMPOD's goals is the recruitment of outstanding researchers to the institute, and therefore FIMMPOD organises a call for postdoctoral researchers every year. The call for 2018 is now open.


Heikki Kuusanmäki’s dissertation verifies the importance of cell survival signaling pathways in leukemia

Heikki Kuusanmäki’s thesis entitled "Targeting Key Survival Signaling Pathways for The Treatment of Leukemia” will be publically examined on Friday, 28 September, with the permission of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Helsinki.


New FIMMPOD initiative: promoting industry-academia partnerships with joint postdoc positions

The first FIMM-Bayer joint postdoctoral researcher has been recruited as part of the FIMMPOD professional development programme activities. Dr. Prson Gautam will start in this position 1.9.2018.


Poojitha Ojamies’ dissertation provides valuable insights on treating cancer

M.Sc. Poojitha Ojamie’s thesis entitled "Clonal evolution and heterogeneity of cancer in the context of individualized medicine” focuses on developing sequencing and bioinformatics methods to study spatial and temporal tumor heterogeneity and evolution of cancer subclones. Her doctoral dissertation will be publically examined on 24 August, with the permission of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Helsinki.


Riku Turkki’s doctoral thesis demonstrates the potential of computer vision in analysis of cancer histopathology

Riku Turkki’s thesis entitled "Computer vision for tissue characterization and outcome prediction in cancer” will be publically examined on Friday, 24 August, with the permission of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Helsinki. The thesis has focused on investigating the use of computer vision for tissue characterisation and patient outcome prediction in cancer.


Khalid Saeed’s dissertation shows why it pays to be an early adopter

M.Sc. Khalid Saeed’s thesis entitled "Functional testing of urological cancer models by RNAi and drug libraries” focuses on identifying novel future treatment strategies for prostate, renal and kidney cancer. His doctoral dissertation will be publically examined today on 13 August.


FIMM Monthly Publication Highlight June 2018: Plasma metabolites reveal distinct profiles associating with different metabolic risk factors in monozygotic twin pairs

A research team led by FIMM Group Leader Miina Ollikainen has studied the association between plasma metabolites and metabolic health related variables using twin pairs. Their results show that metabolomics profiling can be used to identify distinct subgroups of individuals that differ by cholesterol measures.


Two Group Leader positions available at FIMM

The Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine is now seeking new Group Leaders at its Finnish (FIMM) and Swedish (MIMS) centres.


Psychiatric disorders share an underlying genetic basis

A large international study shows that psychiatric disorders may have important molecular similarities that are not reflected in current diagnostic categories.


EU-LIFE urges the European Parliament and the EU Council to push for a strong Horizon Europe

EU-LIFE, the alliance of 13 leading life science research institutes in Europe announced its reaction to the European Commission´s proposal for Horizon Europe, the next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP9) that will run from 2021 to 2027.


Tuuli Lappalainen receives the third Leena Peltonen Prize for Excellence in Human Genetics

The award was presented to Dr. Lappalainen on June 16, 2018 in Milan, Italy. She is the first Finnish genomic researcher to receive the award honoring the late Academician of Science, Leena Palotie, one of Finland’s most renowned scientists.


Maheswary Muniandy’s dissertation reveals the many faces of obesity

Maheswary Muniandy’s thesis entitled "Molecular Effects of Obesity and Related Metabolic Risk Factors – A Transcriptomics and Metabolomics Approach” will be publically examined on Friday, 8 June, with the permission of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Helsinki. The thesis has focused on studying obesity using omics data and bioinformatics tools.


Alok Jaiswal’s dissertation demonstrates the impact of computational approaches on data integration in cancer research

M.Sc. Alok Jaiswal’s thesis entitled "Integrative bioinformatics of functional and genomic profiles for cancer systems medicine” will be publically examined on Friday, 8 June, with the permission of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Helsinki. The thesis has focused on developing novel computational models and approaches for data analysis to facilitate extracting reproducible and meaningful information from the genomic and functional cancer datasets.


Samuli Eldfors’ dissertation demonstrates the clinical significance of somatic mutations in leukemias

The aim of M.Sc. Samuli Eldfors’ thesis entitled “Analysis of somatic mutations in leukemias” was to identify clinically important somatic mutations contributing to the development and treatment response of different leukemias. His doctoral dissertation was publically examined on Monday, 21 May, with the permission of the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences of the University of Helsinki.


FIMM Monthly Publication Highlight April 2018: Genetic heterogeneity between anatomically distinct bone marrow compartments in AML

A research team led by Professor Olli Kallioniemi has performed the first study investigating genomic heterogeneity of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The researchers identified somatic mutations unique to individual bone marrow compartments and showed that multiple sampling helps to delineate potential clonal evolution pathways.


Low birthweight linked to left-handedness

An international study coordinated by the University of Helsinki provides new information on the origins of handedness. The study stresses the importance of prenatal development, and especially very low birthweight, in the formation of handedness.


Andrew Erickson’s dissertation improves the outcome prediction of prostate cancer

The main aim of M.Sc. Andrew Erickson’s thesis entitled "In Search of Improved Outcome Prediction of Prostate Cancer – A Biological and Clinical Approach” was to identify novel biological and clinical factors that could be utilized in the outcome prediction of prostate cancer. His doctoral dissertation will be publically examined on Friday, 11 May, with the permission of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Helsinki.


Largest-ever family study of migraine provides new insight into the disease

An international research consortium has shown that an accumulation of many independent genetic risk variants is the reason why migraine tends to run in families. The genetic burden was shown to be greater in patients that experience aura symptoms during attacks or have an early age of onset of migraine.


FIMM Monthly Publication Highlight March 2018: ADA2 deficiency: Clonal lymphoproliferation in a subset of patients

A team led by FIMM Research Director Janna Saarela has shown that a presumptive diagnosis in patients with rare primary immunodeficiency can be very challenging because of the wide clinical spectrum. Exome sequencing has proven to be a powerful tool for identification of new mutations and broadening the phenotypic spectrum of known syndromes. In this article, the group focused on ADA2 deficiency.


Novel dis­cov­er­ies on ag­gress­ive NK-cell leuk­emia pave the way for new treat­ments

International research consortium led by researchers from the University of Helsinki, Finland, discovered new information related to a rare form of leukemia called aggressive NK-cell leukemia. Potential new treatment options were found which are highly warranted as currently this disease usually leads to rapid death of patients.


Richa Gupta’s dissertation demonstrates the interplay between the genome and epigenome in smoking

The main aim of M.Sc. Richa Gupta’s thesis entitled "Association and interplay of genetic and epigenetic variants in smoking behavior” was to identify genetic and epigenetic alterations affecting smoking behaviour and to understand their interplay. Her doctoral dissertation will be publically examined on Friday, 20 April.


New director appointed at MIMS

The Swedish node of the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine, MIMS (Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden) has announced that that Dr. Oliver Billker from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Cambridge, UK, has been recruited as the institute's future director. FIMM congratulates MIMS on the new appointment!


LifeTime – a visionary proposal for an EU Flagship

Reliably predicting the onset and trajectory of a disease might seem like a distant dream. But a European consortium is aiming to achieve exactly this using a set of emerging technologies with the analysis of single cells at their core. Leading scientists have now submitted the proposal for a FET Flagship called LifeTime. The consortium is jointly coordinated by two of the EU-LIFE institutes, the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) in Berlin and the Institut Curie in Paris.


Jump-starting development and support of molecular medicine research activities in Nepal: Bioscience & Biotechnology conference co-organised by FIMM

While Nepal is still a developing country, the first steps have already been taken toward rising in life science and to elevate the status of the country toward international standards in the health sector. In this context, the 2nd International Conference on Bioscience and Biotechnology – 2018 (ICBB-2018), themed Avenues of translational biomedical research in Nepal, aimed to bring together both local and international dignitaries to present their own research and ideas.


Significant funding for image-based cancer phenotyping

Teijo Pellinen from FIMM has received the largest grant awarded by the Instrumentarium Science Foundation in 2018.


FIMM Monthly Publication Highlight: Deep learning based tissue analysis predicts outcome in colorectal cancer

A research team led by Research Director Johan Lundin has shown that deep learning techniques can predict colorectal cancer outcome based on images of cancer tissue samples, without intermediate tissue classification steps. The five-year survival outcome prediction done by the algorithm outperformed the assessment done by human experts.


FIMM expresses sincere gratitude to Jaakko Kaprio for his contributions as the Director

FIMM expresses warmest thanks to Professor Jaakko Kaprio, who acted as the Director for FIMM from October 2015 to January 2018, for his significant contributions to the institute during these turbulent years. The Institute also wants to congratulate Professor Kaprio for his exceptional scientific merits, especially for reaching the milestone of 1000 scientific publications.


Researchers propose five distinct types of diabetes

A study suggests a completely new classification of diabetes, separating adult-onset diabetes cases into five different types. The refined classification provides a powerful tool to individualise treatment and identify individuals with increased risk of complications already at diagnosis.


Network pharmacology combined with machine learning helps tailoring customized drug combinations for leukemia patients

An international, multi-disciplinary research team led by researchers from FIMM has developed a novel computational-experimental drug combination prediction and testing platform. This platform enables customized prioritization and testing of synergistic drug combinations for individual cancer patients.


Mark Daly nominated as the new Director of FIMM

The University of Helsinki has recruited Professor Mark Daly of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital to lead the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM). Daly is a distinguished scientist who has made major contributions to human genetics and genomics during his 20-year career.


FIMM Monthly Publication Highlight: Intelligent image-based single cell isolation

A research team led by FIMM FiDiPro Fellow Peter Horvath has developed a novel technique for automating the target selection and isolation process of single cells. The new method utilizes high-resolution microscopy, laser capture microdissection, image analysis and machine learning.


Precision oncology team retreat 2018

Each year, a broad range of FIMM researchers, technology experts and clinical collaborators working with the FIMM Individualised Systems Medicine (ISM) Grand Challenge gather for a scientific retreat. This time, the barren but beautiful Tvärminne Zoological Station served as the meeting venue for close to 60 participants in mid-January.


UPM promotes innovations in cancer research via Biomedicum Helsinki Foundation

UPM promotes new innovations in disease research by making a significant donation to Biomedicum Helsinki Foundation.


Applications invited for the 2018 FIMM-EMBL International PhD Programme

As part of the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine and in collaboration with the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology (HIIT) at UH and Aalto University, we welcome applications for the 2018 FIMM-EMBL International PhD Program. The call for applications for PhD positions in the fields of molecular medicine, bioinformatics, and data science is open until 8 February 2018.


DrugTargetCommons: a community-effort to build a consensus knowledge base for drug-target interactions

Researchers from FIMM, Karolinska Institutet and EMBL-EBI have joined forces to initiate a web-based platform, Drug Target Commons, which features tools for crowd-sourced bioactivity data annotation, standardization and intra-resource integration. We invite researchers to join this community effort to increase the reuse and extension of compound-target bioactivity data.


FinnGen taps into a unique gene pool to find the next breakthroughs in disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment

A unique study has been launched in Finland that will deepen our understanding about the origins of diseases and their treatment. The FinnGen study plans to tap into 500 000 unique blood samples collected by a nation-wide network of Finnish biobanks. The study is expected to continue for six years, securing funding of 59M€.


Prson Gautam’s dissertation highlights the personalized medicine approach to tackle triple negative breast cancer

The main aim of M.Sc. Prson Gautam’s thesis entitled "Chemical Systems Biology Studies of Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cell Lines” was to explore drug vulnerabilities of TNBC cell lines to learn more about the molecular pathology of this cancer and to identify novel, druggable target molecules. His doctoral dissertation will be publically examined on Thursday, 14 December.


FIMM researches developed a novel systems pathology platform

A group of FIMM researches has developed a novel platform that combines fluorescent and chromogenic staining with automated whole-slide imaging and image analysis. This platform allows simultaneous detection and co-localization analysis of multiple markers and automatic quantification and classification of hundreds of thousands of cells.


Team iCombine selected as the winner of the Helsinki Challenge idea competition

The winner of the science-based idea competition Hel­sinki Chal­lenge was announced 24 November. The prize was di­vided between two teams. An international jury selected teams iCombine and HeatStock as the winners and both will receive a prize of 187 500 euros for implementing their solution.


Two FIMM researchers ranking in the top 1% most cited

FIMM is proud to host two of the "2017 Highly Cited Researchers", Director of FIMM, Academy Professor Jaakko Kaprio and Professor of Biometry, FIMM-EMBL Group Leader Samuli Ripatti.


New study suggests a role for gene regulation in schizophrenia

A recent study focusing on familial schizophrenia in Finland demonstrates that genetic variation in a known risk gene called NDE1 can affect both gene expression levels and medication usage of psychoactive drugs used to treat major mental illnesses.


Congratulations to NCMM Director Kjetil Taskén on his new appointment

Director of Centre for Molecular Medicine Norway (NCMM), Professor Kjetil Taskén, has been appointed as the Head and Director of Institute for Cancer Research at Oslo University Hospital. FIMM offers warm congratulations to Professor Taskén!


Labcyte and FIMM Extend Personalized Medicine Collaboration

Labcyte Inc. and FIMM today announced they are extending their personalized medicine collaboration to include multiple new applications that leverage the unique capabilities of Labcyte’s platforms. The organizations first began collaborating in 2013 to develop new personalized medicine strategies to treat cancer based on functional cell screening.


Traditional meets modern in Tiia Luukkonen’s doctoral thesis

The main aim of M.Sc. Tiia Luukkonen’s thesis entitled “Consequences of Balanced Translocations and Loss-of-function Mutations” was to characterize the molecular and phenotypic consequences of several balanced chromosomal rearrangements utilizing next generation sequencing. Her doctoral dissertation will be publically examined 3 November, with the permission of the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences.


Finland’s recent history is inscribed in the genes

A recent study has grouped Finns into genetic categories with unprecedented precision. These genetic categories are strikingly similar to Finnish dialect areas. In addition, the study corroborates the previously reported genetic division into eastern and western Finland and indicates that this division runs along the border established by the Treaty of Nöteborg in 1323.


FIMMPOD Opens the Annual Call for Postdoctoral Researchers at FIMM

FIMMPOD is a professional development programme at FIMM aimed at enhancing the research experiences and career opportunities of postdoctoral and senior researchers. One of FIMMPOD's goals is the recruitment of outstanding researchers to the institute, and therefore FIMMPOD organises a call for postdoctoral researchers every year. The call for 2017 is now open.


Metabolite profiles from extracellular vesicles hold promise as disease biomarkers

Researchers from the University of Helsinki have characterized, for the first time, small metabolite profiles from urine and platelet-derived extracellular vesicles. Their work provides insights both into the methodological aspects of EV metabolite profiling and to the changes in the metabolite profiles associated with prostate cancer. The study can serve as a basis for development of new, non-invasive tools to monitor health and disease.


Science by the sea: connecting with colleagues at the 8th annual Nordic EMBL Partnership meeting

The 8th annual Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine Meeting 2017 took place from 4-7 September in Helsinki.The 2017 programme differed from previous years, with a real focus on encouraging every participant to really engage with each other and to interact with the variety of Nordic EMBL Partnership’s research areas.


European Life Science Research Institutes want a more balanced Framework Programme 9 for Research and Innovation

EU-LIFE, the alliance of 13 leading Life Science Research Institutes in Europe announced their key priorities for the next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP9) that will run from 2021 to 2027.


New Speaker announced for the Nordic EMBL Partnership

The Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine is delighted to announce that Professor Bernt Eric Uhlin has been named as the Partnership’s new Speaker.


The SAB evaluation report 2017 heaps praise on FIMM

The SAB of FIMM visited the institute 17-18 May 2017. The evaluation report prepared based on the visit and documentation provided beforehand was overall highly positive and is now available online.


Leena Peltonen (Palotie) prize 2018 – Call for submission of candidates

A Leena Peltonen Memorial Fund was established within the Paulo Foundation in March 2010 from donations honoring her life-long work in the field of human genetics. Nominations for the 2018 Leena Peltonen Prize are accepted until September 18.


Machine learning guides drug-target mapping efforts

Researchers from FIMM, HIIT and University of Turku have demonstrated that carefully optimized machine learning models offer complementary and cost-effective approach to experimental determination of drug-target interactions, allowing for prioritization of the most potent targets for further in vitro or ex vivo target validation in the laboratory.


Finnish researchers study point-of-care diagnostics based on mobile microscopy in Africa

Low-cost mobile microscopes developed in Finland can be utilised for diagnosis of tropical parasitic infections and cancer. This year, prototypes of the mobile microscopes will be tested in field trials in Tanzania and Kenya. Rapid remote diagnostics supported by machine intelligence is the researchers' main objective.


Genome-wide association study shows that babies’ genetic makeup affects mothers’ risk of pre-eclampsia

A large international genome-wide association study has revealed for the first time that certain variants in a baby’s genome can increase the risk of its mother developing pre-eclampsia – a potentially dangerous condition in pregnancy.


FIMM researchers lead the new Centre of Excellence in Complex Disease Genetics

One of the new national Centres of Excellence selected by the Academy of Finland is led by FIMM researchers. This new Centre of Excellence in Complex Disease Genetics – from Discovery to Precision Medicine, aims to identify common risk variants and high-impact low-frequency alleles and to develop, test and implement strategies for genomic precision medicine.


Jenni Hällfors’ dissertation highlights the pleiotropic effects of nicotine receptors

The public examination of M.Sc. Jenni Hällfors’ doctoral dissertation entitled "Nicotine Dependence – Identifying the Contribution of Specific Genes” will take place on Friday, 2 June. The main aim of her thesis was to identify genetic variants that predispose individuals to smoking behavior and nicotine dependence.


Congratulations to Professor Jonathan Knowles on his recent election to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences

Professor Jonathan Knowles has been recognised for his contributions to the medical sciences with an election to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences, UK. Warm congratulations!


Improved design of preclinical animal studies by matching tools – a key for effective clinical translation

Poor reproducibility of pre-clinical animal studies and the general lack of translatability of the findings are major obstacles hindering the drug development process. According to Professor Tero Aittokallio and his colleagues, the situation could be improved by statistical animal matching tools.


Special recognition of the Pharmaceutical Industry Research Foundation awarded to Aarno Palotie

FIMM’s Research Director Aarno Palotie received a special recognition award from the Finnish Pharmaceutical Industry Research Foundation. The €10 000 prize recognises both outstanding medical research, and international promotion of the Finnish research environment.


Astellas Pharma and FIMM announce a research collaboration

International pharmaceutical company Astellas Pharma Inc. has initiated a scientific collaboration with Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), at the University of Helsinki, to utilize genetic information in the development of new medical treatments.


Bhagwan Yadav’s dissertation took drug screening data modeling in personalised cancer medicine to a new level

M.Sc. Bhaqwan Yadav’s doctoral dissertation entitled "Quantitative modeling and analysis of drug screening data for personalized cancer medicine” will be publically examined on Friday, 24 March. The main aim of his thesis was to develop novel computational models for quantification of drug responses and to implement them on cancer patient data.


Novo Nordisk Foundation Awards for professors at two Nordic EMBL partnership nodes

Two leading scientists from two Nordic EMBL Partnership nodes, Poul Nissen from DANDRITE and Emmanuelle Charpentier from MIMS, have been awarded prestigious prizes from the Novo Nordisk foundation.


EU-LIFE calls for an increased ERC budget in FP9

The European Research Council (ERC) is key to excellent basic research, the cornerstone of disruptive innovation. EU-LIFE, the alliance of European research centres in life sciences, urges politicians to unequivocally support the ERC by raising its budget in FP9 and endorsing its guiding principles. At present the innovation potential in Europe can’t be fully exploited because of a lack of funding.


BEAt-DKD - An IMI project for precision medicine in diabetic kidney disease

BEAt-DKD (“Biomarker Enterprise to Attack Diabetic Kidney Disease”), a unique public private partnership, has announced the launch of a 5-year project with the aim to improve prevention and management of Diabetes Kidney Disease (DKD). University of Helsinki is one of the coordinating organisations for this project.


EU-LIFE’s vision for the next European Programme FP9

EU-LIFE, the alliance of research centres in life sciences to support and strengthen European research excellence released this week a statement with its recommendations for next framework Programme for Research & Innovation, FP9. Strong key message is: to drive European leadership in innovation, boost excellent ground breaking research in combination with professional technology transfer.


Researchers found that certain anti-influenza compounds also inhibit Zika virus infection

Researchers from the University of Helsinki have shown that three anti-influenza compounds effectively inhibit Zika virus infection in human cells. The results provide the foundation for development of the broad-spectrum cell-directed antivirals or their combinations for treatment of Zika and other emerging viral diseases.


Innovative Medicines Initiative approves 40 M€ project for better care of patients with hematological malignancies

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) has approved HARMONY, a project that aims to foster better access and care for patients with various hematologic malignancies (HM) with the use of big data. The project is made up of 51 partners from 11 European countries, including 7 pharmaceutical companies and experts in hematological diseases. The consortium also involves researchers from the University of Helsinki.


Global partnership launched to enable personalized therapies in multiple sclerosis

A large global new partnership called ‘MultipleMS’, coordinated by Karolinska Institute in Sweden, has been awarded 15 million euro from the European Commission in the Horizon2020 program to find novel and better treatments for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). In this project, universities and companies across 12 European countries and the US will unite efforts to tailor the development and application of therapies to the individual MS patient.


Season's Greetings

Season's Greetings and Best Wishes for a Succesfull New Year 2017!


Daria Bulanova’s doctoral thesis pinpoints GPRC5A as a novel breast cancer gene

The main aim of M.Sc. Daria Bulanova's thesis entitled “Novel Genetic Determinants of Breast Cancer Progression” was to identify new breast-cancer predisposing mutations and to elucidate the biological mechanisms underlying these genetic findings. Her doctoral dissertation will be examined publically 5 December.


Improved consistency in drug response profiling with assay standardisation

FIMM researchers have demonstrated that it is possible to achieve good consistency between laboratories for drug response measurements by paying careful attention to the harmonisation of laboratory assays, and by using similar experimental and computational procedures.


FIMM poster session 2016 winners announced

The FIMM 2016 poster prizes were awarded to Riku Turkki and Muntasir Mamun. Congratulations!


International crowd-sourced data-mining competition resulted in improved prediction of prostate cancer patient survival

Results of the Prostate Cancer DREAM Challenge published in the top clinical oncology journal Lancet Oncology today beautifully demonstrate the benefits of sharing clinical trial data. The winning prediction model was developed by a team headed by FIMM Group Leader Tero Aittokallio. Overall, this collaborative scientific effort led to novel insights and improvements in cancer treatment and management.


Professor Jonathan Knowles appointed to Millennium prize selection committee

FIMM’s Visiting Professor Jonathan Knowles has been appointed as one of the four new Millennium prize selection committee members.


Revolutionising drug discovery with computational approaches

Jing Tang has been awarded one of the prestigious ERC Starting Grants by the European Research Council. The 5-year grant totals 1.5 million euros. Tang’s project utilises computational systems medicine approaches, and aims to develop new ways to identify personalised drug combinations that are more effective against cancer.


International scientists call for a rethink on industrial and academic drug discovery

A group of prominent scientists, including FIMM’s FiDiPro Fellow Peter Horvath and several FIMM Senior Researchers, shared their opinion in a recent issue of Nature Reviews Drug Discovery about the limited effectiveness of disease models currently used in drug discovery.


The 2016 FIMMPOD Annual Call for Postdoctoral Researchers at FIMM now open

The 2016 FIMMPOD Annual Call for Postdoctoral Researchers is now open! This year, the annual call is part of a joint call with the other members of the Nordic EMBL Partnership in Molecular Medicine.


Genomic risk score helps early prediction of heart disease

With the advances in genomic technology, researchers’ ability to predict an individual’s risk of heart disease has become more accurate. Individuals with high risk can now be potentially identified much earlier in the life, paving the way for intervention and lifestyle changes.


A new geospatial allele frequency visualization tool implemented in the renewed SISu website

The Sequencing Initiative Suomi (SISu) project launched its renewed website today, September 16, 2016. SISu project is an international collaboration project coordinated at the University of Helsinki aiming to build tools for genomic medicine and provide Finnish genome data resources for the international research community.


Arjan van Adrichem’s doctoral thesis demonstrates that there is no such thing as an impossible drug target

The main aim of M.Sc. Arjan van Adrichem's thesis entitled “Discovery of Small Molecule Modulators of Ras Superfamily Proteins – Studies of MgcRacGAP and Ras” was to identify new small molecule modulators specifically targeting GTPase regulatory proteins through different high-throughput screening approaches. His doctoral dissertation will be examined publically 9 September.


New extracellular vesicle core facility launched at the University of Helsinki

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are involved in many physiological and pathological processes, such as immune response and cancer metastasis, and they have a huge potential to be important biomedical tools for diagnostic and treatment purposes. Analyzing these vesicles can, however, be methodologically challenging. To help researchers working in this field and to promote EV research at the University of Helsinki, a core unit providing EV infrastructure and services has just been established.


New treatment option identified for a subtype of acute leukemia

FIMM researchers have demonstrated that a previously approved drug called idelalisib is a promising treatment option for leukemia patients with a specific chromosomal translocation.


FIMMPOD Kids at FIMM in June

In June, members of the FIMMPOD program had an opportunity to bring their children to FIMM and show how exciting our work is. Almost 20 children signed up for this tri-lingual event, organized for the first time.


Mikko Muona’s doctoral thesis demonstrates the power of whole-exome sequencing in the gene discovery of rare diseases

The main aim of M.Sc. Mikko Muona’s thesis entitled "Identification of new genetic syndromes with epilepsy by whole-exome sequencing", was to characterize the molecular genetic basis of severe epilepsy syndromes utilizing whole-exome sequencing. Mikko Muona will defend his doctoral dissertation in the Faculty of Medicine 22 June.


Anna Aakula’s dissertation shows the relevance of miRNAs to prostate cancer proliferation

The main aim of M.Sc. Anna Aakula’s thesis entitled “Functional discovery of microRNAs and their targets in prostate and breast cancer: impact on hormonal regulation and cell proliferation” was to get a comprehensive picture of the miRNAs that regulate genes important for prostate cancer proliferation. Her doctoral dissertation will be publically examined today, 21 June, with the permission of the Faculty of Medicine.


Large-scale genetic study provides new insight into the causes of migraine

An international research consortium has identified almost 30 new genetic risk factors for common migraine. Many of these risk variants localize inside or close to genes that regulate the vascular system. The results provide further support for the theory that an abnormal function of the blood vessels of the brain is an important component in driving migraine attacks.


FIMM Annual Report 2015 published

The digital FIMM Annual Report contains information about our research projects and highlights, technology development, research training activities and most important events as well as our key figures.


Delegation from the Ministry of Health, Singapore, visited FIMM

Last week, FIMM was pleased to host an official delegation from the Ministry of Health, Republic of Singapore.The delegation consisted of eight members of the Ministry, representatives from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finland and the Finnish Ambassador in Singapore.


Bioeconomy goes hand in hand with cancer research in a joint project between UPM and FIMM

The Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), at the University of Helsinki and UPM Biochemicals have started a joint research project with the purpose of investigating the applicability of UPM's new cellulose-based gel material for cancer research.


4DNucleome initiative in Europe launched

The 4DNucleome Initiative in Europe is a community-driven scientific proposal to address the grand challenge of deciphering the spatio-temporal organization of the cellular nucleus. If you believe studying the dynamic nucleus is paramount to understand how the genome functions, support this initiative!


Strongest single gene conclusively implicated in schizophrenia

An international consortium of researchers has discovered conclusive evidence for the involvement of a gene called SETD1A in schizophrenia. Damaging changes to this gene, which occur rarely, increase the risk of schizophrenia 35-fold and also increase risk for a wide range of neurodevelopmental disorders. The consortium led by a team at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute included several FIMM researchers.


Mobile microscope developed in Finland can come to the patient

Finnish researchers have developed a low-cost, easily transported mobile microscope. The device is currently being tested in Tanzania, and further tests will soon be conducted in Finnish hospitals. The invention enables the use of rapid, computer-assisted remote diagnostics, which can help ease the global dearth of medical experts.


John Patrick Mpindi’s dissertation demonstrates the importance of standardized bioinformatic methods in individualized cancer medicine

M.Sc. John Patrick Mpindi’s thesis entitled "Bioinformatic tools for analysis, mining and modelling large-scale gene expression and drug testing datasets” was publically examined on Friday, 11 March. The main aim of his thesis was to develop and test modern bioinformatics methods and analysis pipelines and apply them on biomedical data with relevance to cancer research.


The second Leena Peltonen Prize for Excellence in Human Genetics awarded to Dr. Benjamin Neale

The Leena Peltonen Prize for Excellence in Human Genetics was established in winter 2010 to recognize scientists who are in the early phases of their independent careers. The second award ceremony will take place at the University of Helsinki, Finland, on March 3, 2016. The recipient of the second prize is Dr. Benjamin Neale who is awarded for his contributions in developing statistical genetics and applying these methods to cracking the genetics of neuropsychiatric diseases.


The second Leena Peltonen Prize for Excellence in Human Genetics will be awarded on 3rd March, 2016

The Leena Peltonen Prize for Excellence in Human Genetics was established in winter 2010 to recognize scientists who are in the early phases of their independent careers. The second Leena Peltonen Prize for Excellence in Human Genetics will be awarded in Helsinki on 3rd March, 2016.


IntelliCyt and FIMM Announce a Collaboration to Advance Personalized Medicine in Cancer Treatment

IntelliCyt, a leading provider of integrated platforms that accelerate drug discovery, antibody screening and immuno-oncology research today announced a collaboration with the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) at the University of Helsinki to further the development of personalized medicine in cancer treatment. FIMM will utilize IntelliCyt products to test and analyze the effects of approved and emerging investigational oncology compounds on patient cells.


Jenni Lahtela’s dissertation shows the importance of the physiological niche in lung cancer development and progression

M.Sc. Jenni Lahtela’s doctoral dissertation entitled "Studying the functional relevance of lung cancer genetic drivers in their physiological niche” will be publically examined on Friday, 19 February. The main aim of her thesis was to get more clinically meaningful information on genetic and cell type-specific factors contributing to the development and progression of lung cancer.


FIMM received significant infrastructure funding for developing single cell analytics services and eSISU

FIMM researchers together with their collaborators have received significant infrastructure funding from the Academy of Finland. Three separate projects were funded, two of them in the category of new initiatives and non-roadmap infrastructures. These two novel infrastructure projects are called “Infrastructure for Single Cell Capture and Processing (SC-infra)” and “eSISu – eInfrastructure of Finnish Sequence Data”.


Genetic fine-mapping goes fast and furious

FIMM researchers have developed a new computationally effective software package, called FINEMAP. This software has a lot of potential to help scientific community to pinpoint the genetic variants that have a direct effect on the disease or other trait of interest.


A new model system developed at FIMM to study the effect of drugs and drug candidates on innate immunity

A team led by FIMM-EMBL group leader Denis Kainov has developed a novel system for evaluating the effect of drugs on cellular immune responses. The group showed the utility of the model system by testing four anticancer/antiviral agents and showing that these therapeutics at non-toxic concentrations modulate cellular responses to viral and bacterial pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). Moreover, all four therapeutics were able to inhibit influenza A virus infection, whereas only one of them allowed activation of innate immune responses in virus infected cells. This FDA-approved anticancer drug, called gemcitabine, has potential to be used in patients having severe infections.


Twin study estimates familial risks of 23 different cancers

A large new study of twins has found that having a twin sibling diagnosed with cancer poses an excess risk for the other twin to develop any form of cancer. Among the 23 different types of cancer studied, an excess familial risk was seen for almost all of the cancers, including common cancers such as breast and prostate cancer, but also more rare cancers such as testicular cancer, head and neck cancer, melanoma, ovarian and stomach cancer.


The winners of the sixth FIMM Annual Poster Session announced

The winner of the 6th Annual FIMM Poster Session held on November was announced on December 9th.


Applications invited for the 2016 FIMM-EMBL International PhD Programme

In August 2015, FIMM warmly welcomed Jie Bao, Pu Chen, Shabbeer Hassan, and Sebnem Kesaf, Alina Malyutina as the newest rotation doctoral students at FIMM, HIIT, and NC. Read more about their background and experiences during the first rotation period!


Season's Greetings

Season's Greetings and Best Wishes for a Happy New Year 2016!


A new approach to predict evolution of influenza viruses can enhance vaccine efficacy

New results from a study performed at the University of Helsinki suggest that genomic information from circulating influenza viruses can help in producing more efficient seasonal vaccines. The researchers were able to develop a simple approach for reliable real-time tracking and prediction of viral evolution based on whole-genome sequences of influenza viruses.


FIMM participates in a €6 Million EU-funded research project on ovarian cancer

An international collaboration project to study drug resistance in ovarian cancer has received 6 million euros for five years from the EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program. The project is coordinated from the University of Helsinki, Finland, and begins on January 1, 2016. Two FIMM-EMBL group leaders, Krister Wennerberg and Tero Aittokallio, are responsible for a work package on sub-clonal level drug response profiling and modeling.


Helsinki Urological Biobank has collected tens of thousands of high quality samples

Helsinki Urological Biobank (HUB) has brought biobanking close to the routine hospital work. As a result, HUB has collected almost 30 000 samples from patients with urological diseases. Over 99% of all the patients asked to donate samples and data gave their consent.


FIMM commits to raise awareness of gender equality by partnering with the LIBRA project

Thirteen research institutes in life sciences in Europe, all of them partnering in the EU-LIFE alliance, an initiative aimed to promote and foster excellence in research in life sciences, aim to beat the gender imbalance in life science research. Supported by a gender expert organisation EU-LIFE will undertake the H2020-funded LIBRA project, aimed to evaluate the current status of gender equality in the EU-LIFE institutes and implement innovative actions to increase representation and participation of women in leadership positions in life sciences in Europe as well as raise scientific excellence by including sex and gender dimension in research. Ten of the research institutes lead this project and three, including FIMM, are associated partners.


Tea Pemovska awarded the Biomedicum Helsinki Young Scientist Special Prize

Congratulations to Tea Pemovska for receiving the Biomedicum Helsinki Young Scientist Special Prize! During the Biomedicum Helsinki Day celebrations today, 11 November, she was awarded the prize for her excellent thesis work. Her thesis resulted in developing a method for drug sensitivity testing that could be used to functionally profile leukaemia patients’ cells in order to identify personalised therapy options.


Professionalizing the Postdoc through FIMMPOD

FIMMPOD is a professional development program for postdocs, senior researchers and coordinators within FIMM. The program aims to enhance research experiences and career opportunities. Recruitment of postdoctoral and senior researchers to FIMM occurs annually through the FIMMPOD Call for Expressions of Interest or on an individual basis by group leaders. The October call is open until the end of the month.


Tea Pemovska’s doctoral thesis demonstrates how cancer care becomes truly personalised

In M.Sc.Tea Pemovska's thesis, to be examined publically tomorrow, October 20th, a comprehensive high-throughput drug sensitivity and resistance testing method for leukaemia patient samples was developed. The results from this functional drug sensitivity testing were further combined with deep molecular profiling and explored in a translational setting.


Stimulating Translational Research

Thirteen European research institutions in life sciences within the EU-LIFE Alliance have suggested ways to stimulate translational research without undermining frontier science and academic freedom.


FIMM received highly positive evaluation comments from the SAB

The SAB of FIMM visited the institute 26-27 May 2015. Although the review identified some areas of improvement, it was overall very positive.


Manuela Tumiati’s dissertation generated a novel breast cancer mouse model with potential to explore therapeutic approaches

The main aim of M.Sc. Manuela Tumiati’s thesis "Rad51c is a tumor suppressor in mammary and sebaceous glands", to be publicly examined today, 8 September, was to characterize and understand the mechanisms by which defects in DNA repair gene RAD51C predispose women to breast and ovarian cancer.


Academy Professor Jaakko Kaprio appointed the new Director of the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland FIMM

Academy Professor, M.D., Ph.D. Jaakko Kaprio has been appointed the new Director of the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland FIMM. He will start in this position in October 2015. Since 2001, Kaprio has served as a Professor of Genetic Epidemiology in the Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki and as a Research Professor at the National Institute for Health and Welfare. Kaprio succeeds Professor Olli Kallioniemi, who has been appointed as the Director of the Science for Life Laboratory in Sweden.


FIMM’s Group Leader Emmy Verschuren to receive funding through Academy of Finland’s new trial designed to support scientific risk-taking

The Academy of Finland has launched a new funding trial to support particularly innovative and high quality projects confirmed to involve promising risk-taking in terms of research. FIMM-EMBL Group Leader Emmy Verschuren leads one of the ten projects that obtained funding through this new call.


New release of the SISu data resource now available

The Sequencing Initiative Suomi (The SISu project) is an international collaboration between research groups aiming to build tools for genomic medicine and provide Finnish genome data resources for the international research community. Now we are happy to announce a new release of the data resource as well as a complete renewal of the project website, www.sisuproject.fi. The new release is based on more than 6100 samples from 10 different cohorts.


FIMM researchers excel in prognostic modeling of prostate cancer in an international crowdsourcing challenge

Researchers from FIMM together with their collaborators developed a winning solution for predicting overall survival of patients with metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). The team headed by Prof. Tero Aittokallio participated in the Prostate Cancer DREAM Challenge, a crowd-sourcing competition for highly demanding scientific problems by top research teams around the world. The participating teams were asked to submit predictive models based on over 150 clinical variables from four phase III clinical trials with over 2,000 mCRPC patients. The winning team included researchers with various expertise from FIMM/University of Helsinki, Helsinki University Hospital and University of Turku.


International research institutes team up to build new schizophrenia collections

Aug 19, 2015 – Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) at the University of Helsinki and The Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at Broad Institute, together with its international partners, are initiating major new sample collections in several regions and countries. The goal is to collect up to 50,000 samples from schizophrenia patients across the globe.


Yuexi Gu’s dissertation unveils new features of the breast cancer type 1 susceptibility protein

M.Sc. Yuexi Gu’s thesis will be publically examined tomorrow, 16 June. The main aim of the thesis was to better understand the biological nature of BRCA1-mutant breast cancers in order to develop potential therapeutics for their treatment.


Labcyte and FIMM Extend Collaboration to Bring Real-Time Personalized Medicine to Cancer Treatments

Labcyte Inc. and the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) of the University of Helsinki, announced today the extension of a collaboration that began in 2013 centering on the use of Labcyte’s Echo® liquid handlers for new personalized medicine strategies to treat cancer patients.


Finnish biobank collections are put to effective use

A large-scale international genetic research collaboration will be launched in Finland to find out how genetic variation can influence the onset, prevention and treatment of diseases and how this information may be used to develop new therapeutics. The project is focused on large scale genetic analysis of pre- existing tissue sample collections assembled at the THL Biobank and the University of Helsinki, and will be conducted in collaboration with world renowned academic institutions and international biopharmaceutical companies.


Academy of Finland to fund two FIMM pHealth projects

The Academy of Finland has made the funding decisions for new Personalised Health research consortium projects. FIMM-EMBL Group Leader Tero Aittokallio and FIMM Technology Centre’s NGS Bioinformatics Unit’s Team Leader Matti Kankainen obtained funding for their projects.


EMBL Research Scientist Simon Anders joins FIMM

FIMM welcomes Dr. Simon Anders as a new FIMM-EMBL Group Leader. His work will focus on bioinformatical and biostatistical methods for molecular medicine, especially for integrating genomics and other big data assays with clinical research methods. Dr. Anders’ is especially interested developing algorithms that will improve the use of high-throughput sequencing techniques in biomedical research and clinical practice, e.g., for the use of single-cell transcriptomics in cancer research.


MedBioinformatics EU project launched

EU funded 3.5 M€ to develop bioinformatics tools to facilitate translational research and personalized medicine in oncology and neuropsychiatry. The funded project, MedBioinformatics, started on 1st of May. FIMM’s role in this pan-European project is to develop bioinformatic tools that help personalized treatment optimization for cancer patients.


Large-scale meta-analysis discovered ten new genes that tune cholesterol levels

An international research consortium has generated significant new knowledge about genetic factors underlying lipid levels. The team was able to discover ten new genes affecting blood cholesterol levels. Nearly 200 genetic variants are now known to have an effect on blood cholesterol. Together they explain nearly one-fifth of differences between individuals.


From personal genome to personal transcriptome

In a paper published on May 8th in the journal Science, an international team of researchers including Matti Pirinen (FIMM), has measured the cellular effects of genetic variants in unprecedented depth.They documented the impact on gene expression levels of variants that had a high probability of causing proteins to be missing or incomplete.


EU-LIFE Open Statement in support of the position of the European Parliament of opposing the cuts in the EU budget earmarked for research

The scientific community represented by EU-LIFE strongly supports the position of the European Parliament against H2020 cuts and now urges the EU Commission to substantially amend the EFSI proposal to ensure full protection of the EU budget for research; and the support of Member States Governments to ensure this protection.


FIMM Annual Report 2014 published

FIMM's Annual Report 2014 has just been published.


Two new Academy Projects at FIMM

The Academy of Finland’s Research Council for Health has granted Academy Project funding to two research projects led by FIMM Group Leaders. Professor Aarno Palotie and Professor Samuli Ripatti both received funding for four years.


Truth and dare: negative data in support of an important message

A study by FIMM researchers has taken a turn in preclinical model development, by demonstrating that functional complexity can compromise the validation of cancer genes identified in sequencing efforts. The results were recently published in Disease Models and Mechanisms, and profiled on its cover page.The results of the study highlight that caution is warranted in cross-species functional validation of genetic mutations.


Timing really is everything, shows Diana Cousminer’s dissertation

The main aim of M.Sc. Diana Cousminer’s thesis work entitled "The Genetics of Pubertal Growth and Timing", publicly examined on the 17th of April, was to identify genetic variants influencing pubertal growth and development in both sexes. Altogether she was able to identify 11 common genetic variants that associate with pubertal development.


Maria Anastasina’s dissertation reminds us never to underestimate the capabilities of viruses to control their host cells

Maria Anastasina’s thesis entitled "Influenza A virus-host interactions and their control by viral non-structural protein NS1” will be publicly examined tomorrow, 17 April. In her thesis work she was able to describe several new functions of NS1 in regulation of virus host interactions.


Significant 5-year grant awarded to the FIMM/HUCH personalised medicine team from the Sigrid Jusélius Foundation

A significant research grant has been awarded to the FIMM/HUCH personalised medicine team. Professor Olli Kallioniemi, Professor Kimmo Porkka (HUCH) and FIMM-EMBL Group Leader Krister Wennerberg were principal investigators in this substantial, prestigious 5-year-grant awarded by the Sigrid Jusélius Foundation. The grant is worth 250 000 €/year.


FIMM congratulates FiDiPro Professor Jonathan Knowles on receiving the Personalized Medicine World Conference UK Honorary 2015

Professor Jonathan Knowles, a leading expert on personalized medicine, has been named as the Personalized Medicine World Conference Honorary. Jonathan Knowles held a Distinguished Professorship in Personalized Medicine at FIMM, University of Helsinki, for a five-year period 2010-2014, and he continues now as a Research Director. FIMM warmly congratulates Professor Knowles on receiving this prestigious honorary!


Professor Olli Kallioniemi appointed as Director of the Science for Life Laboratory in Sweden

Professor Olli Kallioniemi has been appointed as Director of the Science for Life Laboratory in Sweden and will start in this position in September, 2015. He will step down as the Director of FIMM when his new position in Stockholm begins. However, he will continue as a part-time Research Director at FIMM. All ongoing research activities at FIMM will continue and FIMM and SciLifeLab are expected to start a close collaboration in infrastructure services as well as in joint research programmes to enable new possibilities for both of the institutes, the participating Universities and the two countries.


EATRIS Finland Launch Event at University of Helsinki

On 11 March, the Finnish scientific, industrial, and political community officially recognized the involvement of Finland in the European Translational Research Infrastructure EATRIS. EATRIS is an international infrastructure for translational research, funded by the host Universities of the participating centers and by the Academy of Finland.


European Research Council grants: Good news for EU-LIFE centres, but with a bitter aftertaste

EU-LIFE European research centres obtained 14 new ERC Starting and Consolidator grants in the latest competitions, which takes the total of ERC-funded grants currently running in centres belonging to the alliance to over 100. As a whole, EU-LIFE partners have a success rate of at least three times higher than the general success rate of ERC Starting and Consolidator grants (over 33% compared to an average of 10%). But this news comes with a bitter aftertaste, as the announced cuts in the Horizon 2020 budget (including ERC) due to the so-called Juncker’s plan may now jeopardise Europe’s competitiveness in future research and innovation.


A public-private research collaboration leads to an unexpected discovery in patients with drug-resistant leukemia

An international joint effort between University of Helsinki and Pfizer researchers has led to the discovery of a new opportunity to treat drug-resistant leukemia with an approved renal cancer drug. The findings of this international joint effort were published online today, 9 February, 2015, in the journal Nature.


Opening of the annual call for applications for FIMM-EMBL International Doctoral Students (January 2015)

In collaboration with the Neuroscience Center (NC) at the University of Helsinki (UH) and the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology (HIIT) at UH and Aalto University, we are pleased to announce the opening of the annual call for applications for FIMM-EMBL International Doctoral Students. Doctoral student positions in the fields of molecular medicine, bioinformatics, computational systems biology, and neuroscience are available starting in August 2015.


FIMM’s research infrastructure upgraded with a new high content flow cytometric analysis system

FIMM´s research infrastructure has been upgraded with a new iQue Screener HD high-throughput system for high content flow cytometric analysis. FIMM’s equipment is the first of its kind in Europe.The new system is especially useful for FIMM’s translational research projects aiming to develop truly personalized approaches to patient treatment.


Broken genome can be the cause of a broken mind, shows Olli Pietiläinen

The doctoral dissertation of M.Sc. Olli Pietiläinen shows that a small proportion of the genetic risk of schizophrenia is due to rare, large chromosomal deletions. The identified deletions overlapped several genes that have a role in neuronal development. Furthermore, the phenotypic spectrum of the symptoms associated with these deletions was shown to vary from mental disorders to learning difficulties. The genetic findings together suggest that schizophrenia is as biological as any other somatic disorder and that it can be regarded to be one form of neurodevelopmental disorder.The public examination of Olli Pietiläinen's doctoral dissertation will take place on 19 December at 1 pm in the Lecture Hall 2, Haartman Institute.


The winners of the fifth FIMM Annual Poster Session announced

The annual FIMM poster session organized by the FIMM PhD Student and Postdoc Council was held in November 14, 2014. This year, for the first time, prizes were given for the best posters.The poster prizes were awarded to Mikko Muona (best individual poster) and John Patrick Mpindi & Dmitrii Bychkov (the best collaborative effort).


FIMM researchers received several grants from the Finnish Cancer Foundation

The Cancer Foundation/Finnish Cancer Organisations is the largest private funder of cancer research in Finland. This year, the Foundation awarded 91 research grants, with the total amount of more than 3.5 M€. Three FIMM Group Leaders (Olli Kallioniemi, Tero Aittokallio and Krister Wennerberg) and two PhD students were among the recipients.


A new genetic cause for a progressive form of epilepsy identified

An international research consortium has discovered a new gene underlying progressive myoclonus epilepsy, one of the most devastating forms of epilepsy. The study showed that a single mutation in a potassium ion channel gene underlies a substantial proportion of unsolved cases. It is estimated that the mutation is carried by hundreds of patients worldwide. The study utilized modern DNA sequencing technologies, which have revolutionized genetic research of rare, severe diseases.


Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier, a group leader at Umeå MIMS: A major milestone also for the Nordic EMBL Partnership in Molecular Medicine

Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier, a Group Leader at MIMS (the Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden) has just won the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences worth $3 million. She received the award for her discoveries on CRISPR/CAS9, an ancient defense mechanism in bacteria.FIMM warmly congratulates her, MIMS - the Swedish node of the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine – and the Umeå University on receiving this prestigious award.


An outstanding lecture of Dr. Leroy Hood opened a new Academic Medical Center Helsinki Distinguished Lecture Series

The Academic Medical Center Helsinki (AMCH) Distinguished Lecture Series was launched yesterday November 11 by an excellent presentation of Dr. Leroy Hood. The purpose of this new lecture series is to bring internationally leading experts to speak to the AMCH community on timely topics and opportunities in medical research.


Ida Surakka’s dissertation shows the power of large cohort studies in identifying genetic determinants of lipid levels

M.Sc. Ida Surakka will defend her thesis tomorrow, 7 November. She is a Ph.D. student at FIMM and in Hjelt Institute, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki. The main aim of her thesis was to identify genetic markers and biological pathways behind circulating blood lipid levels. In her thesis project, several large cohorts of European origin comprising tens of thousands of individuals were studied. Based on this work, almost a hundred genetic loci associated with lipid levels were identified using large-scale genome-wide approaches.


Novel sodium channel mutation identified in a Finnish family – a new piece in the puzzle of genetic cardiac arrhythmias

A Finnish-Swiss research group has found the cause of a disease called exercise-induced polymorphic ventricular arrhythmia in a large Finnish family. Samples from eight affected family members were exome sequenced at the FIMM Technology Centre. Based on these results, the disease causing mutation was revealed. The cause of the symptoms was shown to be a novel missense mutation in one of the known arrhythmia genes, SCN5A, the product of which is a sodium channel that is abundant in cardiac muscle.


FIMM PhD student among the few selected young researches who got to participate on international BioCamp

The Novartis International Biotechnology Leadership Camp (BioCamp) is a yearly event that brings together talented young researchers from around the world. During the BioCamp, participants have an opportunity to acquaint themselves with the trends and challenges of biotechnology and gain an in-depth view of the pharmaceutical industry and different career possibilities in it. This year, one hundred students and young researchers from Finland alone applied to the event. Two were selected; one being Arjan van Adrichem, graduate student at FIMM.


Two new Academy of Finland funded research projects started at FIMM

The Academy of Finland has recently awarded funding to two teams led by FIMM group leaders for developing personalized cancer treatment. Of these two projects one is led by Prof. Olli Kallioniemi and FIMM-EMBL Group Leader Tero Aittokallio and the other by FIMM-EMBL Group Leader Krister Wennerberg. The funding period of these projects started September 1st, 2014. The grants total nearly 0.8 M€.


Finland joins European infrastructure for biological information

Finland has signed the consortium agreement establishing the European life science infrastructure for biological information (ELIXIR). ELIXIR Finland specialises in developing and providing cloud service resources designed for big data to life science organisations, biobanks and translational medical research. Finland’s participation is coordinated by CSC – IT Centre for Science administered by the Ministry of Education and Culture, in a national consortium (Biomedinfra) that also includes the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) at the University of Helsinki and the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).


The Annual Meeting of the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine

The Annual Meeting of the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine was organized for the fifth time in Umeå, Sweden, on 26-28 August, 2014. The Swedish node MIMS (the Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden) was hosting the meeting this year. The program consisted of high-quality scientific presentations, poster sessions and interesting museum visits. In addition, the steering committee, group leaders, coordinators and PhD students had time reserved for discussions all aiming to enhance collaboration between the nodes.


A novel “Man and Machine” decision support system makes malaria diagnostics more effective

A Finnish-Swedish research group has developed a novel “man and machine” decision support system for diagnosing malaria infection. The method is based on computer vision algorithms combined with visualization of the relevant sample areas to human observers on a tablet computer. The system has a huge potential to increase the throughput in malaria diagnostics. Several other medical applications are in the development stage.


Digital Health Revolution -project launched

Digital Health Revolution is is an ambitious, multidisciplinary research project, and one of the three new strategic research openings that Tekes has decided to fund this year. The goal of the program is to enable the utilization of data about the individual as part of personal, preventive services, which in turn will improve citizens’ opportunities for self-management of one’s well-being. Tekes has granted more than 4 M € for the first funding period (2014-2016) of the program. FIMM is particularly involved in the planning and coordination of the pilot projects that test this concept with a focus on risks for obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.


Genes that we can live without are also interesting drug targets

Utilizing Finns, a special, isolated population, a multinational team of researchers has identified several novel gene variants that completely destroy the function of the gene in question. Surprisingly, lacking many of these genes does not cause any health problems and some are even beneficial for the individual. Such genes are very interesting drug targets since the safety of living without them has already been proved by these human “experiments of nature”.


International team sheds new light on biology underlying schizophrenia

As part of a multinational, collaborative effort, researchers from the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, FIMM have helped identify over 100 locations in the human genome associated with the risk of developing schizophrenia in what is the largest genomic study published on any psychiatric disorder to date. The findings, which are published online in Nature, point to biological mechanisms and pathways that may underlie schizophrenia, and could lead to new approaches to treating the disorder, which has seen little innovation in drug development in more than 60 years.


Tanzanian visitors at FIMM

Honourable Minister Dr. Seif Seleman Rashid, Minister of Health & Social Welfare Tanzania and his delegation visited FIMM 14 May.


Oxana Denisova’s dissertation shows the potential of small molecule inhibitors as next-generation anti-influenza drugs

Infections with influenza virus vary from asymptomatic to serious complicated illnesses. Currently, four licensed anti-influenza drugs are available for the prevention and treatment of influenza virus infections. However, resistance to these antivirals has been already reported. Therefore, there is a need for next-generation antiviral agents to combat influenza virus infection. This has been the main aim of the doctoral dissertation of M.Sc. Oxana Denisova to be publicly examined today on 9th May 2014.


FIMM Annual Report 2013 published

FIMM Annual Report 2013 has just been published!


BBMRI-LPC opened its 1st call for research proposals

BBMRI-LPC, European Commission funded multinational project brings together large prospective cohorts across Europe for pooled transnational use of the best follow-up studies in Europe. BBMRI-LPC has just opened its 1st call for research proposals. Free access to samples and related exposure data will be offered for selected scientists and investigators from EU Member and Associated States.


Novel therapeutic agent for Tamiflu-resistant pH1N1 influenza virus discovered

Researchers at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland FIMM with their collaborators have shown that first Tamiflu resistant pandemic influenza pH1N1 viruses have emerged in Finland. Furthermore, they have identified a novel antiviral agent MK2206 and shown that the pH1N1 viruses are not able to develop resistance against it.


Sequencing Initiative Suomi website launched

SISu project's website has just been launched. Researchers are now able to access the first version of the SISu data resource and find out Finnish allele frequencies for variants located within the exons.


Novel blood screen reveals risk of dying among healthy people

A new screening technology reveals a signature of mortality in blood samples. Researchers have identified four biomarkers that help to identify people at high risk of dying from any disease within the next five years.


Opening “the X-files” helped researchers to understand why women and men differ in height

Given its unique nature, the X chromosome has often been neglected when performing large-scale genetic studies. Because women have two copies of this chromosome and men only one, identifying genetic associations with X chromosomal genes can be particularly valuable in helping us to understand why some characteristics differ between sexes.


FIMM’s first FiDiPro Fellow, Peter Horvath, appointed

FiDiPro - the Finland Distinguished Professor Programme - led and financed by the Academy of Finland and Tekes enables distinguished researchers to work and team up with Finnish academic researchers.


Congratulations to Leif Groop for winning the 2014 Matti Äyräpää medical prize

FIMM is delighted to learn that Leif Groop has just been awarded the 2014 Matti Ayräpää medical prize (20 000 euros).


'What’s Your Top-Level Message?' UK Professors Fran Balkwill and Sue Eccles deliver elegant Academic Career Reflections to close the first season of the FIMM-HBGP Seminar Course

November and early December, FIMM had the great pleasure to host Fran Balkwill, PhD, Professor of Cancer Biology and Lead of the Centre for Cancer and Inflammation at the Barts Cancer Institute, London, and Sue Eccles, PhD, Professor of Experimental Cancer Therapeutics at the Institute of Cancer Research, London.


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

A new individualized systems medicine strategy, developed at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland 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 chemoresistant adult acute myeloid leukemia patients have been recently published in the Cancer Discovery journal.


Newly identified DNA repair mechanism explains why cancer cells do not die although seriously damaged

A team of scientists from Finland, Switzerland and Sweden has identified that a new DNA repair mechanism called break-induced replication repair may explain how some cancer cells tolerate serious DNA damage. They also identified a gene, POLD3, that plays a key role in this process.


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

Simple imaging devices modified to inexpensive mini-microscopes are the new weapon in fight against tropical infectious diseases.


The Scientific Committee of IMI has a Finnish representative

The Innovative Medicines iniative (IMI) is Europe’s largest public-private partnership. Research Professor Markus Perola (The National Institute for Health and Welfare, Institute for Molecular Medicine FIMM, University of Helsinki) has been nominated as the first Finnish representative to the Scientific Committee of IMI.


New markers reflect tumor heterogeneity and guide therapy options

Biomarker assays reflecting tumor heterogeneity can reveal important information about the aggressiveness and possible metastasis of cancer. Furthermore, they can facilitate treatment decisions and make it easier to monitor patient's response to treatment.


Keep Your Feet on the Ground and Your Eyes on the Horizon

In November 2013, FIMM warmly welcomed Sir Tim Hunt, PhD, Emeritus Group Leader at Cancer Research UK, Clare Hall Laboratories at London Research Institute, London, UK for a visit at Biomedicum and FIMM. During his visit, Dr. Hunt presented his research in the Biomedicum Helsinki Seminar Series.


The dissertation of Tiina Lehtimäki demonstrates the importance of detection method in the long-term prognosis of breast cancers

The doctoral dissertation of M.D. Tiina Lehtimäki to be publicly examined on 8th November 2013 concentrates on the long-term prognosis of breast cancers. She has compared breast cancers detected at screening mammography to cancers found by other methods. This is an important research area, not least because of the fact that breast cancer is still the leading cause of cancer death among women despite the significant improvements in survival.


FIMM’s computing infrastructure upgraded

FIMM expands its computing infrastructure to strengthen its capacity to safely handle large-scale biological and medical data arising from high-throughput genome sequencing and imaging projects. The terabytes of data produced on a daily basis are utilized in the institute's translational research projects aiming to develop truly personalised approaches to health care and patient treatment.


The 5-year Evaluation Report of FIMM

The 5-year Evaluation of FIMM took place on 14-15 May 2013. The task of the Evaluation Committee was to assess the progress of FIMM towards achieving the ambitious aim of becoming a leading molecular medicine research institute. The evaluation was carried out by the Evaluation Committee comprising of three members of the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) of FIMM, Professors Kai Simons, Carl-Henrik Heldin and Cornelia van Duijn, EMBL representative Dr Paul Flicek as well as four invited external experts, Professors Sven Cichon, Paolo Gasparini, Gregory Gibson and Ari Helenius.


The first Leena Peltonen Prize for Excellence in Human Genetics awarded to Dr. Cecilia Lindgren

The Leena Peltonen Prize for Excellence in Human Genetics was established in winter 2010 to recognize scientists who are in the early phases of their independent careers. The inaugural prize is awarded to Dr. Cecilia Lindgren in Helsinki, Finland on August 26, 2013 for her work in on applying genetics and genomics to dissect the etiology of type 2 diabetes, obesity and fat distribution.


Distinct brain disorders biologically linked

A team of researchers have shown 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.


Labcyte and FIMM announce a collaboration

Labcyte Inc. and the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) are collaborating to further the development of personalized medicine in cancer treatment. Labcyte acoustic liquid handling technology has already revolutionized small molecule research. Now, FIMM, a European leader in advanced research for new cancer therapies, will apply the technology extensively in its personalized medicine programs.