10.05.2017Improved 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.
28.04.2017Special 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.
18.04.2017Astellas 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.
23.03.2017Bhagwan 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.
17.03.2017Novo 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.
14.03.2017EU-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.
06.02.2017BEAt-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.
18.01.2017EU-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.
16.01.2017Researchers 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.
10.01.2017Innovative 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.
02.01.2017Global 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 and Best Wishes for a Succesfull New Year 2017!
02.12.2016Daria 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.
01.12.2016Improved 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.
30.11.2016FIMM poster session 2016 winners announced
The FIMM 2016 poster prizes were awarded to Riku Turkki and Muntasir Mamun. Congratulations!
16.11.2016International 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.
10.11.2016Professor 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.
28.10.2016Revolutionising 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.
03.10.2016International 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.
28.09.2016The 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.
21.09.2016Genomic 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.
16.09.2016A 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.
08.09.2016Arjan 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.
08.09.2016New 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.
05.08.2016New 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.
07.07.2016FIMMPOD 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.
21.06.2016Mikko 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.
21.06.2016Anna 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.
20.06.2016Large-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.
13.06.2016FIMM 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.
03.06.2016Delegation 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.
12.05.2016Bioeconomy 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.
04.05.20164DNucleome 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!
21.03.2016Strongest 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.
17.03.2016Mobile 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.
15.03.2016John 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.
03.03.2016The 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.
01.03.2016The 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.
26.02.2016IntelliCyt 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.
17.02.2016Jenni 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.
29.01.2016FIMM 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”.
25.01.2016Genetic 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.
11.01.2016A 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.
07.01.2016Twin 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.
22.12.2015The 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.
21.12.2015Applications 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 and Best Wishes for a Happy New Year 2016!
07.12.2015A 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.
04.12.2015FIMM 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.
23.11.2015Helsinki 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.
20.11.2015FIMM 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.
11.11.2015Tea 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.
20.10.2015Professionalizing 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.
19.10.2015Tea 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.
22.09.2015Stimulating 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.
14.09.2015FIMM 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.
08.09.2015Manuela 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.
07.09.2015Academy 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.
03.09.2015FIMM’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.
31.08.2015New 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.
27.08.2015FIMM 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.
19.08.2015International 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.
15.06.2015Yuexi 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.
11.06.2015Labcyte 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.
11.06.2015Finnish 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.
09.06.2015Academy 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.
26.05.2015EMBL 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.
25.05.2015MedBioinformatics 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.
11.05.2015Large-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.
07.05.2015From 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.
04.05.2015EU-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.
29.04.2015FIMM Annual Report 2014 published
FIMM's Annual Report 2014 has just been published.
24.04.2015Two 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.
23.04.2015Truth 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.
16.04.2015Timing 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.
16.04.2015Maria 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.
14.04.2015Significant 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.
02.04.2015FIMM 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!
26.03.2015Professor 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.
18.03.2015EATRIS 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.
18.02.2015European 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.
09.02.2015A 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.
06.02.2015Opening 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.
03.02.2015FIMM’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.
19.12.2014Broken 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.
08.12.2014The 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).
26.11.2014FIMM 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.
17.11.2014A 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.
14.11.2014Breakthrough 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.
12.11.2014An 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.
06.11.2014Ida 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.
27.10.2014Novel 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.
21.10.2014FIMM 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.
15.09.2014Two 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€.
01.09.2014Finland 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).
01.09.2014The 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.
22.08.2014A 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.
14.08.2014Digital 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.
31.07.2014Genes 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”.
23.07.2014International 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.
05.06.2014Drug sensitivity predicted computationally
19.05.2014Tanzanian visitors at FIMM
Honourable Minister Dr. Seif Seleman Rashid, Minister of Health & Social Welfare Tanzania and his delegation visited FIMM 14 May.
09.05.2014Oxana 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.
07.05.2014FIMM Annual Report 2013 published
FIMM Annual Report 2013 has just been published!
24.04.2014BBMRI-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.
24.04.2014Novel 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.
25.03.2014Sequencing 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.
26.02.2014Novel 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.
06.02.2014Opening “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.
29.01.2014FIMM’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.
07.01.2014Congratulations 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).
17.12.2013'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.
12.12.2013Systems 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.
12.12.2013Newly 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.
06.12.2013Stripped 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.
26.11.2013The 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.
20.11.2013New 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.
18.11.2013Keep 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.
07.11.2013The 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.
17.10.2013FIMM’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.
19.09.2013The 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.
04.08.2013Distinct 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.
10.01.2013Opening of the annual FIMM-EMBL International PhD Student Training Initiative call for applications
08.01.2013Labcyte 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.