14.04.2015 - 10:45

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 (FIMM, University of Helsinki), 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.

The Institute for Molecular Medicine FIMM scientists and hematologists at the Helsinki University Central Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Center (HUCH) who received the grant have successfully collaborated for several years. The team has altogether about 50 members and has developed a novel systems medicine strategy for acute and chronic myeloid leukemia (AML/CML), other types of leukemia and myeloma. Their approach combines biobanking, high-throughput drug testing, genomic and molecular profiling, and clinical translation. The results have already led to multiple high-profile publications in journals, such as Nature and Cancer Discovery.

“This is a really significant and important grant for this large multi-disciplinary team, whose research is rapidly opening new avenues for patient care through breakthrough scientific discoveries”, said Professor Olli Kallioniemi.

The main goal of the funded project is to develop better methods to predict cancer drug efficacies and combinations and thus to improve and personalize patient care, prioritize new drugs for clinical testing, and design tailor-made drug combinations. More specifically, the group aims to apply systems medicine to improve the personalized care of AML patients and introduce new drugs for patient treatment, develop ways to target cancer progenitor cells in AML as well as to carry out proof-of-concept studies in solid tumors such as prostate and ovarian cancers.

“Securing long-term funding is really important to ensure continued scientific success of the project and to facilitate translation of the findings to patient care”, commented Professor Kimmo Porkka, Head of Hematology at HUCH.

Sigrid Jusélius Foundation is the biggest private foundation solely supporting medical research in Finland.

Celebrating the Nature publication. From left to right: Arjan van Adrichem, Tea Pemovska, Kimmo Porkka, Krister Wennerberg, Olli Kallioniemi

Picture: Gretchen Repasky


Learn more about the scientific discoveries of the research group and the state-of-the-art technologies they are using:

Press releases:

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

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


Genome sequencing - new possibilities for personalised cancer treatment

Drug sensitivity testing - new possibilities for personalised cancer treatment

Last updated: 14.04.2015 - 11:44