FIMM received highly positive evaluation comments from the SAB
The SAB of FIMM visited the institute 26-27 May 2015. The following SAB members were present:
· Professor Kai Simons, Max-Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics,
· Professor Cornelia van Duijn, Erasmus University Medical School, the Netherlands
· Professor Carl-Henrik Heldin, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research,
Uppsala University, Sweden
· Professor Edison Liu, The Jackson Laboratory, USA
· Professor Nadia Rosenthal, The Jackson Laboratory, USA and EMBL Australia
Partnership Laboratory, Australia
During their visit, the SAB heard presentations about FIMM, FIMM infrastructure facilities and the Helsinki Life Science Center initiative. Several FIMM Group Leaders introduced their work and future plans. The SAB also met with the Vice Rector for Research, Professor Keijo Hämäläinen and the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and the Chair of the FIMM Board, Risto Renkonen and had discussions with FIMM’s Senior Researchers, Post-Doctoral Researchers and PhD Students.
Based on the visit and documentation provided beforehand, the SAB prepared an evaluation report, which can be downloaded here.
In the report, the SAB supported both the nomination of Academy Professor Jaakko Kaprio as the new Director of FIMM and of Professor Olli Kallioniemi as a FIMM Research Director (25%). Four of the evaluated Group Leaders received a favourable review by the SAB and their contracts will thus be extended.
Although the review identified some areas of improvement, it was overall very positive, as reflected in the following quotes:
“Most importantly, FIMM has become a brand name internationally and thus a flagship for the University of Helsinki. However, brands are fragile entities that demand protection, especially in difficult times.”
“Another reflection of success is the capability of FIMM to procure external funding from national and international resources. The success is based both on the organizational skills of the Director,Olli Kallioniemi and the excellent staff and on the quality of the researchers recruited.”
“The SAB wants to emphasize that the area of research that FIMM is engaged in is central to the buildup of a future system of personalized diagnostics and treatment that will be the center piece of precision clinical care. This research area will be fundamental for developing better and in the end more effective medical care for the future. A brilliant example at FIMM is the personalized drug-screening capability that Krister Wennerberg and his team have built up and is being used not only by FIMM scientists but also by several cancer units, such as the clinical hematologists at the Helsinki University Central Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Center.”
“The SAB was immensely impressed by the quality of the Senior Scientists. A number of essential activities depend on this group of experienced scientists within FIMM. --- This feature of having flexible and knowledgeable staff scientists engaged in running institute key functions is completely unique to FIMM. We have never seen such an amazing organizational innovation anywhere else. The SAB is convinced that the Senior Scientists, as now organized, are a substantial contributor to the success of FIMM.”
“Because of the serious funding situation, the University of Helsinki needs to protect its flagships and assure that excellence in the Life Sciences remains the pillar that the University of Helsinki will build on, to move up the ranking ladder of the world’s best universities.”