Research Organisations

University of Helsinki

The University of Helsinki has centralized its operations on four major campus areas, namely the city center, Kumpula, Meilahti and Viikki. The Biomedicum building, completed in early 2001, was the final stage in the process of concentrating medical sciences to the Meilahti Campus, which now offers top-level facilities for research and training in medicine.

The Biomedicum Helsinki building houses the following units of the Faculty of Medicine
Medicum (Departments of Anatomy, Biochemistry, Clinical and medical genetics, Clinical Chemistry and Haematology, Clinical Pharmacology, Developmental biology, Pharmacology, Physiology) and Clinicum.

The research laboratories of Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases are also located in the Biomedicum building. The teaching and conference facilities on the ground floor, which are normally used in the teaching of first and second-year medical and dental students, may be rented for various types of seminars, symposia and conferences.

Collaboration between basic scientists and clinical investigators is facilitated by the five Research Programs that have been selected by peer review for five years. The programs report to the director of Biomedicum Helsinki. There are investigators from the University of Helsinki, HUS, National Public Health Institute and Folkhälsan Research Center in these programs. The current research programs are Genome-Scale Biology, Immunobiology, Molecular Neurology, Translational Cancer Biology and Diabetes and Obesity.

HUCH

The University of Helsinki and the Helsinki University Central Hospital, which belongs to the Joint Authority for the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS), are jointly responsible for providing education for students of medicine and dentistry in the greater Helsinki area.

As basic medical education has now been transferred to the Biomedicum building, excellent opportunities for designing problem-based learning programs are now available. Specialist training and graduate programs can also be efficiently organized, for patient care, clinical research and basic research are all part of the same hospital and research complex.

The research facilities on the fourth floor of Biomedicum, owned by HUS, accommodate over 200 investigators working on a variety of research projects that have been chosen by the Scientific Research Committee of HUS. The topics of these projects include such as metabolic diseases, neurological diseases, mechanisms pertaining to cancer and cardiovascular diseases, and development of new diagnostic tools.

FIMM

In the autumn of 2006, the University of Helsinki, the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS) and the National Public Health Institute founded the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland. The purpose of this institute is to generate new knowledge and innovations on disease-causing mechanisms in order to diagnose, treat and prevent diseases and promote public health. It utilizes Finnish clinical and epidemiological material in its research work. The aim is to assemble research and infrastructure in the fields of molecular medicine, genetics and epidemiology within a major, internationally recognized unit which strengthens and internationalizes the related research and researcher training and accelerates the utilization of research results. The institute, to which the Finnish Genome Center has been attached, will mainly operate from the Biomedicum Helsinki 2 building. It will network with its Swedish and Norwegian counterparts and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). The institute’s operations are supported by the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation, the City of Helsinki, the Sigrid Jusélius Foundation, Orion Corporation and the Finnish Medical Foundation. Other central biomedical universities and research organizations have the opportunity to join the institute.

Helsinki Institute of Life Science

HiLIFE Helsinki Institute of Life Science is a new institute established in 2017 that supports high quality life science research across the University campuses and faculties. HiLIFE builds on existing strengths and new recruits and partnerships to create an attractive international environment for researchers to solve grand challenges in health, food, and environment. HiLIFE coordinates research infrastructures in life sciences and provides research-based interdisciplinary training.

Folkhälsan Research Center

Folkhälsan Research Center was founded in 1996 by Samfundet Folkhälsan i svenska Finland r.f. and Folkhälsan Research Foundation. The Center conducts medical research and engages in research and teaching cooperation with the University of Helsinki on the basis of a separate agreement. The Research Center is divided into three units. The research performed by the Department of Molecular Genetics at the Institute of Genetics aims at determining the molecular background of hereditary diseases. The Institute of Preventive Medicine, Nutrition, and Cancer focuses especially on examining the significance of plant estrogens for preventing chronic diseases that typically afflict the population of Western countries. The Diabetics Research Program studies the genetic background of the pathogenesis and complications related to juvenile- and adult-onset diabetes.

National Institute for Health and Welfare

The Department of Molecular Medicine conducts biochemical, cell biological and genetic research on diseases which are endemic in Finland. The aim of this research is to increase the understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of these diseases, to determine the basis of predisposing genes and to develop diagnostics and new treatment methods.

The rapid breakthrough of genome research has opened a new world of knowledge and provided new analytical tools for scientists. The effective utilization of this information poses a great educational and methodological challenge for the Department of Molecular Medicine.

The Department’s research is connected to key areas defined in the strategy of the National Public Health Institute, which include cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, various psychiatric diseases and diseases related to the Finnish disease heritage. The Department is increasingly directing its resources to training investigators in areas that will prove important in terms of national health.

The Minerva Foundation Institute for Medical Research

The Minerva Foundation Institute for Medical Research is a private research laboratory maintained by the Minerva Foundation. The Institute employs about 30 persons, including researchers, graduate students and support staff. Research is conducted on the following five areas: clinical physiology, diabetes, nephrology, cell physiology and biochemistry.

Wihuri Research Institute

Wihuri Research Institute (WRI) is a non-profit biomedical research institute. The research program in the Wihuri Research Institute is focused on the vascular system in various diseases – such as cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, and cancer. The mission of the Institute is to achieve new fundamental understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of the vascular system, in order to improve the treatment of various diseases.