Structural biology

Platform services

Electron microscopy
Protein production
International activities: Instruct-FI

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Information on structural biology courses organised by Instruct-FI can be found here.

Structural biology and biophysics covers a wide range of topics, from protein production via structure determinations to biocomputational analysis. The Finnish national network comprises four major disciplines, all focused on experimental determination of macromolecular structures and elucidation of mechanisms by various time-resolved techniques. They are X-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, other time-resolved biophysical techniques, and electron microscopy. This network also benefits from central resources, such as CSC – IT Center for Science Ltd.) and from the Bioinformatics network.

Four of the biocentres have macromolecular x-ray crystallography facilities (Institute of Biotechnology, BioCity Turku, Biocenter Oulu, Biocenter Kuopio), while the Institute of Biotechnology has a significant investment in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, cryo-electron microscopy and novel three-dimensional methods and time-resolved optical spectroscopy (TROS). The National Biological NMR Centre at the Institute of Biotechnology provides state-of-the-art NMR instrumentation, methodology and expertise.

Biocenter Finland Structural Biology network operate as a joint Instruct National Affiliate Center.


Biocenter Oulu
BCO Protein Crystallography Core Facility
BioCity Turku
Protein Crystallography Core Facility, see also Bioinformatics: BioCity Turku/Åbo Akademi Structural bioinformatics laboratory
Helsinki Institute of Life Science - HiLIFE
BI Protein Crystallisation Facility
Biocenter Kuopio

Biocenter Kuopio Facility


Helsinki Institute of Life Science - HiLIFE
Finnish Biological NMR Center
Biocenter Kuopio
High-resolution mass spectrometry facility

Electron microscopy

See Biological Imaging network / Electron microscopy

Protein production for biophysical and structural characterization

Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences
BMT Protein Production Service (BV / E.coli)
Helsinki Institute of Life Science - HiLIFE

Helsinki Haartman Institute Protein Production Service, Ritvos Lab (CHO, HEK)

International activities

Participation in pan-European ESFRI infrastructures:

Biocenter Finland Structural Biology network operate as a joint Instruct National Affiliate Center, offering a wide variety of structural biology infrastructure and expertise to both academic and industrial researchers within Finland and Europe. Read more about Instruct & Instruct-FI. The five platforms are listed below:

University of Helsinki Instruct
University of Eastern Finland Instruct
University of Oulu Instruct
Turku Instruct
Tampere Instruct
Instruct-FI NAC at Instruct website

In July 2017 The European Commission granted the pan-European research infrastructure Instruct the ERIC status, which stands for European Research Infrastructure Consortium. At the moment the four major structural biology centers in Finland (Helsinki, Oulu, Joensuu, Turku) are preparing an application to the Instruct council to become accepted as a distributed Instruct Centre. Helsinki will be the national hub. Oulu coordinates the participation of Instruct-FI in iNEXT and Instruct-ULTRA. The FIRI committee of the Academy of Finland has agreed that Finland joins Instruct providing the Finnish life science researchers with funded access to the major structural biology centers in Europe. Access to Instruct facilities across Europe is essential to use large instruments, like X-ray synchrotrons and modern cryo-electron microscopes that cannot be built and maintained in all countries, but also to maintain a collaborative scientific culture that allows the dissemination of scientific expertise and methodological innovations across different laboratories. Instruct also fosters joint translational research efforts between academia and biotech to ensure the implementation of new technologies for more sustainable processes and better human health.

Contact persons

Platform Coordinator
Rik Wierenga / tel. +358 8 553 1199 / rik.wierenga (at)
Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu
Biocenter Oulu Protein Crystallography Core Facility

NMR Spectroscopy and Mass Spectrometry Platform partners
Hideo Iwai, BI, Finnish Biological NMR Center (FBNMR); Juha Rouvinen, BCK, High-resolution Mass Spectrometry Facility

X-ray FIX-UP Platform partners
Rik Wierenga (chair of the consortium), BCO, Protein Crystallography, Oulu X-ray; Tommi Kajander, BI, Protein Crystallisation Facility, Tassos Papageorgiou, BioCity, Protein Crystallography Core Facility

Protein Services Platform partners
Juha Määttä (chair of the consortium), BMT, Tampere Protein Facility; Olli Ritvos, BCH, Haartman Institute Protein Production Service