Coronavirus-related research and services at EMBL

The molecular life sciences have a central role in delivering new treatments or vaccines against Sars-CoV-2. EMBL has re-purposed existing facilities to provide a range of direct research and support services, including in partnership with institutes in Member States.

This document provides a summary of EMBL coronavirus-related research and service activity as at 20 April 2020, and will be updated as additional projects receive necessary safety and scientific approvals.

For more information, see link below

EMBL Covid19 activities

Academy of Finland grants Biocenter Finland 2.7 M€ for building and upgrading research infrastructures

Academy of Finland’s FIRI Calls are the major funding source for nationally important instrument investments to research infrastructures of all scientific and scholarly disciplines. Academy of Finland’s FIRI Committee published on 21 January 2020 its funding decisions on the FIRI2019 Call.

Biocenter Finland’s proposal of 2,7 M€ was fully funded. Together with the host universities’ share (30%), the total amount available for the BF Technology Platforms is 3,9 M€. This resource is targeted to the following BF Technology Platforms, operating in three of the six BF host universities (in brackets):

  • BioImaging Platform: Focused ion-beam SEM for high-resolution 3D-modelling (UH)
  • Genome-wide Methods Platform: PacBio Sequel II for single-molecule sequencing (UH)
  • FinGMice Platform: Pipeline for mouse phenotyping (UO, UH, UTU)
  • Proteomics Platform: Orbitrap Tribrid MS for spatial proteomics (UH)
  • Single-cell Omics Platform: Nanostring GeoMXTM DSP (UH, UTU)

The BF technology services supporting frontier science are available to the entire Finnish research community in the Life Sciences and Biomedical Sciences, based on an open-access principle.

BF applies FIRI funding for the most needed technologies according to a strategic long-term investment plan. The choice of the funding target is based on consultation of the scientific community, and informed by assessment of the quality and needs of the Platforms carried out by BF’s international Scientific Advisor Board. The BF Technology Platforms coordinate their services nationally to enable specialization of the Platform’s Nodes and to support the host universities’ research profiling.

BF has been successful in FIRI funding calls for several years. The previously attracted resources strengthened genomics and viral vector production (FIRI2018), proteomics, metabolomics, and single-cell omics (FIRI2016) and light microscopy (FIRI2015). The next FIRI call will open in 2021.

BF Organizes a Nature Masterclass Course

Biocenter Finland organises a Nature Masterclass course for 60 PhD students and post-docs working in the BF host universities (Universities of Eastern Finland, Helsinki, Oulu, Tampere, Turku, and Åbo Akademi). The course takes place on November 28 and 29 in Helsinki.

The participants will experience a full-day Nature Masterclass workshop where Nature editors provide hands-on, practical training for publishing in top tier journals. This session will provide a unique overview of the publishing process of highly selective journals. The editors will share their expert insight into what makes an exemplary paper and will discuss how participants can improve their scientific writing skills to create a polished manuscript ready for publication. The course is free of charge for the participants.


Biocenter Finland opens a call for the term 2021-2024

BF has opened a call for the current platform’s as well as new openings to apply to BF for the term 2021-2024. The platform applications are evaluated by an external SAB of international experts. The deadline of the call is November 22. As a result of the evaluation, the SAB will make a recommendation of the platforms’ key personnel salary funding. BF Board will make a proposal to the host universities’ rectors for such strategic funding accordingly.

For further information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Proteopedia: a versatile tool for structural biology research and teaching

Proteopedia: a versatile tool for structural biology research and teaching

As part of a PDBe-Proteopedia joint project, under the auspices of ELIXIR, there will be seminars at the University of Oulu where the Proteopedia tools for researchers and teachers will be explained.

Wednesday, February 27
University of Oulu, FBMM, Aapistie 7A, Oulu
F101, 10:00(sharp)-13:00)

  1. Tuomo Glumoff (University of Oulu) “open university” teaching at Oulu University
  2. Joel Sussman (Weizmann), Proteopedia: a tool for teaching and research
  3. Mihaly Varadi (EBI) (PDBe-KB and Proteopedia)
  4. Coffee break
  5. Jaime Prilusky (Weizmann), Technical features of Proteopedia for use in research, and in teaching
  6. Brainstorming how to benefit from Proteopedia for teaching and research


General info:
Teaching, general:
Teaching, high school:

On February 28 there will be the possibility to make your own Proteopedia page with help from the experts. If you would like to participate please contact Rik Wierenga (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

ELIXIR Innovation and SME Forum, 5 March 2019

ELIXIR Innovation and SME Forum: Genomics and Associated Data in National Healthcare Initiatives

This free ELIXIR Innovation and SME Forum with a focus on Genomics and Associated Data in National Healthcare Initiatives in Stockholm is open to researchers working in the personalised medicine sector, large and small companies that develop services for healthcare systems or are users of genomics and/or associated data, as well as people involved in national healthcare initiatives and anyone else who is interested in learning more about data-driven innovation in the healthcare sector. It aims to inform about ELIXIR resources and create a space to network for industry and academia.

For more information, please see

Biocenter Finland receives full FIRI funding

Biocenter Finland received 1.83 M€ funding from the Academy of Finland’s FIRI2018 call for national research infrastructure investments. This is the full amount applied for. The received funding is for two Illumina NovaSeq 6000 sequencing instruments and an iCellis500 bioreactor system for viral vector production. All of the instruments and related services will be openly accessible to all of Finland’s ~17,000 Life Science researchers.

One of the sequencing instruments is hosted by the FIMM Genomics unit of the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland FIMM, part of the Helsinki Institute of Life Science HiLIFE at University of Helsinki. The Sequencing unit is part of the HiLIFE Genomic Infrastructure platform. The other instrument will be located in the Finnish Functional Genomics Centre hosted by University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University. The Helsinki and Turku units are part of the national Biocenter Finland technology platform Genome-wide methods.

The iCellis500 bioreactor for viral vector production is to be located in the National Virus Vector Laboratory in Biocenter Kuopio, University of Eastern Finland as part of the Viral Gene transfer and cell therapy platform.

To identify the investment targets, Biocenter Finland consulted the Finnish Life Science community: ERC grantees, Academy Professors, and Centre of Excellence directors and received proposals from the Biocenter Finland technology platforms.

Biocenter Finland is currently preparing for the FIRI2019 call.


For more information on the new services, please contact the technology platform chairs:

Genome-wide methods
Janna Saarela

Viral gene transfer and cell therapy
Seppo Ylä-Herttuala

Lauri Eklund and Mark Daly join the BF Board

Biocenter Finland welcomes two new members into it’s governing board.

University of Oulu nominated Professor Lauri Eklund, director of the Biocenter Oulu Infrastructure Unit, as the university’s representative in the Biocenter Finland board from 1.1.2019. Professor Johanna Uusimaa is the deputy member.

University of Helsinki nominated Professor Mark Daly, director of the Institute of Molecular Medicine Finland FIMM, and Professor Olli Silvennoinen, director of Insitute of Biomedicine, as the University of Helsinki representatives. Professor Tomi Mäkelä director of Helsinki Institute of Life Science HiLIFE continues as the third UH board member. Deputies are Professor Janna Saarela, Professor Sarah Butcher and Dr. Maria Vartiainen.

Biocenter Finland Annual Report 2017

The Biocenter Finland Annual Report 2017 has been published. Please see the report for information on Biocenter Finland services, scientific success stories, and more.

EMBL in Finland: Scientists in Finland met to share ideas and discover research opportunities

On 5 October, more than 170 Finnish researchers and EMBL alumni gathered at the Biomedicum in Helsinki to discover and share the latest scientific opportunities available at EMBL’s six sites. Here Marja Makarow, director of Biocenter Finland and event co-organiser, talks about her own scientific journey. During her long-standing career, Marja has fostered international and diverse research environments – and she was keen to share these experiences with scientists throughout Finland...

Please read more here

CoMO educational days – Reproducibility and reliability of animal experiments

CoMO educational days – Reproducibility and reliability of animal experiments
19.-20.11.2018, Helsinki

This mini-symposium is organized by Comprehensive Model Organisms (CoMO) infrastructure platform at the Helsinki Institute of Life Science (HiLIFE).
Students can receive ECTS credits as follows: 1 ECTS for attendance and pre-assignment, 2 ECTS for attendance and workshop. Contact Satu Kuure ( for further information concerning the pre-assignment and enrolment to the workshop (based on motivation letters).

Synopsis. Animal models have a crucial role in modern biomedicine and basic research. However, they are under scrutiny by public and authorities whereas reproducibility and reliability of animal experiments has emerged as a major topic of discussion in scientific community. With this meeting, CoMO is introducing itself as an instrument for supporting researchers in all aspects of studies involving model organisms. Top-level speakers are invited to open the discussion related to basic but often underestimated issues in science – planning, conducting and reporting of animal experiments.

Read more

Symposium: Exploring cellular complexity by cryoEM

What: This one-day symposium organised by HiLIFE - Helsinki Institute of Life Science will showcase uses of cryo-EM (cryogenic electron microscopy) in studying biological mechanisms at different levels of complexity - ranging from macromolecules to cells. Distinguished international speakers will discuss how cryo-EM is now helping to understand illness and how it is starting to inform drug discovery. We welcome anyone who is interested in hearing about cutting-edge science and methods bridging cell biology, neuroscience, biochemistry, virology, and microbiology. Please save the date, more information will follow soon:

When: 28th February 2019, 09:00-17:00

Where: Biomedicum, University of Helsinki



Keynote speakers:

Richard Henderson, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 2017 (MRC LMB, Cambridge)

Hong Zhou (UCLA, Los Angeles)

Invited speakers:

Radu Aricescu (MRC LMB, Cambridge)

Ariane Briegel (University of Leiden)

Liz Carpenter (Structural Genomics Consortium, Oxford)

Ruben Fernandez-Busnadiego (MPI Biochemistry, Martinsried)

Kay Grunewald (Center for Structural Systems Biology, Hamburg)

Wanda Kukulski (MRC LMB, Cambridge)

Tzviya Zeev Ben Mordehai (Utrecht University)

Peijun Zhang (eBIC and University of Oxford)


To whom: Students, post docs, staff. Anyone interested in hearing about cutting edge science and bio-imaging methods bridging cell biology, neuroscience, biochemistry, virology, and microbiology.

EMBL in Finland

Biocenter Finland would like to welcome you to the EMBL in Finland event on Friday October 5, 2018 at 10-16.00 in Biomedicum HelsinkiThe event is a get-together for the Finnish Life Science community and features an exciting day of science talks and discussions about resources and opportunities offered by EMBL.


Connect with current and former EMBL staff, life science researchers and students to grow networks, strengthen ties, explore collaborations and learn about state-of-the-art research infrastructures.


The speakers include current and alumni EMBL researchers and staff, EMBO members, as well as leaders in the field of research infrastructures. The event provides information on career opportunities for young researchers, so be sure to forward the invitation to your students. Some of the speakers include:


  • Kai Simons, Chief Executive Officer, Lipotype, Dresden; (EMBL Heidelberg, Head of Cell Biology and Biophysics Unit, 1975-2000; EMBO Council Member, 2004-2009)
  • Mark Daly, Director, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), HiLIFE, University of Helsinki
  • Rainer Pepperkok, Head of Core Facilities, Head of Advanced Light Microscopy Core Facility, Team Leader and Senior Scientist, EMBL, Heidelberg
  • Howy Jacobs, EMBO Member, Professor of Molecular Biology, University of Tampere
  • Riitta Maijala Vice President for Research, Chair of The Finnish Research Infrastructure Committee at the Academy of Finland


The event is free of charge but registration is required. For full program and registration, please see


The event is organized by Biocenter Finland and the EMBL Alumni team.


HiLIFE Genome Editing and Stem Cells GoEditStem minisymposium

CRISPR genome editing, stem cells and applications October 3, 2018
Biomedicum Helsinki, seminar room 3

Registration through:


9:30 Coffee (sponsored by Thermo Fisher Scientific)
Session I Chair: Ras Trokovic
10:00-10:15 Topi Tervonen, University of Helsinki, Finland
Basics of CRISPR techniques
10:15-11:00 Anna Falk, Karolinska Institutet, Department of Neuroscience, Sweden
iPSCs in therapy and CRISPR possibilities
11:00-11:30 Henna Tyynismaa, University of Helsinki, Finland
Genome editing and disease modelling from iPSCs
11:30-11:45 Thermo Fisher Scientific – CRISPR tools and services
11:45-12:30 Lunch (sponsored by Thermo Fisher Scientific)
Session II Chair: Topi Tervonen
12:30-13:00 Andrey Anisimov, University of Helsinki, Finland
Viral gene delivery systems for genome editing
13:00-13:30 Satu Kuure, University of Helsinki, Finland
Genome editing and mouse models
13:30-14:00 Jere Weltner, University of Helsinki, Finland
Cellular reprogramming with CRISPR activators
14:00-14.15 Katariina Karjalainen: Practical course info (for selected students)

Instruct Biennial Structural Biology Conference 2019

The 4th Instruct Biennial Structural Biology Conference, which will take place in Alcalá de Henares, Spain, from May 22 till May 24, 2019. The historical Alcalá de Henares is in addition to the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes where the Universidad Complutense was founded in 1293, one of the oldest universities in the world. Social programme of the meeting will include visit of the city, a gala dinner and extensive opportunity to network with the Instruct Structural Biology community.

Instruct is a distributed European Research Infrastructure, which provides scientists with access to all major cutting edge technologies that enable biomacromolecular structure determination at atomic resolution. Access to all of these technologies has been available to European member researchers from February 2012. The inaugural Instruct Structural Biology Meeting at Heidelberg in 2013 successfully showcased integrative structural biology and its impact on biological research and biomedicine. The second Biennial took place in Florence in 2015 continuing the integrative line with an increased focus on innovation. The last edition which took place in Brno Czech Republic included sessions representing recent structural biology highlights, emerging methods and technologies and results of biomedical importance. We have already confirmed outstanding speakers for this 4th edition and we are looking forward to see you there.


For more information and registration please see,

Seeing the Invisible - The 28th Annual BioCity Symposium

The BioCity Symposium is traditionally opening the Autumn season for bioscientists, and since summer is already here so is soon the symposium!
This year the symposium is arranged 23rd–24th August in BioCity, Turku and the topic of the symposium is bioimaging – Seeing the invisible. Take a look at the Symposium trailer from here.

We hope you will participate to the poster exhibition and submit a poster abstract latest 12.6.2018.

On the basis of the submitted abstracts we invite four researchers to give a short talk in the symposium. Registration dead-line to the symposium is 10.8.2018, and the ones presenting a poster have a priority to the symposium dinner banquette on 23.8.2018. The whole event is free of charge.

Registration and abstract submission

More information

Biocenter Finland evaluated as excellent in the FIRI midterm evaluation

The Academy of Finland published the results of the Finnish Research Infrastructure Roadmap Midterm Evaluation. Biocenter Finland (BF) was placed in the best possible category – A. The overall rating was “Excellent - Extremely good in international comparison – no significant elements to be improved”.

The international panel who reviewed the infrastructures stated that Biocenter Finland supports high-quality science and supports the national research infrastructure strategy. The panel commented: “BF is an excellent Finnish resource for life-science research, which provides a key backbone to the excellency of this small country in a highly competitive field of research”.

Biocenter Finland is currently preparing an application for the FIRI2018 call. The application is based on proposals from the research community and the BF technology platforms. In line with the BF policy, all new equipment and technologies will be openly accessible to all researcher in Finland as well as non-university users.

MAX IV Summer School in Synchrotron Radiation 2018

Organized by MAX IV and Chalmers University of Technology.

When: 21st – 29th May, 2018

Where: Backagården and MAX IV Laboratory

Registration is open until March 16th 14:00 CET

Scope of the School

The aim of the school is to provide graduate students with a good understanding of synchrotron facilities and why are they such a useful tool for research. To that end, the students will attend lectures, do exercises and hands-on sessions at MAX IV and engage in follow-up discussions. In addition to providing a good overview of the main instrumentation and methods aspects of such large scale facility, the school aims at emphasising the MAX IV new imaging capabilities and high coherence.

The school offers a valuable opportunity for the students to start building a network with other students, with the lecturers and the participating MAX IV scientists.

For more information, see:

Mass Cytometry Kick-Off

As part of the newly established Biocenter Finland Single-cell omics platform, Mass cytometry has been installed at the Turku Centre for Biotechnology. The workshop is to introduce this new technology and how it can be used in your study. This seminar will give you an introduction to mass cytometry, including a tech overview, applications, workflow and reagents, and the Hyperion Imaging System. Additionally, you will get a data presentation description of the technology service in Turku.

Participation is free of charge - no sign-up required. Refreshments will be served.
Welcome everyone!

March 22nd at 10:00
BTK 5th floor seminar room

Andrius Serva, PhD, Field Application Specialist, Europe, Fluidigm 
Discovery and Functional Profiling with Mass Cytometry 
High order multiplexing of biological samples – from suspension to tissue

Zhi Chen, PhD, Turku Centre for Biotechnology
Helios Mass Cytometry in Turku

Organized by: Turku Centre for Biotechnology; Fluidigm; AH Diagnostic

For further information, please see:

Tapio Visakorpi nominated as Biocenter Finland Chair of the Board

The Board of Biocenter Finland nominated Professor Tapio Visakorpi as Chair of the Board for the term 2018-2019. Tapio Visakorpi serves as the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Life Sciences and as Professor of Cancer Genetics at the University of Tampere. See Biosketch for more information.

Academy Professor Seppo Ylä-Herttuala was nominated as Vice-Chair. He is the Director of Biocenter Kuopio and Professor of Molecular Medicine at the University of Eastern Finland.

Translating Structural Biology into Biomedical Applications (iNEXT workshop)

Structure-based and biophysical approaches are now well established in industry as major tools contributing to drug development and there is a growing interest among academic labs in applying these techniques to help develop chemical tools. New technologies for HT fragment-based screening and cryo-electron microscopy are rapidly changing the field and there is a strong potential for collaborations between scientist in industry and academia on this area. The aim of the workshop is to present the state of the art as well as to provide a meeting ground for scientist from public and private institutions. The workshop will include keynote lectures from scientist in industry and academia as well as presentations on new technologies and access opportunities within iNEXT. Abstracts from participants with a focus on areas of high translational potential will be selected for oral presentations.

Additional information and registration through this link

Dedine for registration is February 5th.

iNEXT is a consortium funded by the Horizon2020 program that is pioneering coordinated access to infrastructures for macromolecular crystallography, SAXS, NMR, electron microscopy, advanced light microscopy and biophy! sics. In addition to providing access, the consortium has established ambitious collaborative structural biology research programs to develop advanced methodologies for ligand screening, the study of membrane proteins and acquiring structural information in the context of the living cell. The iNEXT workshop will be preceded by the iNEXT Users Meeting March 19-21 2018

Biocenter Finald Career Workshop 2017

Biocenter Finland organised a two-day Career Workshop for 60 post-docs and PhD students on Dec 14-15 in Biomedicum Helsinki . The participants experienced a full-day Nature Masterclass workshop where two Nature editors
provide hands-on, practical training for publishing in top tier journals.

On the second day, the participants attended a career opportunity and grant writing workshop that
contained information about postdoctoral and PhD funding instruments of EMBO, Academy of
Finland, and Marie-Sklodowska Curie Actions. The workshop included talks by grant writers sharing
their best practises, as well as grant awardees who shared their experiences of launching an
international career from the postdoctoral stage.


Biocenter Finland Annual Report Published

The Biocenter Finland Annual Report 2015-2016 has been published. Please see the report for information on Biocenter Finland services, scientific success stories, societal impact and more.

BF annual report 2015 16 thumbnail



3rd Metabolomics Annual Workshop

Course concept:
Attendees of MAW will gain basics in different theoretical concepts of metabolomics and also practical knowledge on various aspects of the metabolite analysis using mass spectrometry including data processing and statistical analyses.

Biomedicum (Haartmaninkatu 8)

Vidya Velagapudi (FIMM Metabolomics Unit) and DPBM doctoral programme

October 17-19, 2017

Registration at

Deadline for registration is Monday, 2.10.2017.

Program and further information:

CSSB Opening Symposium: Frontiers in Structural Systems Biology of host –pathogen interactions

It is our pleasure to invite you to the CSSB Opening Symposium  entitled “Frontiers in Structural Systems Biology of host –pathogen interactions." The symposium will take place from 13-15 November 2017 in Hamburg, Germany and will explore new frontiers in structural systems biology with a particular focus on host – pathogen interactions. The CSSB Opening Symposium will feature top-class international research talks in four scientific sessions and will end with a panel discussion on future perspectives of the field.


For more information about the symposium and to register, please visit:

We do look forward to welcoming you to Hamburg.

Yours sincerely,

Kay Grünewald, Michael Kolbe, and Thomas Marlovits

Stability for the European structural biology research infrastructure


In July 2017 The European Commission has granted the pan-European research infrastructure Instruct the ERIC status, which stands for European Research Infrastructure Consortium. Instruct provides access to specialist research infrastructures for structural biology at different centers across Europe. In Finland the Instruct-FI structural biology network of Biocenter Finland is interacting in many ways with the Instruct structural biology community. 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.

Millennium Talks Workshop – Asking More from Research

The Millennium Talks Workshop was co-organized by Biocenter Finland and Technology Academy Finland and supported by the Institut Francais de Finlande, the Embassy of France in Finland and the Aalto University. Keynote speakers included Professors Emmanuelle Charpentier, one of the inventors of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology, and Frances Arnold winner of the Millennium Technology Prize. The workshop discussed how technologies emanating from frontier research can be taken advantage of in industry, clinical care and in research in Finland. The workshop promoted a mind-set change amongst academic researchers, to acknowledge the importance of wider impact for society of findings of fundamental research.

The event took place on May 17-18 at the Aalto University School of Business.

Biocenter Finland Succeeds in the FIRI2016 Call

Biocenter Finland was successful in the Academy of Finland’s FIRI2016 funding call with an application entitled: “Dissection of protein modifications and metabolites in single cells and diseased tissue as the 2017-2018 Focus Area of Biocenter Finland”. The funded equipment enable setting up services for identification of proteins, metabolites, and their modifications in single-cells or tissue samples. These services will be openly available from 2017-2018 on for academic and non-academic customers in Finland and abroad.

The funded equipment investments further develop and enforce the state-of-the-art technological front and throughput capacity of the existing Biocenter Finland Proteomics and Metabolomics technology platform services that are on high and increasing demand. Furthermore, novel approaches including liquid biopsy and mass cytometry technologies will be incorporated in the Biocenter Finland service portfolio.

“X-ray and neutron diffraction studies of macromolecules: from data collection to structures” (Oulu, Finland, May-15 to May-19, 2017)

From May-15 to May-19, 2017 we organise our iNEXT course; “X-ray and neutron diffraction studies of macromolecules: from data collection to structures” in Oulu. It is organized in the context of the iNEXT Horizon2020 project ( ), together with Diamond (Oxford, UK), Biocenter Oulu and the Health and Biosciences Doctoral Programme of the University of Oulu.  This full course consists of lectures and tutorials. The tutorials are only for the registrated students who have initially applied to attend the full course. However the 15 lectures are free for everyone who is interested. Researchers who follow all the lectures will receive a certificate for 1 ECTS credit. A detailed program is available at All lectures are at the FBMM premises on the Kontinkangas campus of the University of Oulu.

Briefly, the lectures of the course will include an introduction on the methods of protein crystallography (Rupp), neutron crystallography (Oksanen/Podjarny) and SAXS/SANS-approaches (Tukkanen). Also data collection at synchrotrons (Thunnissen, Aller, Powell), new perspectives when using the new long-wavelength beamline at Diamond (Wagner) and when using XFEL-technology (Hajdu) will be addressed. Focused lectures on structure validation (Rupp), X-ray data processing with XDS (Rower) and DIALS (Waterman) and neutron data processing (Oksanen), as well as experimental phasing (Gruene) and molecular replacement phasing (Lebedev) are also included.

On behalf of the local organisers,
Rik Wierenga and Lari Lehtiö

Marja Makarow Appointed as Director of Biocenter Finland

The rectors of Biocenter Finland partner Universities have nominated Professor Marja Makarow as new director of Biocenter Finland.

Marja Makarow ends her term as vice president of the Academy of Finland – the Finnish research Council in June. She is former vice rector for research, researcher training and innovation (2003-2007) and professor of applied biochemistry and molecular biology of  the University of Helsinki. In 2008-2011 she served as chief executive of the European Science Foundation in Strasbourg France. She chairs Technology Academy Finland and serves on the governing board of the European Institute for Innovation and Technology EIT.

Marja Makarow will start her appointment as Biocenter Finland Director in July 2016.

Further information:
Coordinator  antti.siltanen(at)
Secretary anu.taulio(at)

EMBO Conference: The biochemistry and chemistry of biocatalysis: From understanding to design

June 12 - 15, 2016

Oulu, Finland

The EMBO Conference focuses on fundamental and applied aspects of biocatalysis, with an emphasis on the impact that enzyme research has at the interface of biology and chemistry. The sessions will cover an array of topics including computational, chemistry and structural approaches, as well as directed evolution, bioinformatics and spectroscopic methods, aimed towards better understanding of enzyme mechanisms and mechanisms of complex multifunctional enzyme systems, in vitro and in vivo. The importance of the electrostatic and dynamical properties of enzymes will be addressed. The impact of this knowledge for drug discovery research and research on non-natural biocatalytic systems will be highlighted. Established and emerging scientists from academic and industrial settings will be available to stimulate discussion and provide perspective on the topics of this conference. We strongly encourage participation of students and postdoctoral associates, providing opportunities for discussion and networking. Oral presentations chosen from submitted poster abstracts will provide additional opportunities for discussing new and innovative ideas. The speakers are encouraged to give a brief introduction of the field in which they work and allow for sufficient time for discussion.

For more information: 

Call for Biocenter Finland Director

Biocenter Finland ( is a distributed nation-wide infrastructure network organization for biosciences in Finland. It is governed by six partner universities; Universities of Eastern Finland, Helsinki, Oulu, Tampere, Turku and Åbo Akademi.

The mission of Biocenter Finland is to maintain and develop national technology platform services and, by this means, to support top-level research in Finland and facilitate development and acquisition of new technologies. Biocenter Finland is one of the Finnish Research Infrastructures (FIRI; current roadmap 2014–2020).

Biocenter Finland invites applications for a position of


The position is part-time (50%), and the appointment will be from March 1, 2016 to December 31, 2020.

The Director of Biocenter Finland has an important visionary position within the Finnish bioscience community. The principal task of the Director is to maintain collaboration among the host universities and facilitate the function and development of infrastructure services and their strategy within the the field of biosciences.

The responsibilities of the Director are:

• to direct and develop Biocenter Finland activities and co-ordinate the network functions among

  the host universities and their biocenters

• to monitor the developments in the areas represented by Biocenter Finland as well as to maintain

  and develop the network’s national and international activities

• to manage the network’s finances

• to prepare and present the issues that belong to the Board of Biocenter Finland and to implement

  the Board’s decisions

The Director can have his/her own research group.

A successful candidate for the directorship is expected to be a professor or to have a doctoral degree, and to possess experience in the research fields represented by Biocenter Finland and in leadership positions. Experience in international expert positions and knowledge about international research and infrastructure policies are additional merits. English and Finnish are the working languages of Biocenter Finland.

The provisional time of commitment is 50%. The Director will be employed by the University of Helsinki acting as the Biocenter Finland coordination university currently. The salary is negotiable and commensurate with the candidate’s accomplishments within the remuneration system of the University of Helsinki.

Applications should be addressed to the Board. International experts will be used to evaluate the applicants’ accomplishments and qualifications. The Director is appointed by the Rector’s Council of Biocenter Finland based on a proposal of the Board. The contract is made with the Rector of the University of Helsinki.

The application is to include a short description (max. 3 pages) of the ways by which the applicant plans to develop Biocenter Finland activities during his/her tenure together with curriculum vitae and list of publications. The application and its appendices should be sent by January 21 at noon (+2 GMT) by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For additional information, please contact Professor Olli A. Jänne (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Director of Biocenter Finland or members of the Board.

BF Board meetings in spring 2016

BF Board meetings in spring/summer 2016:

08.02.2016, 9:15  12:00

15.03.2016, 9:15  12:00 

03.06.2016, 11:00 – 14:00

6th Sino-Finn Life Science Forum

17-18, August, 2015
Lecture Hall 2, Biomedicum Helsinki,  Haartmaninkatu 8, Helsinki, Finland

This symposium entitled “6th Sino-Finn Life Science Forum: From System Biology to Translational Medicine” will mainly focus on the latest and exciting innovations in the area of molecular biology and medicine, functional genomics and computational biology, clinical investigation and translation based on big data.

Since 2008, Sino-Finn Life Science Forum has been successfully held for 5 times. Through this platform, many respected scientists of life science from both Finland and China have presented their latest work, communicated with each other, and establishED various types of collaborations.

As a follow-up event of Sino-Finn Life Science Forum, the upcoming symposium provides a good opportunity of communication for the eminent scientists and investigators in the field of system biology and translational medicine from both Finland and China. Moreover, this symposium will provide a bilateral platform for all participants and young researchers/students to network and perceive scientific interactions for the future development in the related field.

Advanced Techniques for Quantitative Microscopy

Turku BioImaging arranges Advanced Microscopy Workshop in Turku on August 11-12, 2015 with technology and application expertise from the world-leading imaging center Janelia Research Campus. The workshop is followed by the Bridging Nordic Imaging -seminar (August 13-14) which further expands on the themes of the workshop.


Please find more information:

Bridging Nordic Imaging - enabling discoveries from atoms to anatomy

BRIDGING NORDIC IMAGING – ENABLING DISCOVERIES FROM ATOMS TO ANATOMY -network was established for efficient collaboration between Nordic countries and to jointly work towards a better research community and improved options for both biological and medical imaging.
Bridging Nordic Imaging -network arranges a seminar series to bring together researchers and students from Nordic countries for improving interdisciplinary research and to combining the biological and medical imaging technologies and expertise. 
First seminar will take place on 13-14.8.15 in Turku. 
Information about the network and seminar:
At the same time with this event, two Finnish Bioimaging network meetings will take place. Finnish Bioimaging network will have its first meeting on the 12th of August and meeting for Finnish bioimaging core facility staff will be arranged (date will be confirmed later).


Meeting of BF board with network coordinators, platform chairs and ESFRI representatives

Joint meeting of BF board members, coordinators of infrastructure networks and chairs of technology platforms will be organised on January 12, 2015. Also Finnish national coordinators/contact points of BMS (Biological and Medical Sciences) ESFRI projects have been invited to this meeting where important issues about the future development of BF will be discussed.



XXVI Paulo Foundation Symposium entitled "From Atomic Structures to Disease Mechanisms" and FINNBOX satellite meeting in June 2015

The Biocenter Finland structural biology network will hold a 1 day meeting dedicated to Finnish structural biology research and technical advances 9th June 2015, in Helsinki. It will be held as a satellite meeting to the Paulo Foundation Symposium "From atomic structures to disease mechanisms" (10-12th June). The new NMR magnet will be inaugurated as part of the satellite meeting.

XXVI Paulo Foundation Symposium entitled "From Atomic Structures to Disease Mechanisms", 10-12th June, 2015, Helsinki, Finland

"Our rationale for this symposium is both scientific and clinical. Scientifically, understanding the molecular details of energy metabolism is fundamental to our understanding of life. Clinically, brain diseases affect a large number of people, and yet therapeutic approaches are limited. Recent advances in structural biology and biophysics, especially in receptors and their signalling, will now allow, in principle, development of conceptually novel drugs that could modify disease progression. It is thus critically important to bring people in these areas together to find ways and means to make these breakthroughs."

Please visit symposium webpages for more information

Satellite meeting FINNBOX

The Finnish structural biology annual meeting (FINNBOX) will be held as a satellite to this symposium. The meeting will take place on June 9 in seminar room 3401, Biocenter 3, Viikinkaari 1. The program will be based on the submitted abstracts.

Registration for the symposium can be done using the following e-form

Deadline for registration & abstract submission is April 15, 2015.

BF Annual Report 2013 published

BF Annual Report 2013 has now been published. The report summarizes the activities of the technology platforms in 2013.

- "Year 2013 was an exceptionally busy one and full of changes for Biocenter Finland (BF)." Director Eero Vuorio

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Biocenter Finland user survey 2013

The first Biocenter Finland (BF) user survey was conducted in March 2013 in order to get information on the use and performance of BF technology platforms built up during the period of 2010–2012.

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Seppo Ylä-Herttuala continues as the Chairman of Biocenter Finland board

In 2013, Academy Professor Seppo Ylä-Herttuala (Biocenter Kuopio, University of Eastern Finland) will continue as the Chairman, and Professor Jyrki Heino (Biocity Turku, University of Turku) as the Vice-Chairman of the Biocenter Finland board.

The next board meetings are organized on March 15, 2013 and May 3, 2013.

Evaluation of BF activities in 2010-2012

The international evaluation of BF activities in 2010-2012 will take place in June 10-11, 2013. This will be combined with the evaluation of applications for support for bioscience technology platforms for 2014-2016. The call for BF technology platform support will be published on this website in February 2013.

Biocenter Finland evaluation under way

Biocenter Finland Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) is currently evaluating BF technology platforms. During Monday August 22 and Tuesday August 23 the SAB evaluates the current technology platforms and new proposals for technology platforms and emerging technologies.

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Funding decisions 22.9.2010

In its meeting on 22nd September the Board of Biocenter Finland made funding decisions on "Provision of support to research career development in biocenters". Funding is granted for following applicants:

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