MET sets up a research centre concentrating on vaccines and immunology
At the international forefront, Tampere University is developing vaccines to prevent diseases – such as type 1 diabetes, norovirus infections and the pandemic coronavirus – and is researching drug therapies for osteoarthritis and allergies.
Vaccines are considered one of medicine’s greatest achievements. They represent the future of medicine, which is increasingly moving from treating diseases to preventing them. The Covid-19 pandemic has also demonstrated the huge role vaccines play in combating rapidly emerging pandemic threats.
The body's immune response is a prerequisite for vaccines to be effective. Immune response also plays a key role in the development of many diseases, and immune-modifying therapies are of great significance in the treatment of allergies, arthritis, and many other inflammatory diseases.
“We are excited about the establishment of this research centre. It will provide us with important new opportunities to develop ways to treat and prevent infections and immune-mediated diseases,” says Heikki Hyöty, Professor of Virology and Co-director of the centre.
“In drug development, vaccines and immunopharmacology are the fastest developing area. A large share of new medicines acts through an immunological mechanism, regulating the immune response or calming the inflammatory reaction. New innovations emerge from strong, long-term basic research. Creativity, excellence, and collaboration are the key words. And, of course, the necessary financial resources," says Professor of Pharmacology Eeva Moilanen, Co-director of the centre.
“Research on vaccines and immunology is one of the strategic research priorities of our faculty and one of the profiling areas of Tampere University. The establishment of the centre will support the development of this important research area into an increasingly internationally renowned research hub," says Seppo Parkkila, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology.
The new research centre will be separate from the joint Tampere University and state-owned vaccine research company, which consists of Tampere University’s well-known Vaccine Research Center and Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare’s (THL) commercial vaccine research operations. The vaccine research company is a so-called special-assignment company steered by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
VACCIM and the vaccine research company complement each other's expertise: VACCIM is MET’s research centre that concentrates on academic scientific research whereas the vaccine research company carries out clinical phase 1–4 vaccine trials in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies.
Professor of Virology Heikki Hyöty, heikki.hyoty [at] tuni.fi
Professor of Pharmacology Eeva Moilanen, eeva.moilanen [at] tuni.fi