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MET’s new research centres conduct impactful research

Published on 5.2.2021
Tampere University
viitekuvassa suojavarusteissa oleva mies katsoo mikroskooppiin
On Friday, the Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology (MET) unveiled its new research centres. Five centres are researching celiac disease, heart and cardiovascular diseases, prostate cancer and the health of children, adolescents, and mothers as well as developing solutions that combine biology and engineering to create novel treatment methods.

Four of the research centres now selected already operated in the faculties preceding MET albeit they are now revamped, and one centre is completely new. The centres were selected according to the principles laid down by Tampere University’s Academic Board based on an assessment by an international panel of experts.

Nine research communities applied for the status of research centre.

“The five proposals that were granted research centre status are all of high international standard, scientifically ambitious and societally influential. They are based on long-term interdisciplinary cooperation,” says Pasi Kallio, Vice Dean for Research.

“MET will keenly listen to the research centres when we develop our operations and, for example, our research infrastructure. We also strive to support the centres financially. We believe the centres will play a key role when the Faculty aims to realise the goals aligned in the University strategy, such as increasing EU funding,” says Dean Tapio Visakorpi.

The research centres are self-organising research communities created on the initiatives of researchers and research groups, which bring together research expertise in a specific thematic area also across faculty boundaries.

Celiac Disease Research Center (CeliRes)

The mission of CeliRes is to advance the state-of-art in the field of celiac disease (CeD) by conducting cutting-edge, innovative, translational, and multidisciplinary research and by promoting excellence in clinical care, including diagnosis and clinical practice. The vision of CeliRes is that cutting-edge research enables future CeD diagnostics to become even faster, easier, and more reliable. Moreover, being an autoimmune disorder, detailed knowledge about CeD pathogenesis will provide a gateway for the improved understanding of other autoimmune diseases.

The centre is led by Professor Katri Kaukinen and Associate Professor Katri Lindfors.

Finnish Cardiovascular Research Center (FCRC)

FCRC brings together a group of researchers from basic research to clinical investigators. The goal of the centre is to improve understanding factors that lead to the premature development of cardiovascular diseases. The research topics range from genetic disposition to diagnostic tools, with which cardiovascular diseases and their complications can be detected in an early stage, such as biomarkers, electrocardiography, and imaging technologies.

FCRC is led by Research Director Reijo Laaksonen.

Prostate Cancer Research Center (PCRC)

The long-term goal of PCRC is the elimination of prostate cancer mortality, which will be achieved by developing novel methods for the prognostic prediction, diagnostics, management, and screening of the disease. The research conducted by the centre sheds light on the etiology and pathogenesis of prostate cancer, with an emphasis on distinguishing biological processes involved in the development of metastatic disease. By translating this knowledge, the centre focuses its efforts on developing interventions applicable at the population and patient levels as well as evaluating the effectiveness of such interventions.

Professor Anssi Auvinen leads the centre. Professor Steve Bova is the Vice-Director.

Tampere Center for Child, Adolescent, and Maternal Health Research (TamCAM)

TamCAM builds on the premise of the importance of maternal, fetal, childhood and adolescent health and well-being on the entire life-course. The centre is the workplace of experts in pediatrics, child and adolescent psychiatry, perinatology, virology, clinical genetics, epidemiology, health promotion, global health, and computational science. Based on their work, the centre aims to uncover disease pathobiology, translate findings into clinical trials and practice, and learn about disease epidemiology and opportunities for prevention and treatments. The aim is to share information on research results and influence decision-making both nationally and internationally.

TamCAM is led by Professor Per Ashorn. Professor Hannele Laivuori is Vice-Director.

Science Mimicking Life Research Center

The clinical goal of this research centre is to develop novel technologies for personalised medicine in, for example, the development of new stem cell-based therapies, tissue engineered human spare parts, and medical implants. The aim of organ-on-chip modelling is to develop next generation in vitro models that mimic human organ systems by combining technologies and stem cell-derived human cells. The engineering goals are to develop materials, methods, devices, techniques, and computational models with which to tackle chosen biological and clinical problems.

The centre is led by Docent Susanna Narkilahti and Professor Minna Kellomäki.

Photo: Jonne Renvall