BRIDGING BASIC, CLINICAL
AND TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH
Helsinki Brain & Mind neuroscience network in the Capital region is formed by the multidisciplinary basic research at University of Helsinki, the technology and neuroscience research at Aalto University, and the clinical research at Helsinki University Hospital (HUS). It is estimated that over half of Finnish neuroscience research takes place in the capital region. In addition, HUS is the largest hospital district in Finland, and the HUS catchment area serves over 1.6 million residents, thus being a major organisation also on a Europe-wide level.
The neuroscience research in the capital region is supported by a strong and versatile research infrastructure, particularly focused on cellular and animal disease modelling, as well as imaging of animals and human subjects. In addition the HUS data lake and Helsinki Biobank offer a significant source of patient data and samples for research.
The aim of the increased collaboration in neuroscience research is to improve our understanding of how the brain and nervous system function in health and disease, as well as to create preventative methods, accurate diagnostics and more effective treatments and rehabilitation for diseases affecting the nervous system.
NEUROSCIENCE IN THE REGION
The neuroscience research at the University of Helsinki is particularly strong in the areas of cellular and molecular disease mechanisms, genetics, as well as clinical and cognitive brain research. At the Meilahti campus, University of Helsinki and HUS form the largest centre of clinical medicine in Finland. Furthermore, multidisciplinary research across different faculties includes a variety of research related to neuroscience, such as mathematical modelling, pharmaceutical chemistry and societal research.
At Aalto University there is highly specialised research and technology development related to neuroimaging. Aalto Brain Centre (ABC) is a hub for neuroscience, neurotechnology and neuroimaging, focused particularly on researching systems-level neuroscience and brain stimulation. In addition to the neuroimaging infrastructure, the neuroscience research at Aalto is supported by strong expertise in computational and sensory technology. This makes Aalto the perfect place for studying topics such as neural networks in artificial intelligence, big data, digital health and games.
HUS is the biggest hospital district in Finland, and also one of the biggest in Europe. There is extensive research taking place at HUS in the fields of neurology and psychiatry. Long-term research efforts on cerebrovascular diseases have made HUS one of the global pioneers in the treatment of stroke, and in psychiatry HUS has led the way in the use of online therapies. Furthermore, the BABA (Baby Brain Activity) Centre is focused on investigating the development of newborn brain, and the Motion Laboratory at the New Children’s Hospital is highly specialised in analysing children’s’ mobility issues.
“Biobank” of functional brain images in the works – A normative database would help future research and diagnostics
Professor Lauri Parkkonen at Aalto University, in collaboration with other researchers, is working towards a “biobank” of functional brain measurements and other digital brain data to enable earlier and better diagnoses of brain disorders. Unfortunately, the current legislation recognises only physical tissue samples for a biobank. Lauri Parkkonen is a Professor at the Department of…Read more
NEWS IN SOCIAL MEDIA
Head of Development Helsinki Brain & Mind, University of Helsinki