Institute of Biotechnology

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Institute of Biotechnology
P.O.Box 56
(Visiting address: Viikinkaari 5d)
00014 University of Helsinki

Tel +358 2941 59921
Fax +358 2941 59366

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Identity Code: FI-03134717

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Helsinki Institute of Life Science

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High impact research and renowned scientists

The Institute of Biotechnology (BI) at the University of Helsinki is an independent research institute within HiLIFE.

BI is at the global forefront of research on cytoskeletal dynamics, the execution and evolution of morphogenetic programmes, plant, animal and microbial genomics, organelle biology, viral structure and function, and the molecular physiology of the nervous system.

BI pioneered and maintains research infrastructures that constitute Finland’s premier technology platforms for biological imaging, proteomics, protein structure and biophysics, sequencing, genomics and biocomputing.

We develop practical applications from discovery science, and commercialize them via startups. We are working on new strategies to combat neurodegeneration and metabolic disease, and improve pathogen resistance in crop plants. And we engage the public, to raise awareness of scientific issues affecting society.



Proteins communicate with plasma membrane using a fleeting or sticky touch

The way specific proteins interact with the plasma membrane and sense membrane lipids affect cellular shape and motility.

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New regulator of nutrient-dependent growth control discovered

Protein PWP1 acts as a critical link between cellular nutrient sensing and ribosome biogenesis.

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Feeding ecology and morphology make a bamboo specialist vulnerable to climate change

The greater bamboo lemur is Madagascar’s ecological equivalent of the giant panda. Longer dry seasons caused by climate change will force the lemurs to consume low-energy bamboo trunks for a longer period. This will cause further range contraction to this already endangered species.

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Enzyme found to be vital for the brain’s dopaminergic neurons

An enzyme that plays an important role in regulating gene expression has been found to be vital for the dopaminergic neurons in the brains of adults. With these research results, University of Helsinki scientists believe they have found a new area for drug discovery to develop treatments for Parkinson’s disease, and new molecules are already under development.

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US Department of Defense grant to support ALS research

With the help of the two-year Therapeutic Idea Award from the US Department of Defense professor Saarma and Dr. Voutilainen aim to generate more preclinical data i.e. data from tests preceding the patient trials, to support therapeutic use of CDNF in ALS.

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Additional funding for investigating the therapeutic role for neurotrophic factor MANF in type 1 diabetes

The collaboration team of Prof. Mart Saarma and Prof. TImo Otonkoski has for the third time been awarded a research grant by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The $ 495,000 grant is for two years.




First HiLIFE Fellows selected

The HiLIFE Fellows program aims to nurture excellence and increase interactions among researchers from different fields of life science. The first 56 Fellows have been selected for the first 3-year round of the new program.




Professor Tomi Mäkelä appointed as Director of HiLIFE Helsinki Institute of Life Science

The new HiLIFE Helsinki Institute of Life Science at the University of Helsinki is ramping up its operations with the appointment of Professor Tomi Mäkeläas Director for a five-year term starting 1 August 2017.


Research news archive »»

State-of-the-art core facilities

Core units

The Institute has the-state-of-the-art core facilities, which are shared both
locally as well as nationally as part of Biocenter Finland and are also popular among enterprises in the life sciences area.

Core facilities >>