Mikko Hiltunen

Mikko Hiltunen Principal Investigator

Mikko Hiltunen, PhD, Professor, University of Eastern Finland, has 20-year experience in the research field of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). His is head of cell- and tissue biology, histology as well as functional genetics courses targeted to students in medicine, dental medicine, and biomedicine at the UEF. His research group focuses on the genetic, epigenetic and functional studies related to risk genes in AD. He has used genetic approaches to identify novel risk genes in AD and assessed the underlying molecular mechanisms of risk gene variants in vitro and in vivo. His group has developed several in vitro and in vivo models to be used for high-throughput screening of AD-related risk genes and novel drug compounds in the cellular processes relevant for AD pathogenesis.

Heikki Tanila

Heikki Tanila Principal Investigator

Prof. Tanila has 30 years of research experience on neurobiological underpinnings of aging-related
memory impairment, especially in Alzheimer mouse models. He has made major contribution in revealing age-related functional changes in hippocampal neurons, his groups was the first to show memory enhancing effect of memantine in Alzheimer mouse models and the susceptibility of APP transgenic mice to seizures. He has over 150 peer-reviewed publications and an H-index of 41. He has supervised 15 PhD students and 5 post-docs.

Olli Gröhn

Olli Gröhn Principal Investigator

Current position:
2009 - present: Professor of Biomedical NMR, University of Eastern Finland (former Univ. of Kuopio)
Previous experience:
1993 - 1995: Research Assistant (total of 6 months), Dept. of Chemistry, University of Kuopio, Finland
1995 - 2000: Graduate Student, University of Kuopio, Finland
2000 - 2001: Postdoctoral research associate, University of Kuopio, Finland
2001 - 2002: Postdoctoral research associate, CMRR, University of Minnesota, USA
2003 - 2006: Manager of National Bio-NMR facility, University of Kuopio, Finland
2006 - 2009: Research Director, Biomedical NMR, University of Kuopio, Finland
2006 - 2011: Academy Research Fellow, Finnish Academy of Science

The Organization

Participating research groups at University of Eastern Finland (UEF) have a long-term expertise and experience in the clinical- and populationbased cohorts, genetics, bioinformatics, lifestyle risk factors, biomarkers, as well as pre-clinical and clinical studies in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Furthermore, UEF has an extensive know-how in experimental research both in in vitro and in vivo models in AD in terms of elucidating underlying molecular mechanisms of disease pathogenesis. Well-established infrastructure at the UEF campus provides all the needed state-of-the-art close contacts with local, national and international research centers and individual research groups. Participating research groups at UEF are integral parts of ongoing FP7 projects, such as FP7-VPH-DARE@IT, Predict ND and European Medical Information Framework (EMIF). Importantly, based on the research strategy of UEF for the years 2016-2021, AD is recognized as the top research areas within UEF, which will be supported both in terms of funding and infrastructure:

Department/AIVI: UEF/AIVI is a department of Faculty of Health Sciences devoted to research and postgraduate training on molecular medicine. Main research area include neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases and metabolism-related diseases. About half of research staff of 200 (including 70 PhD students) do research related to neurological diseases. AIVI hosts 4 national infrastructures, two of which (Biomedical Imaging Center and Neurophenotyping Center) are involved in this projects. AIVI contributes to WP5 by (1) in vivo imaging studies on tau transgenic mice using both MRI and micro-PET, (2) post-mortem histopathological studies to validate in vivo imaging findings and to assess the outcome of planned interventions on the disease progression, and (3) preclinical behavioral studies to assess the functional outcome of planned interventions.

Department/Institute of Biomedicine: The Institute of Biomedicine is one of the main units of the School of Medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences. The Institute of Biomedicine is focused on biomedical research as well as undergraduate and postgraduate education. The Institute has 80 employees. In addition to 9 professors, there are about 40 employees working on basic governmental funding; 20 of them are university lecturers/researchers, 12 doctoral students and 10 lab technicians. Additionally, approximately 30 postdoctoral researchers, doctoral students, nutritionists, and lab technicians are funded by external sources. Beside undergraduate education, the Institute of Biomedicine is focused on biomedical research and doctoral training. Research in the Institute is organized within the research groups and projects. The main research areas carried out by nine active research groups under the leadership of professors and other senior researchers are Genome and Gene Expression, Cellular Matrices and Cell Membrane as well as Physical Activity, Diet and Genetics.

People Involved

Mikko Hiltunen Position Professor of Tissue and Cell Biology Role in PANA Principal Investigator
Heikki Tanila Position Professor of Molecular Neurobiology Role in PANA Behavioral and histophatological studies on TAU mice
Olli Gröhn Position Professor in Biomedical NMR Role in PANA MRI and PET imaging on TAU mice
Hilkka Soininen Position Professor
Mikko Kettunen Position Research Director Role in PANA Senior Researcher
Mari Takalo Position Post-Doc Researcher
Kimmo Jokivarsi Position Post-Doc Researcher Role in PANA MRI and PET imaging and imaging analysis on TAU mice
Henna Koivisto Position Junior Resercher Role in PANA Behavioral studies
Petra Mäkinen Position Lab Technician Role in PANA Lab Technician. Biochemistry and cell biology
Pasi Miettinen Position Lab Technician Role in PANA Lab Technician. Histopathology
This project has received funding from the European Union´s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 686009


Clinical Neuroscience Research Laboratory
University Clinical Hospital Santiago
A Building, -4 Floor
E15706 A Coruña, Spain
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