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Tarja Laitinen.

Tarja Laitinen, Kuopio Brain & Mind’s new Regional Manager.

New faces at Kuopio Brain & Mind

The regional Kuopio Brain & Mind network at Neurocenter Finland promotes brain health through multidisciplinary collaboration. The network’s activities are now boosted by new multi-talented professionals.

Neurocenter Finland was established in 2021 to support the Health Sector Growth Strategy in neurosciences. It operates through six regional Brain & Mind networks, and its activities are coordinated by the University of Eastern Finland.

The regional Kuopio Brain & Mind network comprises some 200 researchers with PhDs from the University of Eastern Finland and the North Savo Wellbeing County, who are doing research on brain health, neurology and neuroscience, and psychiatry. The goal is to foster collaboration between the university, hospitals and businesses, and to contribute to the success of top-level neuroscience research in eastern Finland.

The Kuopio-based network has also succeeded in integrating research on, e.g., neurobiological disease mechanisms, data sciences, neuroethics and business studies into an entity that promotes innovation.

“Already now, Kuopio Brain & Mind has sparked significant joint projects, such as the UEF Brain Research Unit 2.0 project, which will create a nationally and internationally attractive service and operating model for clinical studies on brain diseases and brain health,” says Professor Mikko Hiltunen, Director of the Neuroscience Research Community at the University of Eastern Finland. 

Clinical research refers to medical research conducted on humans.

Funded by the Regional Council of Northern Savo, the project promotes business- and science-based innovation and accelerates the introduction of research findings into disease diagnostics and treatment practices. The project develops ways to better harness brain imaging, gene and biomarker data for research, development and innovation. Patient organisations are also included, which increases the involvement of patients and citizens in research and treatment practices that affect them.

“As part of Kuopio Brain & Mind’s international activities, we are involved in organising scientific conferences to increase the visibility and impact of research in this field. For example, the European Academy of Neurology conference will bring thousands of experts from around the world to Helsinki next summer,” Professor Reetta Kälviäinen says.

New multi-talented professionals build dialogue and networks

The Chair of Kuopio Brain & Mind’s Regional Steering Group changed last autumn, with Professor Annakaisa Haapasalo starting as Hiltunen’s successor.

Annakaisa Haapasalo.
Professor Annakaisa Haapasalo.