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Biology of Neuro-degenerative Diseases Research


The Kuopio University campus in Finland hosts about 20 neuroscience groups and 50 PhD students in 5 graduate schools. The 2 major basic science facilities (A.I. Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences and Department of Neuroscience and Neurology) are located near the Department of Neurology in Kuopio University Hospital. Our feature worldwide is a strong continuum between basic and clinical research that takes questions from lab-bench to bedside and back. The major research interests include studies on 3 neuro-degenerative diseases, that is, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, and stroke. Kuopio neuroscience community has established an active research collaboration in the biology of neuro-degeneration and training of postdoctoral fellows and PhD-students. In t his project, 5 senior investigators join their expertise to facilitate and capitalize the benefits of synergy in methodology, infrastructure, data sharing, and research training.

We have 4 major research goals during 2006-2010 in understanding neuro-degenerative diseases:
(1) identification of novel molecular pathways mediating neuro-degeneration and repair
(2) development of novel in vitro and in vivo models of human neuro-degenerative diseases,
(3) identification of surrogate markers that predict the neurode generative process and its outcome, and
(4) identification novel gene mutations linked to human neuro-degenerative diseases and their function in the neuro-degenerative process.

We have established training program including 2-3 courses, seminar series, summer schools, international conferences annually, as well as weekly laboratory meetings and day-to-day personal supervising. We aim at continuing scientific excellence and providing first-class training for our PhD students and post-docs, serving as a source of experts for academic research, clinic, and industry, and emphasizing international connections and mobility.

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