Today’s research in life sciences, biomedicine, and pharmacology is increasingly relying on three fundamental pillars: computation, statistics and modern biotechnologies. Our research programme aims to build and sustain a research community able to address the emerging challenges of this multi-disciplinary research domain.

This research programme develops and implements technology and computational platforms to promote the life science research in Turku. The focus methodological areas are systems analysis, computational biomedicine, and structural biology.

The program has a strong emphasis on modern omics biotechnologies, large-scale data integration and big data mining, computational biology, bioinformatics, biomathematics, computational and statistical modelling. Such holistic, cross-disciplinary approaches are increasingly required in many strategically important research areas, including molecular biosciences, evolutionary biology, biochemistry, mathematics, computer science, medicine and pharmaceutical research. This multi-disciplinary combination of basic and applied research has a strong potential to result in a unique exchange of approaches and methodologies, leading to novel discoveries.

The programme aims to serve as an orthogonal platform to the other BioCity research programmes providing them with expertise in systems modeling, analysis, and data integration. All the PIs of the program have a track record of such interdisciplinary research. We have a mutual agreement with the Receptor research program, and similar agreements are planned with the other programs in order to foster active collaborations and to organize joint seminars.

The associated members of our programme provide additional expertise in various fields of life sciences, ranging from molecular biology to clinical translation. As an example, advanced computational and bio-methodologies are in the key role to make the most of the unique resources of Turku, including the Auria biobank and large national population-based cohorts.

This research programme also functions as a central platform for cross-disciplinary joint initiatives of the doctoral programmes in its fields of activities, such as those in computing, mathematics, statistics, bioinformatics, structural biology and molecular life sciences. We build foundations for joint recruiting and supervision of doctoral students across the borders of universities, faculties, and even fields of science. We are taking advantage of the joint and relatively small campus to provide a broad multi-disciplinary research and educational platform for the students of both University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University. This is a crucial ingredient for solving pressing problems in the digitalization of the life sciences. Turku Centre for Computer Science (TUCS) and Turku Centre for Biotechnology (TCB) are strategic partners of the programme.

Our goals

•  To build a multi-disciplinary research and education environment through active and close networking of research groups across the disciplines.

•  To facilitate community-building, interdisciplinary research and education at all levels.

•  To promote international mobility, technology transfer and training for entrepreneurships through several company partners from biotechnology and pharma industry.

Our activities

•  Symposium series, e.g. invited computational-experimental team talks

•  Hands-on workshops on the latest computational models and biotechnologies

•  Joint research projects and grant applications between the programme members, and their national and international collaborators (e.g. H2020 consortia)

•  Promoting international mobility through travel grants and invitation of visiting scientists

•  Multidisciplinary joint recruitment and supervision of PhD students and postdocs