University of Oulu
University of Oulu, one of the northernmost multidisciplinary universities in the world, has 14000 students and 3000 employees. We use our full potential to contribute to solving some of the greatest global challenges, including sustainable resource use, responsible business, human wellbeing and lifelong health, intelligent systems and services development, and harnessing environmental risks in five focus areas. These are 1) Creating sustainability through materials and systems, 2) Molecular and environmental basis for lifelong health, 3) Digital solutions in sensing and interactions, 4) Earth and near-space system and environmental change, and 5) Understanding humans in change.
To understand the factors that affect lifelong health and to translate this knowledge to better health, we explore human life from fetal development to old age, including molecular and physiological properties, and environmental, social and psychosocial factors. In addition, we promote the combining of health and service research to create new innovations in connected health.
In more detail, strong areas of our health research include genetic and environmental basis of pediatric diseases and their effect on lifelong health, cardiovascular research, cell-matrix interplay in tissue homeostasis and its´ role in fibrotic diseases, molecular details of proteins and their interactions with metabolites, and computational medicine of common metabolic disorders. Our expertise covers also disease-modelling by image analysis, and new ICT solutions for health monitoring and diagnostics. Population studies, including the world famous Northern Finland Birth Cohort prospective study with genetic, environmental and clinical data spanning 50 years, allow performing unique epidemiological and clinical studies. Our state-of-the-art research infrastructures in gene-modified model organisms, imaging and structural biology that are involved in national and European research infrastructure roadmaps provide significant added value to translational medicine. Our health research has led to fruitful collaborations aiming to identify novel targets for disease therapeutics and diagnostics.
Impact of life science research is built by open cooperation with industrial partners and healthcare providers. We provide this through our unique and dynamic OuluHealth ecosystem, which is part of the highly collaborative Oulu Innovation Alliance. In the OuluHealth ecosystem, systematic and efficient coordination of RDI and company collaboration is led by our university´s innovation unit Centre for Health and Technology (CHT). CHT is building a bridge between researchers and companies and identifying important research and business problems. This systematic coordination has resulted in remarkable national and EU funding for the strategic RDI programs and in creation of international networks in the Connected Health theme.
OuluHealth offers innovation platforms for co-creation and agile commercialization, and for testing and piloting environments in real-life settings. This interplay has resulted in the creation of spin offs and start-ups, the products of which include biomaterials, metabolic profiling, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, gene analysis, advanced technologies in neurosurgery, printed electronics in diagnostics, mobile therapy tools using augmented reality, and collaborative services for drug companies to utilize our unique lifelong cohort data, among others.