A.I. Virtanen Institute for Molecular Science

The A.I Virtanen Institute examines the mechanisms underlying Alzheimer’s disease, frontal lobe degeneration, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, ALS, migraine and mitochondrial diseases. Research groups are also involved in developing brain imaging techniques, biomedical image analysis, disease models, and new stem cell techniques.

The A.I. Virtanen Institute (AIVI) for cellular and molecular sciences was founded in 1989. The Institute conducts biomedical research and participates in teaching for the Master’s Program in Biomedicine as well as researcher training. AIVI’s research mainly focuses on cellular medicine that examines the causes and mechanisms of diseases at the cellular level, and applies the information thus obtained to disease prevention, diagnostics, and treatment.

The two most important areas of international research in the UEF strategy are cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and neurological disorders. These form the basis for AIVI’s research. The research focuses specifically on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of diseases and utilizes various cell and animal models as well as advanced in vitro and in vivo imaging techniques. The Institute also studies genetic disease in terms of prevention and therapy, cellular-level therapy, and drug interventions.

The biomedical imaging unit

The Stem Cell Center

Research Infrastructure

The research equipment used by the A.I Virtanen Institute serves not only the multidisciplinary research needs of researchers across several universities in Eastern Finland, but also partners and customers in Finland, the European Union, and other countries.

The biomedical imaging unit comprises in vivo imaging and ex vivo tissue imaging. The in vivo imaging equipment is nationally unique and of high international quality. It consists of three MRI devices and a hyperpolarization device. The institute’s equipment also includes PET and CT / SPECT scanners, optoacoustic and 3D angiography, optical imaging (IVIS), and ultrasonic devices, and a multiphoton microscope.

The National Virus Vector Laboratory produces quality-assured adeno-, lenti-, baculo-, and AAV virus vectors not only in the laboratory but also on a wider scale. This includes two GMP level and three BSL2/BSL3 level laboratories with their bioreactors (10–100 L), incubators and laminars, vector concentration equipment, cell banks and measurement devices needed for characterisation.

The Stem Cell Center provides comprehensive services related to human pluripotent stem cells.

Contact us

Jari Nissinen

  • Chief Laboratory Chemist
  • jari.nissinen@uef.fi
  • +358405024732
  • Bioteknia 1, room 3148

Joanna Huttunen

  • General administration, doctoral program coordination, Biocenter Kuopio coordination
  • aivi-coordinator@uef.fi
  • +358503871607
  • Bioteknia 1, room 3118.3

Olli Gröhn

  • Vice Director
  • olli.grohn@uef.fi
  • +358 50 359 0963
  • Bioteknia 1, room 3132

Pasi Tavi

  • Director
  • pasi.tavi@uef.fi
  • +358 40 3553272
  • Bioteknia 1, room 4126