A.I. Virtanen Institute for Molecular Science

A.I. Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences is a research institute addressing the global challenges of ageing, lifestyles and health by focusing on two major research areas that cause a significant burden to the healthcare system, namely cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, and neurological disorders.


A.I. Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences (AIVI) was founded in 1989. The Institute performs biomedical research and also participates in teaching in MSc degree program in Biomedicine as well as postgraduate training.

AIVI’s research field is molecular medicine that studies the causes and mechanisms of diseases at the molecular level and applies this knowledge in their prevention, diagnostics and treatment.

The two top-level international research areas acknowledged in the UEF strategy, namely cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and neuroscience, form the basis of research performed in AIVI. Specifically, the research addresses molecular and cellular mechanisms of diseases, utilizing various cellular and animal models and sophisticated in vitro and in vivo imaging techniques. In addition, prevention and therapy of the diseases by gene and cell-based therapy as well as pharmaceutical interventions is explored.


AIVI infrastructures cater for the needs of several UEF researchers across faculty boundaries and dozens of customers in Finland, the EU and outside the EU.

Biomedical Imaging Unit comprises in vivo imaging and ex vivo tissue imaging. The infrastructure for in vivo imaging is nationally unique and of a high international level, consisting of three MRI devices and a hyperpolarisation device. The infrastructure also includes PET and CT/SPECT scanners, optoacoustic and 3D angiography, optical imaging (IVIS) and ultrasound devices, as well as a multiphoton microscope.

National Virus Vector Laboratory produces quality-assured adeno, lenti, baculo and AAV virus vectors not only on laboratory but also on a wider scale comprising 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.

Stem Cell Center is a comprehensive provider of human pluripotent stem cell services.


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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