The Centre of Excellence in Cancer Biology at the University of Helsinki consisted of five research teams whose aim was to discover and explain new mechanisms and targets in human cancer. The CoE worked to identify and test new genes and molecules that regulate the growth and transformation of cancer and stem cells.
The CoE had access to broad and innovative approaches of functional genomics that allowed the researchers to identify factors driving changes in new genes and to evaluate their importance in vivo in human tumours and mouse models. In addition, the CoE used its results to develop new technological applications, such as molecular image analysis. The unit was also an Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in Research in 2000–2005.
The CoE was headed by Academy Professor Kari Alitalo.