The main themes of the research at the Centre of Excellence are cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. The aim is to develop new diagnostic methods for the early detection and prevention of these diseases and for their effective treatment and rehabilitation.
Heart disease is the single leading cause of death in Finland. One of the CoE's major goals, therefore, is to understand how heart disease begins and develops. Cardiovascular and metabolic diseases are interwoven and interconnected in many ways. Obesity-related diabetes is a major risk factor for atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, a key research focus at the CoE. Obesity and metabolic diseases place a considerable economic burden on the healthcare system.
The CoE has at its disposal an exceptionally diverse toolkit that combines both basic research and clinical research. It follows that among its ranks the CoE has a wide range of professionals from many fields. The unit uses the latest genetic engineering techniques as well as animal models. Furthermore, it has access to one of the world's largest cohort datasets in diabetes research. All this means it is well placed to develop new diagnostic methods and gene therapies. Other technologies in the toolkit are advanced molecular imaging, positron emission tomography or PET scanning and special cameras.
The CoE has set itself ambitious goals. One of them is to identify the ultimate cause of type 2 diabetes and to be able to influence its development. The CoE's work will facilitate admission to treatment, the making of accurate diagnoses as well as rehabilitation. In order to reach these ambitious goals, the different units of the CoE have to work seamlessly together. The CoE's personnel represent a good mix of researchers at different levels of their careers. It is important for the unit to ensure that recent doctoral graduates always can move forward by providing them the opportunity to build up their senior profile.
- Professor Juhani Knuuti, University of Turku (UTU)
- Nuutila Pirjo, UTU
- Laakso Markku, University of Eastern Finland (UEF)
- Ylä-Herttuala Seppo, UEF