Two WRI group leaders, Professor Sara Wickström and Associate Professor Pipsa Saharinen, take part in a new centre of excellence of the Academy of Finland. The decision by the Academy of Finland to fund this fall a total of eleven new Centres of Excellence (CoE) in Finland, included the BarrierForce consortium by Wickström and Saharinen as the only one of the new Academy of Finland centres focusing on biomedical research.
The BarrierForce CoE is a research consortium striving for the international cutting edge research in the multidisciplinary field of biological barriers and their diseases.
Professor Wickström, leader of the Stem cells and tissue architecture group, and Associate Professor Saharinen, leader of the Vascular stability and cell adhesion group at WRI joined forces with three groups from the University of Turku and Helsinki to establish the CoE called “Biological Barrier Mechanics and Disease: From molecular-scale to tissue-level understanding of signal integration and forces”. The CoE is lead by Prof. Johanna Ivaska from the University of Turku. The other two members of the centre in addition to Ivaska, Saharinen and Wickström are Pekka Lappalainen and Ilpo Vattulainen from the University of Helsinki.
The CoE will bring together a multidisciplinary group of scientists in the fields of biomolecular simulations, structural and cell biology, as well as tissue engineering and animal models providing long-term benefit to the participating groups to achieve the ambitious research goals. The Centre of Excellence status means that the research in the CoE is state-of the art research at a high international level.
Founded and funded by Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation, the Wihuri Research Institute works as a platform for top-quality biomedical research and learning. We are working in close cooperation with the University of Helsinki.