Minerva Institute


Minerva Foundation Institute for Medical Research is a private Institute in biomedicine that is located at Biomedicum Helsinki in close association with University of Helsinki in a large conglomerate of modern laboratories with research groups in the biomedical and medical research fields. At Minerva about 40 persons are actively working in seven research groups. General theme of the research is the study of basic cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying important human diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and neurological disorders.

Read more from Minerva Foundation Institute for Medical Research website.


• LIPID SIGNALING AND HOMEOSTASIS group is led by Professor Vesa Olkkonen and investigates new regulatory mechanisms that cells employ to maintain their lipid balance and to integrate their lipid status with other vital functions. The work aims to identify novel mechanisms that impact the development of cardiovascular diseases and fatty liver/metabolic syndrome. 

 CARDIOVASCULAR RESEARCH group is led by Adjunct Professor Päivi Lakkisto. The group studies end-organ and tissue damage second to cardiovascular, heart and kidney diseases and the molecular mechanisms involved herein. 

• CELLULAR NEUROSCIENCE group is led by Docent Pirta Hotulainen. The research in the group focuses on the regulation of the actin cytoskeleton in neurons, and particularly its disturbances in neuropsychiatric diseases.

• ENDOCRINOLOGY group is led by Professor Hannele Yki-Järvinen. Major objectives are the study of Type-2 diabetes in humans and the mechanisms causing insulin resistance and its deleterious effects in the body. 

• METABOLISM group is led by Docent Heikki Koistinen. The main interest of the group is to understand the molecular mechanisms regulating insulin sensitivity in skeletal muscle. 

• MEMBRANE BIOLOGY group is led by Professor Elina Ikonen. Her group focuses on mechanisms responsible for the intracellular transport and compartmentalization of cholesterol, how distortions of the cellular cholesterol balance lead to human disease, and what can be done to improve the detection and therapy of the cholesterol-associated diseases. 

• CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE IN THE YOUNG is led by Docent Taisto Sarkola.

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