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Minerva Foundation Institute for Medical Research


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

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MINERVA SEMINAR 29.4.2019

Biomedicum Helsinki 1, Meeting Room 8-9 (P floor), at 2pm

Speaker: Karl Bechter, M.D., Ph.D.

Prof. Dr. Karl Bechter is a Professor in Psychiatry in Ulm University since 2003 and the head of Department of Psychotherapeutic Medicine and Psychosomatics in the Department of Psychiatry II, Ulm University since 1998. He has received several national and international scientific awards and appointments and is holding research funding from M. Ammonstiftung Munich and EU-Project on Mood Stratification. His major medical research activity focuses on the connection between immunology and psychiatry.

Lecture title: Update on the mild encephalitis hypothesis of severe mental disorders - with a look on the role of CSF flow.

Abstract: Mild encephalitis (ME) may underly a subgroup of severe mental disorders, especially from the affective and schizophrenic spectrum (Bechter 2001 & 2013). After the discovery of NMDAR autoantibodies by Dalmau et al in 2007, and with an emerging variety of other CNS autoantibodies, an increasing number of neurological disorders appeared attributable to CNS autoantibody pathology. In some cases, CNS autoantiboy production follows previous infection, e.g.  Herpes virus encephalitis. With this recent development in neurology, the plausibility of the ME hypothesis for severe mental disorders is also increasing. A large and recently emerging number of findings support such pathophysiological type of autoimmune sychosis in the sense of ME hypothesis. Primary site of immune-inflammatory pathology appears to be the brain, but also systemic pathology has been found in schizophrenia and depression, e.g. muscle lesions. CSF outflow along peripheral nerves, which remained however ignored in a pathophysiological scenario up to now, may be involved. We recently found that even CSF cells can follow this peripheral CSF outflow pathway. Also, exosomes and other microparticles must be considered in such scenario with important consequences in systemic symptoms of neuroinflammation in general.

Selected publications

Najjar S, et al. A clinical approach to new-onset psychosis associated with immune dysregulation: the concept of autoimmune psychosis. Journal of Neuroinflammation 2018; 15:40.

Bechter K. Updating the mild encephalitis hypothesis of schizophrenia. Prog NP&BP 2013; 42:71-91.

Bechter K. et al Cerebrospinal fluid analysis in affective and schizophrenic spectrums disorders: identification of sub-groups with immune responses and blood-CSF barrier dysfunction. J Psychiatr Res 2010; 44:321-30.

Maxeiner HG et al Flow cytometric analysis of T cell subsets in paired samples of cerebrospinal fluid and peripheral blood from patients with neurological and psychiatric disorders. Brain Behav Immun 2009; 23:134-42.

3/2019 - Scientific Report
MINERVA SCIENTIFIC REPORT 2018



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3/2019 - Open for application

Medix prize of the Minerva Foundation

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of Minerva Foundation we declare open for application

TWO MEDIX PRIZES OF THE MINERVA FOUNDATION FOR BIOSCIENCES 2019

Each 20.000€

The Medix Prize is awarded annually for an excellent Finnish scientific study published as one article during the previous year (now 2018). One of the prizes is awarded for a study of clinical medicine and the other for biomedical basic research. The work must be performed entirely or in its essential parts in Finland. The Rector of the University of Helsinki or his representative will give out the prize in the autumn of 2019. The venue and date of the event are announced in due course. At the prize awarding event the winners will give a lecture on the content and significance of the awarded articles.

Proposals for the publication to be awarded shall be sent to the chairman of the prize board, prof. Vesa Olkkonen at the address vesa.olkkonen@helsinki.fi (deadline 2.5.2019). The applicant must decide which prize he or she is applying for and express it clearly in the proposal with a heading “clinical medicine” or “biomedical basic research”.  An electronic copy (PDF) of the candidate publication and preferably a brief statement of justification (max. 1 page) shall be attached to the proposal. The publication may have one or several authors; In the latter case the prize will be shared among the authors. Review articles are not eligible for the prize; Of Ph.D. theses compiled of several articles only the individual original publications can be considered for the prize. Scientists’ proposals for awarding their own work are also welcomed.

PRESSMEDDELANDE

LEHDISTÖTIEDOTE


3/2019 - Open for application

Selma and Maja-Lisa Selander's Fund for Research in Odontology

From Selma and Maja-Lisa Selanders fund 5-8 grants are awarded. The deadline for the applications is 2.5.2019 at 16.00. The applications are sent electronically to professor Vesa Olkkonen at the address vesa.olkkonen@helsinki.fi.

The application should include the applicant’s CV, publication list and a research plan (max five pages). For Ph.D. students the application should include 1-2 references.


8/2018 - Minerva Wihuri Symposium
Minerva and Wihuri Research Institutes organized a Symposium on August 28 - 29, 2018.
MINERVA AND WIHURI RESEARCH INSTITUTES SYMPOSIUM
Stem Cells in Regenerative Medicine

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OM FORSKNINGEN PÅ MINERVA

Medicinska forskningsinstitutet Minerva är ett privat forskningsinstitut som upprätthålls av Minervastiftelsen. Vid institutet arbetar ca 40 personer bestående av senior forskare, doktorander och teknisk personal. 9 forskningsgrupper, vars forskning syftar till att utreda medicinskt betydande sjukdomars, uppkomstmekanismer och behandlingsmöjligheter genom att utnyttja såväl kliniska som prekliniska forskningsmetoder. Sjukdomar som undersöks är bl.a. hjärt- och kärlsjukdomars, diabetes och nervsjukdomar.

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MINERVAN TUTKIMUKSESTA

Lääketieteellinen tutkimuslaitos Minerva on Minervasäätiön ylläpitämä yksityinen tutkimuslaboratorio. Tutkimuslaitoksessa työskentelee n. 40 henkilöä koostuen tutkijoista, väitöskirjatyöntekijöistä sekä avustavasta henkilökunnasta. 9 tutkimusryhmää, joiden tutkimustyötä leimaa pyrkimys selvittää lääketieteellisesti merkittävien sairauksien kuten sydän- ja verisuonisairauksien, diabeteksen ja hermoston tautien syntymekanismeja ja hoitomahdollisuuksia kliinisiä ja prekliinisiä tutkimusmenetelmiä hyödyntäen.

MINERVAN TUTKIMUKSESTA SUOMEKSI

DIABETESTUTKIMUSSÄÄTIÖN KAKSIVUOTINEN SUURAPURAHA HEIKKI KOISTISELLE

AKTIININ FOSFORYLAATIO - LIMASIENTEN ERIKOISMEKANISMISTA HERMOSOLUJEN SÄÄTELIJÄKSI


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