About us

About BioCity Turku

BioCity Turku is an organization supporting and coordinating research on life sciences and molecular medicine in University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University. The two universities share one campus area in a historical location of the city of Turku (est. 1229). The same campus additionally houses the Turku University Central Hospital. Research groups working in these organizations are also active members in the BioCity Turku research programs. The existence of one compact, multidisciplinary campus area is the major strength of science in Turku and, in this magnitude, is also unique in Finland. The geographical structure of our campus presents us with an optimal platform for inter-disciplinary collaboration and to facilitate the integration of science.

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BioCity Turku Organization

Scientific Director and the Coordinator takes care of the daily management of BioCity Turku. The Scientific Director is nominated by the Rector of the University of Turku for a period of five years.

The most important decisions of BioCity Turku are made by the joint board of BioCity Turku and Turku Bioscience Centre. The members of the board are nominated for a three-year term by University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University. The Scientific Director of BioCity Turku is the chairperson of the board. In addition to the representatives from the universities and Turku Bioscience Centre, there is one additional member representing Turku bioindustry. The coordinator together with the director of Turku Bioscience Centre presents the affairs for decision making for the board.

Members of the board of BioCity Turku and Turku Bioscience Centre


Klaus Elenius, University of Turku (chairperson)
Tiina Salminen, Åbo Akademi University (vice-chairperson)

Patrik Henelius, Åbo Akademi University (deputy Cecilia Sahlgren)
Pekka Hänninen, University of Turku (deputy Sari Mäkelä)
Markku Jalkanen, Faron Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
Markus Juonala, University of Turku (deputy Veli-Matti Kähäri)
Jaakko Järvi, University of Turku (deputy Baoru Yang)
Reko Leino, Åbo Akademi University (deputy Lea Sistonen)
Omid Rasool, University of Turku (deputy Alex Dickens)
Jessica Rosenholm, Åbo Akademi University (deputy Hongbo Zhang)
Tapio Salakoski, University of Turku (deputy Juha-Pekka Salminen)
Kalle-Antti Suominen, University of Turku (deputy Teija Kekonen)

Riitta Lahesmaa, University of Turku (presenting official)
Maija Lespinasse, BioCity Turku coordinator (presenting official)

Board memos are available here since 2015.

BioCity Turun ja Turku Bioscience Centren – Turun biotiedekeskuksen johtosääntö
Instruktion for BioCity Åbo och Turku Bioscience Centre – Åbo biovetenskapscentrum
Rules of Procedure for BioCity Turku and Turku Bioscience Centre

Scientific Advisory Board

According to the Rules of Procedure BioCity Turku will have a Scientific Advisory Board. The newly nominated Board will take over the matter in the future.

Previous BioCity Turku and Turku Bioscience Scientific Advisory Boards

Biocenter Finland

Biocenter Finland is a distributed national research infrastructure of five biocenters in six Finnish universities, where BioCity Turku represents both University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University. Biocenter Finland provides technology services to the entire Finnish research community, in academia and industry, and to a limited extent also to users abroad. All services are based on the concept of open access.

Biocenter Finland host organizations

Biocenter Kuopio, University of Eastern Finland
Helsinki Institute of Life Science HiLIFE, University of Helsinki
Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu
Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University
BioCity Turku, University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University

Read more about Biocenter Finland

BioCity Turku activities

BioCity Turku arranges several events during the academic year. Some of the most important are described shortly below. Please check the blue navigation panel on top of the page for more detailed information.

Frontiers of Science Seminars

Frontiers of Science seminars, organized since 1998, are arranged every semester and they bring BioCity Turku researchers together to listen to prominent international scientists. Seminars are open for everyone and on-site only.

BioCity Symposium

Annual BioCity Symposium, a series of meetings organized since 1991, has become the most important get-together in the fields of biosciences and molecular medicine in Turku. The symposium gathers together hundreds of participants each year in August and offers talks from top-level international researchers.

Elias Tillandz Publication Prize

The best publication prize of BioCity Turku has been named after Professor Elias Tillandz who was the first empirical life scientist in Turku. His life’s work was a combination of medicine and biology, and his research also aimed at new innovations in the treatment of human diseases. The prize is handed out every year in the context of the BioCity Symposium, and it is supported by Åbo Akademi Univeristy Foundation.

Campus area

BioCity Turku organization is spanning through Turku universities and BioCity Turku researchers are proud of the opportunity to advance modern life sciences in the same campus area where the first academic scientists worked in Finland in the 17th and 18th centuries. Even in those times some Turku scientists were well known members of the global scientific community. For example Professor Pehr Kalm (1716-1779), a student of Carl Linné, made a four years long expedition to North America and became a friend with Benjamin Franklin. He wrote a book that contained one of first first-hand descriptions of the Niagara falls, and was subsequently translated into several languages.

The memory of other Turku scientists lives in the contemporary nomenclature. Gadolinium (Gd, element number 64) was named after Professor Johan Gadolin (1760-1852), making him one of only two scientists after whom a naturally occurring element has been named. A large genus of American plants, the Tillandsia (“Air Plants”) carries the name of Professor Elias Tillandz (1640-1693).

City of Turku

City of Turku is an international and energetic centre of growth in the Baltic Sea area. The city is known for its archipelago which, according to many people, is the most beautiful archipelago in the world. 

In addition to top class selection of education the city provides a versatile livelihood structure and good services. Multiple choices to enjoy culture and take part in sports are also available. 

There are around 184 000 residents in Turku. A large proportion of Turku residents are students. In addition to residents, students and companies, Turku attracts many tourists. The city is one of the most popular travel and congress destinations in Finland.


Turku Bioscience Centre

Turku Bioscience Centre is an advanced core facility and research centre to facilitate research infrastructure services and scientific interactions. It offers services to both academic and commercially-oriented research projects. Services in Bioinformatics, Cell imaging and Flow Cytometry, Proteomics, Screening Unit, Genome Editing, Finnish Functional Genomics, Turku Metabolomics Centre, Protein Structure and Chemistry, Zebrafish and Single Cell Omics.

Turku Bioimaging

Turku Bioimaging leads European and Finnish imaging: Euro-BioImaging ERIC headquarters and head office of Euro-BioImaging Finland. It is Finland’s largest and one of Europe’s most sought-after provider of cellular and molecular imaging services, annually serving hundreds of users with approx. 20 high-end microscopes. Turku Bioimaging develops new imaging services, coordinates Finnish digital image data management and analysis, and operates an international MSc program in imaging.

Turku PET Centre

Turku PET Centre is one of the largest and best equipped PET facilities worldwide with 4 cyclotrons, 26 tracer synthesis hot cells, 8 scanners and nearly 100 different imaging tracers. It combines molecular imaging and clinical research and employs more than 200 staff and investigators.

Central Animal Laboratory

Central Animal Laboratory of the University of Turku provides services to biomedical research by supplying and producing laboratory animals. The well trained and qualified personnel take care of the laboratory animals with consideration given to their welfare. The staff assists research groups in experimental procedures and, if necessary, carries out the whole experiment. Research groups are guided in the ethical use of laboratory animals and supported in technical questions regarding the use and handling of animals.

The Western Finland Cancer Center

The Western Finland Cancer Centre is a clinical research unit with extensive experience from Phase 1 through Phase 3 studies.

Clinical Research Centre

Clinical Research Centre (CRC) offers support and services for investigator-initiated clinical studies.

Centre for Population Health Research

Centre for Population Health Research coordinates several exceptional long-standing and internationally recognized population cohorts linked to national health registries and biobanks.

Auria Services

The Auria Services combine the services offered by Auria Biobank and Auria Clinical Informatics. Auria Clinical Informatics organizes, harmonizes and maintains the clinical patient data of the Wellbeing services county of Southwest Finland’s patient register in a way that ensures that the data is easily available to professionals and other experts. Auria Biobank Finland’s first biobank and over a million samples are stored in the biobank. The biobank assigns biological samples for medical research.

Structural Bioinformatics Laboratory

Structural Bioinformatics Laboratory provides expertise, modern infrastructure and services in structural biology – including X-ray crystallography, structural bioinformatics, drug design and scientific IT solutions with connections to national and European infrastructure networks.

Drug Discovery Platform

Computer-dependent drug discovery platform develops a cost-efficient platform for drug discovery, especially to target protein-protein interactions with small molecules.

Turku Centre for Disease Modelling

TCDM is a research and research service organization at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Turku, and is part of the national Biocenter Finland Model Organisms (www.biocenter.fi) and the BF FinGMice networks (www.fingmice.fi) as well as international European Infrastructure for Translational Medicine (EATRIS, https://eatris.eu/) network. TCDM applies and provides state-of-the-art research facilities and expertise in studies in experimental animals to support both academic and industrial associated non-clinical research. The facilities and expertise are also available for contract research.