Jonathan Knowles to be the new FiDiPro professor for FIMM

Professor Jonathan K.C. Knowles will transfer to the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland from his position as head of group research for Hoffman–La Roche. Knowles is known as a leading expert on personalised medicine.


Jonathan K.C. Knowles has been nominated a professor for the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) and the University of Helsinki for a five-year period beginning in 2010.

Knowles was recruited to FIMM from his position as the head of group research and member of the corporate executive committee in the Swiss drug and diagnostics giant Hoffman-La Roche. Professor Knowles is one of the leading forces in personalised medicine on a global scale, and has 20 years of experience in top executive positions of international pharmaceutical companies.

Professor Knowles was recruited to Finland through the Finland Distinguished Professor Programme (FiDiPro) of the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes). The programme aims to ensure the presence of the highest possible expertise in Finland in order to develop and maintain Finland’s global competitiveness.

Recruitment of Professor Knowles to FIMM is a very significant step.

”His expertise will help steer research results towards actual medical applications and promote personalised medicine,” says professor Olli Kallioniemi, director of FIMM.

Personalised medicine refers to the individual planning of the prevention and treatment of illnesses based on the patient’s genotype and molecule-level examination.

Professor Marja Makarow, the chairperson of the board of FIMM and CEO of European Science Foundation, believes that Jonathan Knowles will play a central role in the molecular medicine research of the University of Finland and Finland as a whole. Professor Iain Mattaj, Director General of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), considers the nomination to be an advantage for the operations of EMBL as well, as FIMM is EMBL’s Finnish partner.

FIMM, established in 2006, is a joint research institute of the University of Helsinki, the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

Text: Päivi Lehtinen
Picture: Hoffman-La Roche

Translation: AAC Noodi Oy

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