Dr. Katja Kivinen appointed new Head of the FIMM Technology Centre

Dr Katja Kivinen has been appointed new Director of the FIMM Technology Centre. She will start in this position on September 16, 2019. Dr. Kivinen has a wealth of expertise in both genetics and bioinformatics. Recently, she has contributed significantly to the development of cardiovascular research at the University of Cambridge.

The FIMM Technology Centre core units form an integrated entity of professionally run research infrastructures supporting FIMM’s key research areas and Grand Challenges, as well as local and national research efforts. FIMM Technology Centre units have been operating as members of the Biocenter Finland national infrastructure networks since 2010 and are active members of several ESFRI research infrastructure organisations. More recently, the units have become integral parts of the HiLIFE research infrastructure platforms.

Dr. Kivinen’s interests include the development and optimisation of biomedical research services and resolving challenges concerning high-throughput data production, integration, and sharing in support of the prediction, diagnostics, and treatment of clinical conditions.

She obtained her MSc degree in genetics from the University of Helsinki in 1998, and her PhD in bioinformatics in 2004 from the University of Cambridge and EMBL. After her first post-doctoral period at Karolinska Institute, she moved to Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in 2006. She initially started her career as a computational biologist, and then became senior staff scientist and scientific manager in the newly founded Malaria Programme.

In 2014, Katja Kivinen was appointed Manager of the newly founded Cardiovascular Research Centres at the University of Cambridge. In her role, she has especially dedicated efforts to increasing research collaboration within Cambridge University. During the last five years, her research community grew from 60 to >500 researchers and at the same time, the proportion of interdisciplinary research articles doubled. Her contributions were key to the successful renewal of all three centres and the development of the first cardio-respiratory research strategy spanning the University of Cambridge and its affiliated hospitals.

Throughout her postdoctoral career, Dr. Kivinen has been passionate about pregnancy-related disorders with focus on pre-eclampsia. She has been a founding member in two pre-eclampsia research consortia (FINNPEC and InterPregGen), and plans to lead the analysis of FINNPEC samples that are being genotyped at FIMM Technology Centre.

Research Director Kivinen succeeds Professor Janna Saarela, who started as Director of the Centre for Molecular Medicine Norway (NCMM) in Oslo in January 2019. Professor Saarela will continue her research activities at FIMM/University of Helsinki.

“During the last ten years, FIMM has been pioneering state-of-the-art infrastructure development on the national level and the FIMM Technology Centre has developed into the largest molecular medicine research infrastructure in Finland. I am very pleased that we were able to recruit Dr. Katja Kivinen, and I am confident that with her background and international experience, she is definitely the right person to take the helm of the FIMM Technology Centre and continue developing it further”, Janna Saarela said.

"I am thrilled to have been appointed to this position. It is an exciting time to join FIMM under Prof. Daly's leadership and to be able to support cutting-edge biomedical research. Finland is well-placed to become world-leader in translating information from high-throughput technologies into patient benefits, and I am proud to be able to contribute to the continuing success of FIMM and to help further development of the biomedical research services provided by the Technology Centre", Katja Kivinen said.