FIMM High Content Imaging and Analysis Unit joins Euro-BioImaging

Euro-BioImaging is the leading European research infrastructure for imaging technologies that have a central role in driving fundamental research and applied innovations in both biological and biomedical research. High Content Imaging and Analysis Unit (FIMM-HCA) at FIMM Technology Centre has now joined Euro-BioImaging in the Finnish Advanced Light Microscopy Node, allowing it to offer new expertise in high-throughput microscopy.

Euro-BioImaging is the European landmark research infrastructure for biological and biomedical imaging of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). Euro-BioImaging offers its services via 25 internationally renowned imaging facilities called Nodes, which are located across eleven countries and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, EMBL.

Finnish Advanced Light Microscopy (FiALM) Node is a multi-sited (Helsinki, Turku, and Oulu) and multimodal Euro-BioImaging Node. It offers open access to state-of-the-art biological imaging technologies, services and expert knowledge to users from academia and industry, both nationally and internationally.

After a very favorable evaluation performed during 2020, FIMM High Content Imaging and Analysis Unit (FIMM-HCA) has now been added to FiALM through the existing FiALM Node partner at the University of Helsinki, Helsinki BioImaging.

FIMM-HCA operates under the FIMM Technology Centre. It is specialized in providing high content imaging, computer-assisted laser microdissection, phenotypic & spatial single cell analytics, and image analysis services. The equipment and expertise available at FIMM-HCA supports projects with the need for high accuracy, quality control, and high throughput screening capacity, as well as single-cell phenotypic analytics.

These services of FIMM-HCA unit complement the existing technologies of FiALM, which have focused on numerous advanced light microscopy techniques, but not earlier on high throughput image-based assays nor the development of high-content image analysis tools, which can be applied for all FiALM technologies.

"I'm very happy and proud that the high throughput microscopy services of FIMM have been accepted as part of the Finnish Advanced Light Microscopy Euro-BioImaging Node. FIMM's services are of very high quality, as indicated also by the exceptionally positive reviews the proposal received, and they will be an excellent addition to the Node”, said Pasi Kankaanpää, the manager of Euro-BioImaging Finland.

FIMM-HCA has the only high throughput spinning disk confocal microscope with a robotic handler in Finland and is therefore utilized broadly in the national context. One case example is the Academy of Finland Flagship program in Digital Precision Cancer Medicine - iCAN, where FIMM-HCA is part of the iCAN “Drug Screening and Molecular Profiling” technology platform, and also several activities in emerging Covid-19 research projects.

“We at FIMM-HCA have experience in large international collaboration projects in high-content imaging, such as ERAPerMed COMPASS project on the standardized image-based drug testing for pediatric cancers, and SARS-CoV-2 research projects. It is great that we can now offer our technologies and analytics even more efficiently for all European researchers through Euro-BioImaging with excellent Finnish nodes”, said the co-director of FIMM-HCA, FIMM Senior Researcher Vilja Pietiäinen.

The Director & PI of FIMM-HCA, is Peter Horvath, who is also a group leader at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS), and a director of the Szeged Biological Research Centre (BRC). With his leadership, FIMM-HCA is actively developing new software and algorithms for processing, analyzing and visualizing high-content imaging data, including accurate segmentation methods, high throughput image analysis workflows and machine and deep learning models.

“Together with the new Finnish Biomedical Imaging Node, which was also ratified in the same Euro-BioImaging board meeting, FIMM's services wonderfully complement the multidisciplinary Finnish Euro-BioImaging service offering, which is already well-known throughout Europe. Our two Nodes consist of the best biological and medical imaging technologies, expertise and open access facilities throughout the country, and together form what we call 'Euro-BioImaging Finland'. I'm very excited about working together with FIMM and all our other partners to develop Euro-BioImaging Finland and see what we can achieve together", Pasi Kankaanpää concluded.