The following SAB members were present:
- Professor Kai Simons, Max-Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Germany (Chair)
- Professor Cornelia van Duijn, Erasmus University Medical School, the Netherlands
- Professor Carl-Henrik Heldin, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Uppsala University, Sweden
- Professor Edison Liu, The Jackson Laboratory, USA
- Professor Nadia Rosenthal, The Jackson Laboratory, USA
During their visit, the SAB received updates on the current status and progress made at FIMM from the FIMM Director Jaakko Kaprio and Head of Technology Centre, Janna Saarela. The Research Directors introduced the FIMM Grand Challenge programs and their future plans. The SAB had discussions with FIMM’s Senior Researchers, Post-Doctoral Researchers and PhD Students. Furthermore, the SAB listened to presentations from all the FIMM group leaders who were up for evaluation. The SAB also met with the Director of HiLIFE, Tomi Mäkelä and Vice Rector for Research and the Chair of the HiLIFE Board Keijo Hämäläinen.
Based on the visit and documentation provided beforehand, the SAB prepared an evaluation report. The report, excluding the evaluations of individual Group Leaders, can be found from the link below.
In the report, the SAB welcomed the establishment of Helsinki Institute of Life Science HiLIFE and the integration of the research infrastructure under the HiLIFE umbrella. They also acknowledged the continued autonomy of FIMM within the HiLIFE organization as recommended in their earlier report. The SAB stressed the importance of the search for a new FIMM director for the future of the institute and recommended the current Director Jaakko Kaprio to continue as a Group Leader after his tenure as Director comes to an end.
The report was overall highly positive, as reflected in the following quotes:
“FIMM has in the 2 years since our visit in 2015 continued its upward progress and maintained its leading position in research. The SAB was impressed by the advances that have been made. The research in all three grand challenge areas has been most successful.”
“These successes are reflected by a steadily increasing publication output as well as by increasing citations, demonstrating that FIMM research is receiving serious attention. --- In only ten years FIMM has moved to the top globally in its field of research: a truly impressive achievement!“
“FIMM continues to attract serious external funding and has the highest share of third party funding for any unit at the University. This institution is a jewel in the University of Helsinki crown! Thus, FIMM deserves full and dedicated support for its activities.”
“The SAB had a very positive impression from their meeting with the PhD students and the postdocs. The Senior Researcher Gretchen Repasky is the Leader of the research training as well as the postdoctoral program. She is doing an outstanding job. All the SAB members were enthusiastic about her achievements.”
“The postdocs are very happy with their FIMMPOD program and with the working atmosphere at FIMM. The environment is characterized by an unusual openness that leads to productive collaborations and a happy togetherness. What more could one wish for?“