About the Institute of Biotechnology

The Institute of Biotechnology (BI) is a dynamic unit with the mission to conduct research and develop infrastructures in biotechnology and modern biosciences. BI addresses global questions on sustainable environment and the well-being of living organisms; it operates in a wide scientific landscape from plants and microbes to seals and molecular pathogenesis and treatment of human diseases.

The Institute of Biotechnology operates at the highest international level and its researchers have been very successful in obtaining e.g. ERC grants and Academy of Finland Center of Excellence funding. Research in BI spans from fundamental research to applied biotechnology and includes cytoskeletal and membrane dynamics; morphogenesis, stem cells and regeneration; plant, animal, microbial genomics and evolution; mechanisms of redox systems; and structure of membrane protein complexes.

BI has pioneered the development of Finland’s life science research infrastructures and currently houses core facilities for biological imaging, proteomics, NMR, protein crystallization, genomics, and bioinformatics.

The research findings are actively applied for the benefit of society through valorisation of innovations and start-ups. Several success stories including Herantis Pharma Ltd and Mobidiag Ltd originate from the institute.

Dr Juha Huiskonen is the director of the Institute of Biotechnology and associate professor at Helsinki Institute of Life Science (HiLIFE).

Huiskonen’s research group - Laboratory of Structural Biology (LSB) – aims at understanding the structure and function of biological macromolecules and their complexes, such as molecular machines and viruses.

Helsinki Institute of Life Science
Field of science Biochemistry, cell and molecular biology

Vice director Marja Mikkola is a research director at the Institute of Biotechnology and the vice director of the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in Experimental and Computational Developmental Biology (2014‒2019).

Mikkola's research group studies the molecular and cellular regulation of organ development, with focus on epithelial morphogenesis and cell fate specification.


Research Director
Institute of Biotechnology
Field of science Biological sciences, Genetics, developmental biology, physiology, Biochemistry, cell and molecular biology
  • Director Ewan Birney, European Bioinformatics Institute EMBL-EBI, UK (Chair)
  • Professor Marja Jäättelä, University of Copenhagen, Denmark 
  • Professor Urban Lendahl, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
  • Professor Poul Nissen, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Professor Olivier Pourquié, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, US 
  • Professor Anne Spang, University of Basel, Switzerland 
  • Professor Joan Steitz, Yale School of Medicine and HHMI, US
  • Professor Miltos Tsiantis, Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Germany 


  • Professor Sheena Radford, The Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology, University of Leeds (01/2019-10/2020)