iCAN Digital Precision Cancer Medicine is one of the six national flagships for research recently selected by the Academy of Finland. iCAN aims for new breakthroughs and improved treatments by linking precision cancer medicine with digital health big data. It is formed as a public-private partnership with the University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital HUS as founding members and aiming to form a significant new national competence cluster and innovation ecosystem.
The University of Helsinki has nominated Professor Tomi Mäkelä as the iCAN Flagship Executive Officer to strengthen the flagship management and ecosystem buildup. The Scientific Director of the iCAN flaghip is Academy Professor Kari Alitalo, and the Scientific Vice Director is Academy Professor Lauri Aaltonen.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to combine cutting edge translational cancer research and the unique digital health resources and registries. The ambition level is high, and requires efficient integration of our strengths and engagement of companies. There is a lot of excitement; now iCAN needs to provide clear engagement opportunities,” notes Mäkelä.
“The research will initiate with setting up the Digital Precision Cancer Medicine technology platform and piloting the concept in selected cancer types.”
“We are very happy to have Tomi join iCAN full time,” notes Scientific Director, Academy Professor Kari Alitalo. “He has expertise and interest in many aspects of what iCAN aims to do and success in leading complex projects”.
Mäkelä joins iCAN April 1 from his current position as director of HiLIFE – Helsinki Institute of Life Science, a research institute aiming for research excellence and its valorization in life sciences at the University of Helsinki. HiLIFE is also the second host of iCAN together with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Helsinki.
“iCAN has ambitious goals in research, innovation and impact and the University of Helsinki wants to provide the best possible resources for this. Tomi Mäkelä has excellent experience and is in a key position to reach the goals,” says Vice-Rector of University of Helsinki Paula Eerola.