Following the decision of the Board of the Resarch Center in 2015 to reorganize some activities within the Center, research continued in 13 independent groups. Despite this reorganization and the reforms that occurred simultaneously at the University of Helsinki, research in the Center was productive. Altogether 180 original papers were published, a significant fraction of them in high impact journals. Some highlights of the publications, reflecting the multiplicity of research within the Center are summarized in this annual report.

Close research collaboration with the University of Helsinki continued with six groups affiliated to the Center and to the Research Programs of the Medical Faculty: Groups Eriksson, Groop and Tuomi in the Research Program for Diabetes and Obesity; Groups Kere, Lehesjoki and Lohi in the Research Program for Molecular Neurology.
Seven students carrying out their doctoral thesis within the groups affiliated to the Center got the PhD degree and a senior scientist obtained his Assistant Professorship (Docentship) at the University of Helsinki. Sixty students are currently carrying our their PhD thesis in the Center.

The international collaborative networks of the Center got in 2016 a new dimension when Group Leader Juha Kere was appointed as Professor of Genetics & Molecular Medicine at the King’s College in London, UK.

In 2016, the Board of the Center decided to start a new research project in the field of gerontology with focus on social and behavioral sciences. The project kicks off in 2017. The aim is – in the long run – to develop the project into a wider program within social sciences with propects to collaborate with and support the activities of Folkhälsan within service production and health promotion.

Another important suggestion by the Board, approved by the Executive Board of Folkhälsan, concerned funding to individual groups. For the long-term planning and funding of the research activities it was decided that the Center shall have a three-year budgetary time span. The three-year budget period of the individual groups will be considered next time for the years 2019-2021.

The economy of the Center remained stable. The groups continued to be successful in receiving external competitive funding for their research. The total funding in 2016 was 10,1 million euro: 56 % was external funding, 34% came from the Folkhälsan Research Foundation and 10% from the Samfundet Folkhälsan funds.

One key theme during 2016 in the Research Center was the promotion of good working environment and team spirit. The Operational Board made several decisions and clarified guidelines that are directly related to work health promotion. Workshops to promote job satisfaction and to foster team spirit were organized. Importantly, networks of co-workers in the Center were initiated. A very successful occasion was the two-day Scientific Days -Retreat held in May in the Haikko Manor, Porvoo. The surroundings and the atmosphere in Haikko were a perfect scene for attending a stimulating scientific program and for social networking within the Center.

Financial Support 2016
Folkhälsan Research Foundation3435
Samfundet Folkhälsan994
Academy of Finland1163
Sigrid Jusélius Foundation687
Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation469
Life and Health Medical Fund429
Novo Nordisk Foundation409
Governmental grants for health sciences research379
Stockmann Foundation362
University of Helsinki290
Ministries of Education and Culture, Social Affairs and Health261
Medical Society of Finland157
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation122
Juho Vainio Foundation120
Andra inhemska och utländska organisationer651