Centres of Excellence

Research groups of the University of Eastern Finland are involved in both Finnish and Nordic Centres of Excellence. These Centres of Excellence represent the cutting edge of research in their fields. They renew research, develop creative research environments and train new, talented researchers for the needs of Finnish research and business.

University of Eastern Finland in national-level Centres of Excellence

Centre of Excellence in Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease

The research groups of  Professor Markku Laakso and Academy Professor Seppo Ylä-Herttuala play a central role in the  Centre of Excellence in Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease, led by Professor Juhani Knuuti of the University of Turku and selected in the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence programme for the years 2014–2019. The research groups in Kuopio focus on the genetics and pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases as well as on developing new treatments, whereas the researchers in Turku represent a strong expertise in a variety of PET imaging methods. The Centre of Excellence unites the expertise of the former Centres of Excellence in Kuopio and Turku into an internationally significant research entity.

UEF research groups involved in the Centre of Excellence:

Diabetes and Heart Disease Research Unit

Molecular Medicine Research Group

Centre of Excellence in Atmospheric Science – From Molecular and Biological Processes to the Global Climate

The aerophysics research group, led by Professor Annele Virtanen at the Department of Applied Physics, is part of the Centre of Excellence in Atmospheric Science – From Molecular and Biological Processes to the Global Climate, which has been selected in the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence programme for the years 2014–2019. The Centre of Excellence is led by Professor Markku Kulmala of the University of Helsinki and also involves the Finnish Meteorological Institute.
Centre of Excellence homepage
Aerosol Physics Research Group

Centre of Excellence in Inverse Problems

Selected in the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence programme for the years 2012–2017, the Centre of Excellence in Inverse Problems is a joint effort involving researchers from the Universities of Helsinki, Eastern Finland and Oulu, Lappeenranta University of Technology and Helsinki University of Technology. The unit is led by Academy Professor Matti Lassas of the University of Helsinki. The University of Eastern Finland is represented in the Centre of Excellence by the Inverse Problems Group based at the Department of Applied Physics and led by Professor Jari Kaipio.

Research into inverse problems uses mathematical models to obtain information on indirect, insufficient or incorrect observations. This field of research is one of the most topical and important areas in applied mathematics. The obtained research data has applications in, e.g. medical imaging, astronomy and material testing for industry.
Centre of Excellence homepage 
Inverse Problems Research Group

Nordic Centres of Excellence

CRAICC: Cryosphere-Atmosphere Interactions in a Changing Arctic Climate 

The University of Eastern Finland is represented in the Nordic Centre of Excellence CRAICC in 2010-2015 by the Aerosol Physics Research Group led by Professor Ari Laaksonen.
Lower levels of ice and snow cover may cause changes in cargo traffic, travel and tourism, oil exploration and production, fishing and agriculture. The society does, however, have a potential to influence Arctic warming, either through targeted emission control or geoengineering. But how important are the different feedback mechanisms including the ice-albedo feedback? The ongoing Arctic climate change and cryosphere are interlinked through radiative forcing, arctic warming, changes in the cryosphere, society and human activities, and feedbacks in the climate system. Traditionally, the enhanced warming of Arctic areas has been explained by the so-called ice-albedo feedback.
The NCoE CRAICC will expand this thinking and include the roles of society and associated human activities as part of the interactions and feedback mechanisms acting on the Arctic climate system. The centre will focus on the role played by short-lived pollutants and aerosol-cloud interactions and their linkages with cryospheric changes, as their role in Arctic warming in potentially very large, yet poorly quantified. Furthermore, their emissions are expected to change considerably as a result of future warming and associated changes in human activities, and they might provide an additional mitigation pathway for future Arctic warming. The NCoE is led by Professor Markku Kulmala of the University of Helsinki.
Nordic Centre of Excellence homepage

DEFROST: Impacts of a changing cryosphere - depicting ecosystem-climate feedbacks from permafrost, snow and ice

The Biogeochemistry Reseach Group based at the Department of Environmental Science and led by Professor Pertti Martikainen is involved in the Nordic Centre of Excellence DEFROST which has been selected in the Nordic Centre of Excellence programme for the years 2010–2015.
The recent years have seen a number of dramatic changes in the Arctic cryosphere, such as the record melt of sea ice in summer 2007, the major melt off around the edges of the Greenland Ice Sheet and extensive and previously unrecognized releases of greenhouse gases from terrestrial permafrost in the off-season and from the shallow sub-sea permafrost on the Siberian-Arctic shelf.
The climatic feedbacks from a changing cryosphere are complex. They vary over space and time, and are generally poorly understood. The NCoE DEFROST seeks to fill critical gaps in concepts and information, and to incorporate this understanding into models that reduce uncertainties.
The NCoE DEFROST will gather internationally recognized experts with the goal of understanding how changes in the cryosphere caused by climate change influence the ecosystem/geosphere processes which directly affect climate. The project leader is professor Torben Christensen of the University of Lund.
Nordic Centre of Excellence Homepage


Further information on the Centre of Excellence programmes is available on the website of the Academy of Finland:
    • Centres of Excellence