Brain health research and cooperation enhanced in Northern Finland – Oulu Brain & Mind started its operations

The Oulu Brain & Mind regional network of Neurocenter Finland has started its operations in Oulu. The main objective of the network established by the University of Oulu and the Oulu University Hospital is to increase cooperation between academia, hospitals and the business world and to promote research in the field of neuroscience in Northern Finland. The work is carried out by building a network of researchers, companies and other actors both regionally and nationally.
Irja Kärkkäinen ja Juha Veijola

The network management team is chaired by Mikael von und zu Fraunberg, former Director of Neurocenter Finland, who began his new duties as Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Oulu and Chief Physician of Neurosurgery at Oulu University Hospital at the beginning of the year. In addition, the network involves a large number of researchers in the field, the Chief Physician of Psychiatry, the Professor of Psychiatry, the Chief Physician of Research and Evaluation and the Professor of Neuroradiology.

“The societal cost of brain diseases and mental disorders is enormous, estimated at up to EUR 11 billion per year. The ageing of the population also increases the incidence of diseases, so the need for new forms of prevention and treatment is obvious. Finnish neuroscientific research is of high quality, and by working together we have every opportunity for revolutionary solutions,” says Mikael von und zu Fraunberg.

Fraunberg aims to expand his previous research on the effects of spinal stimulation and other forms of neuromodulation as a treatment for chronic neuropathic pain, and to establish a research consortium consisting of the university hospitals in Oulu and Kuopio, as well as the Universities of Oulu and Eastern Finland.

The Regional Manager of the Oulu Brain & Mind network is Irja Kärkkäinen, M.Sc. (Econ.). “In practice, the Regional Manager’s work includes the organisation of events linked to brain research, networking at the regional and national level, the provision of services to companies and long-term cooperation with researchers and companies in the field of neuroscience. Our ultimate goal is to promote better brain health and support the development of new forms of treatment for brain diseases,” says Kärkkäinen.

Neurocenter Finland is a collaborative network that creates a new environment for researchers and stakeholders and improves the visibility of research and availability of data related to diseases related to both the brain and the mind. The centre comprises of seven universities and five hospital districts in Finland. The activities are coordinated by the coordination unit at the University of Eastern Finland. The steering committee of Neurocenter Finland is chaired by professor Reetta Kälviäinen, from University of Eastern Finland. Professors Juha Veijola and Mikael von und zu Fraunberg represent the Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital District and University of Oulu at the Neurocenter Finland steering committee. Professor Anne Remes, who has previously been representing the region at the steering committee, has taken a new role as the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Helsinki.

Neurocenter Finland has recently published a nation-wide researcher database. It aims to increase the visibility of Finnish neuroscience research, and makes finding new collaboration easier.

You can find the database in Finnish:

and in English:

Oulu Brain & Mind website

Photo: Regional Manager Irja Kärkkäinen and Professor Juha Veijola.

Last updated: 20.1.2022