Visit to TalTech

Jari Hyttinen’s Computational Biophysics and Imaging Group joined forces with Soile Nymark’s lab and Teemu Ihalainen’s Cellular Biophysics group to visit two research groups at TalTech (Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia) on 29.-30.11.2018:

Our trip started on a brisk November morning by people gathering for the bus transport at 7:00 in front of the Arvo building in Kauppi. After two quick stops at Hervanta and Hämeenlinna we reached Helsinki harbour. Once aboard the Tallink Megastar, we enjoyed first a late breakfast buffet and then continued with three presentations at the Comfort Lounge:

  • Aino Reunamo: Enhancing soft tissue contrast using phase-contrast techniques in micro-computed tomography,
  • Teemu Ihalainen: High resolution imaging of genome organization – ATAC-see and DamID, and
  • Jussi Koivumäki: Career lessons learned, so far.

When in Tallinn, Thursday’s main events were the lab visits. First, we got an impressive then-and-now introduction to the electric bioimpedance-related research done at the Impedance group. Paul Annus presented some of the most significant past projects, including use of bioimpedance measurements in pacemakers and food quality analysis, followed by an introduction to some of the core technologies and approaches that are in use the labs.

Second stop of the day was at the SysBioLab, where Marko Vendelin first presented the background for his group’s interest in bioenergetics and -mechanics of the cardiac myocytes, reaching from structure and organization of mitochondria to the metabolism and contraction of the whole heart. Then, we introduced to the technology they have set up in the lab from the patch clamp, imaging and single cell force measurement set-ups.

To wrap up the day, we together with our TalTech hosts had a lovely dinner at F-hoone, located in the hip Telliskivi area of Tallinn. On our way to the restaurant, Paul took us to see the most picturesque and scenic spots of the Old City, while also telling us some important bits of Estonian/Tallinn history.

On Friday morning, we had, in parallel, scientific and none-scientific activities. A few of us met with the people from the Impedance group and SysBioLab to discuss collaboration plans, while others visited the KGB museum at Viru hotel.

On our way back to Helsinki, Tallink Megastar offered us a bit of on rocky ride. However, we could still enjoy the nice lunch buffet, followed by some presentations:

  • Annika Ahtiainen and Heidi Kaisvuo: Visiting researcher exchange in New Zealand and Australia

From Helsinki, the bus took us back to Tampere. People were feeling pretty scienced-out and thus ready for the weekend 🙂 All in all, the Tallinn trip was very nice and enjoyable, enabling us to strengthen the existing collaborations and possibly opening new ones!