From the beginning of the year 2011, Regea Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Institute of Medical Technology are united and form the Institute of Biomedical Technology (IBT).
The research conducted at Regea Institute for Regenerative Medicine focuses on tissue engineering aiming at clinical applications. The research in Regea focuses on developing stem cell applications for the treatment and diagnostics of various eye, nervous system, heart, bone, cartilage and soft tissue related diseases. For this, in addition to its own expertise in stem cell biology, Regea utilizes the strong expertise in the fields of biomaterials and medical technology in the Tampere region. In addition to research conducted towards clinical applications, the research groups in Regea are investigating the possibilities to use the cell types differentiated from stem cells as cell and tissue models in testing tissue development and function, as well as in drug development and safety/toxicity testing.
Regea’s laboratories, quality systems and cleanroom facilities have enabled Regea to be among the first in the world to start stem cell production in compliance with GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) standards and, consequently, to produce stem cell transplants for clinical use in humans. Close to 30 patients have already been successfully treated by stem cell transplants produced at Regea.
Regea also has a national tissue bank that meets the requirements of the national legislation and EU directives. The tissue bank processes and supplies tissues (bone, tendon, amniotic membrane, sclera and cornea) for clinical use.
There are four research groups investigating stem cells at Regea: adult stem cell group, neuro group, ophthalmology group and heart group. Regea employs approximately 60 people including PhD workers. Regea is funded by e.g. Tekes, Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, Academy of Finland, Pirkanmaa Hospital District, private donators and many foundations.
Institute of Medical Technology (IMT) is dedicated to biomedical research and to the provision of high quality education at undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral levels in natural sciences related to biotechnology and molecular biology. The Institute's three main focus areas are cancer (particularly prostate, pancreas, and breast cancers) biology and genetics, molecular immunology, and the genetics of mitochondrial disease and ageing. The latter is conducted by the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence FinMIT. In addition, research is done in fields such as bioinformatics and biotechnology. IMT also serves as the national support unit for fruit fly and zebra fish models of disease.
In the Biotechnology Master’s Program a student can achieve the Bachelor or the Master’s degree in science. Education is provided in close cooperation with the Biotechnology program of Tampere University of Technology. In addition, the international Bioinformatics Master’s program is operating at IMT, in cooperation with University of Turku. IMT is also the coordinator of the Tampere Graduate Program in Biomedicine and Biotechnology (TGPBB), a joint graduate school within the campus.
IMT houses 18 research groups, 3 of which are affiliated. Total personnel exceed 160. IMT is one of Finland's six official biocenters and one of the founding members of Biocenter Finland. Funding for the activities comes from e.g. The Academy of Finland, European Commission, European Research Council, The Pirkanmaa Hospital District, and the Ministry of Education and Culture, as well as several foundations.