NOTE: This website is expired. Please proceed to the new ILS pages at - You will be automatically redirected in 5 seconds.



ILS is an international doctoral program providing structured training in life sciences areas requiring multidisciplinary skills and capability engage in multiprofessional cooperation. The Life Science areas that are strong in Finland include genetics, cell and developmental biology, cancer research, neuroscience and virology. These areas share a strong component of multidisciplinary approaches bridging research in basic biosciences, computational sciences and medicine. The research groups affiliated in ILS represent the highest quality life science research in Helsinki. Their research interests cover nearly all aspects of modern life sciences ranging from molecular medicine and developmental biology to biophysics and systems biology.

Each doctoral student works full time for their thesis as a member of a research group instructed by a supervisor (see ILS PI’s). The thesis work is supported and monitored by a thesis committee reporting annually to the doctoral program.

Each doctoral student is expected to gain a strong basic knowledge in thematic research areas represented in ILS. These include:

  • Proteomics and Metabolomics
  • Genetics and Genomics
  • Developmental Biology and Physiology
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Bioinformatics and Systems Biology
  • Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology


About 200 doctoral students from over 20 different nationalities participate in the highly international program. Research infrastructures that are vital for research and doctoral training are available to support their research work. An open inter-campus culture for young researchers enhances effective use of these resources. Together with the Helsinki Institute for Life Sciences (HiLIFE) ILS forms a vibrant research community with critical mass for multidisciplinary research training and outreach to industry.

ILS operates mainly on three campuses of the University of Helsinki:  Viikki (including the Department of Biosciences, the Neuroscience Center, the Institute of Biotechnology and the Faculty of PharmacyFaculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine), Kumpula (including the Faculty of Science) and Meilahti (including Faculty of MedicineInstitute of Molecular Medicine Finland FIMM,  MedicumClinicum and the Helsinki University Central Hospital). ILS doctoral candidates are welcome to select relevant courses from related programmes, including the doctoral programmes in the Doctoral School in Health SciencesDoctoral school in environmental, food and biological sciencesDoctoral school in natural sciences, and Doctoral school in humanities and social sciences.