INFRAFRONTER / IMPC Conference 2019

Genetic Variation, Big Data and Ageing

3rd to 5th June, 2019        Helsinki, Finland

Understanding the role of human genetic variation and its functional analysis is the next big step in genomic and precision medicine. The collection of such genomic data and its analysis falls into the category of big data sciences that has become commonplace in the present biomedical research landscape. In addition to this need, an increasing worldwide ageing population warrants the better understanding of the ageing processes and diseases associated with ageing to not only improve longevity but also to improve the quality of long life. These ideas were the basis for the INFRAFRONTIER / IMPC Conference 2019 - and more than 200 attendants from all parts of the world took the opportunity to accompany us on this way and to contribute their own research results and new ideas to this approach.


Click here to download the conference booklet. 


The INFRAFRONTIER / IMPC Conference 2019 provided an excellent opportunity to support a better alignment of INFRAFRONTIER / IMPC platforms with current ageing and big data initiatives. The event in Helsinki supported interactions with human genetics centers and clinical consortia to promote the functional analysis of human genetic variation.

With this conference, INFRAFRONTIER and IMPC aimed to support the significant impact of mouse functional genomics analyses on the basic understanding of human genetic variation and disease, and the translation into diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.


The main objectives of the INFRAFRONTIER / IMPC Conference 2019 were to ...

  • ... raise awareness of INFRAFRONTIER / IMPC platforms among the population genetics and ageing research community.
  • ... develop collaborative opportunities in advancing functional genetic variation and ageing research with model organisms.
  • ... present use cases for the utility of model organisms to study genetic variation in population isolates and decipher ageing mechanisms.
  • ... strengthen interactions with ageing and population genetics research consortia.
  • ... showcase emerging insights from IMPC towards understanding functional genetic variation and developing precision medicine.


The conference built on the success of the INFRAFRONTIER / IMPC Stakeholder Meeting in Munich in December 2018 and the first Stakeholder Meeting in Athens in November 2017. Both events had been attended by nearly 200 participants from more than 20 countries representing all five continents. The Munich conference had showcased cutting-edge research involving animal models in the study of rare diseases and the development of gene therapies.

The INFRAFRONTIER / IMPC Conference 2019 has been jointly organised by 

  • INFRAFRONTIER, the European Research Infrastructure for the generation, phenotyping, archiving and distribution of model mammalian genomes
  • the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (IMPC),
  • BioCenter Oulu - a division at the University of Oulu as the local Finnish host. 



We are pleased to have the following speakers present their work at the conference:

  • Kari Alitalo, University of Helsinki, FI
  • Anita Bandrowski, University of California, San Diego,
  • Steve Brown, MRC Harwell, UK;  IMPC Scientific Chair
  • Guðrið Andorsdóttir Ellefsen, Ílegusavnið/Genetic Biobank, FO
  • Dan Ehninger, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, DE
  • Fuad Iraqi, Tel-Aviv University, IL
  • Pasi Kankanpää, Euro-BioImaging, Germany
  • Peppi Karppinen, University of Oulu, FI
  • Hannes Lohi, University of Helsinki, FI
  • Eleonora Leucci, LifeTime, NL
  • Fabio Mammano, CNR, IT
  • Celia Martinez Jimenez, Helmholtz Pioneer Campus, DE
  • Colin McKerlie, TCP, CA
  • Aarno Palotie, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), FI
  • Hardip Patel, The Australian National University, AU
  • Bruno Reversade, Institute of Medical Biology, SG
  • Mart Saarma, University of Helsinki, FI
  • Brun Ulfhake, Karolinska Institutet, SE
  • Anu Wartiovaara , University of Helsinki, FI
  • Sara Wells, MRC Harwell, UK
  • Henrik Westerberg, MRC Harwell, UK
  • ... and many others
Conference Agenda

The conference agenda, planned jointly by the INFRAFRONTIER European research infrastructure and the international Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (IMPC) can be found  here.



Poster presentations from submitted abstracts

The posters (A0 size) will be presented in the afternoon of Day 2 of our conference (4 June 2019) starting at 15:00 for 60 minutes. The presenters are requested to set up their posters on Day 1, during the first coffee break at 10:10.  

Conference Venue and social activities

The venue for the INFRAFRONTIER/IMPC Conference 2019 was located on a small island in the Helsinki archipelago: HANASAARI (Swedish: HANAHOLMEN) is a well-known Swedish-Finnish Cultural Center, hosting art exhibitions as well as a lot of big national and international meetings and conferences.

HANASAARI (HANAHOLMEN) - Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre 

Hanasaarenranta 5
FI-02100 Espoo

+358 (0)9 435 020


The long summer nights of the Finnish capital at the beginning of June (sunset after 10:30 p.m.) and `Mediterranean-like´ temperatures of 25 to 29 degrees Celsius created a perfect atmosphere for a lively, agreeable and fruitful scientific conference.

A first class conference dinner in a beautiful Helsinki Harbour restaurant on the first day provided an excellent opportunitiy to enjoy the evening after long hours of top-level scientific presentations and discussions. A (mostly) sunny boat trip across the archipelago made on the second evening made the frame for a casual get together with scientifc colleagues from all over the world.

Conference Organizers

INFRAFRONTIER is the European Research Infrastructure for phenotyping and archiving of model mammalian genomes. It provides access to first-class tools and data for biomedical research, and thereby contributes to improving the understanding of gene function in human health and disease using the mouse model. The core services of INFRAFRONTIER comprise the systemic phenotyping of mouse mutants in the participating mouse clinics, and the archiving and distribution of mouse mutant lines by the European Mouse Mutant Archive (EMMA).

In addition, INFRAFRONTIER provides specialised services such as the generation of germ-free mice, and training in state of the art cryopreservation and phenotyping technologies.


The International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (IMPC) addresses one of the grand challenges for biology and biomedical science in the 21st century – to determine the function of all the genes in the human genome and their role in disease. The goal of the IMPC is to develop a comprehensive catalogue of mammalian gene function. The IMPC aims to generate a null mutation for every protein-coding gene in the mouse genome, to acquire broad-based phenotype data for each mutation, and to disseminate the mutant resource and phenotype data to the scientific community.

Ultimately, the IMPC program will provide information on the function of all genes and genetic networks and a powerful dataset that will underpin fundamental new insights into the genetic bases for disease.


As a member of INFRAFRONTIER, the BioCenter Oulu at the University of Oulu was the local Finnish host of the INFRAFRONTIER / IMPC Conference 2019.


Financial support has been provided by the INFRAFRONTIER2020 and IPAD-MD projects

INFRAFRONTIER2020 receives funding from European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under Grant Agreement number 730879

IPAD-MD receives funding from European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under Grant Agreement number 653961