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Meilahti, here we come

Starting from January 2017, Psychology will be part of the Medical Faculty and will physically move into the Meilahti campus and Haartman Institute (H3) in early fall next year. For over 10 years, Psychology was part of the Faculty of Behavioral Sciences, and before that, when I started my studies in Helsinki, part of the Faculty of Arts. Many may wonder why we are making this move and why (only) now. Psychologists themselves took the first initiative. This initiative was inspired by the profiling action of psychological and philosophical sciences in Finland that was undertaken by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture last year. Psychology in Helsinki is heavily leaning towards life sciences. Hence, the hop to Medical Faculty seems very natural. It strengthens our already existing profile in behavioral life sciences and integrates training of health care professionals into one single unit. There certainly exists much pros – and very little cons. (Read more)

For me, and my research group (the Developmental Psychology Research Group DePsy [KePsy in Finnish]) this hop is, however, very tiny. As I am writing this blog, my memory brings into my mind the events that took place exactly 12 years and 11 months ago. In mid-January 2004, I met professor Sture Andersson and docents Eero Kajantie and Petteri Hovi. Sture, Eero and Petteri had one simple question in mind – they wanted to know “How are those born preterm and at very-low-birth-weight doing in adulthood?” This question started an exciting, successful and rewarding research collaboration that is still flourishing – dozens of co-authored publications from the Helsinki Study of Very Low Birth Weight Young Adults (HeSVA) – and from many more multidisciplinary research projects and study questions to which DePsy has brought along expertise in developmental psychology.  “Psyko-hommelit” like docent Hovi sometimes jokingly calls them. And, in our view developmental psychology covers the entire human lifespan – from pediatrics to geriatrics, and beyond to past and future generations. In fact, collaboration with professor Andersson and docents Kajantie and Hovi was initiated by another long-term collaborator, professor and geriatrician Timo E Strandberg – father of the GLAKU (Glycyrrhizin in Licorice) study.

DePsy group – and I am sure I can speak on behalf of all of us psychologists – is excited about the move into the Meilahti campus. We enjoy, every day, our ongoing collaborations with our old friends, and look forward to collaborating with new ones. Please visit http://blogs.helsinki.fi/depsy-group/ and our TUHAT-profiles to learn more about us, our collaborative research projects, and the latest DePsy news in our own blog.