HCAS People Contact Information

    Fabianinkatu 24 (P.O. Box 4)
    00014 University of Helsinki

    Tel. +358 2 941 21735



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Jari Lahti

Senior lecturer, University of Helsinki

Room 324

Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
P.O. Box 4
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki

Tel: + 358 (0)2941 23508    
Email jari.lahti (AT) helsinki.fi


Research Interests

  • Genetics and epigenetics of depression and related mental or cognitive traits

Current Research

Early life stress, epigenome, and genome in depression and related cardiometabolic risk

In this project, comprehensive and multi-disciplinary approach on environmental, epigenomic, and genomic determinants of depression and related cardiometabolic risk will be taken.

Environmental factors relating especially to early life stress (ELS) have been implicated in the development of depression. Since epigenetic factors, e.g. methylation of the DNA, are at the interface between environment and long-lasting molecular, cellular and behavioural phenotypes that are acquired during periods of developmental plasticity, better understanding of these processes will help to bridge the gap between environment, genome, and depression.

The first general objective of this project is to examine associations between ELS, DNA methylation, and depression. The second general objective of this project is to test if a common (epi)genomic basis underlies association between depression and cardiometabolic disorders. Participation in this collaboration will capitalise on epigenomic and GWA and phenotype data available in the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study (HBCS) and the collaborating cohorts.

This project offers a unique possibility to obtain novel information on the origins of depression and on its links with cardiometabolic disorders. Such knowledge can be used in public health to minimize the burden of depression and its health sequelae.