Tuuli Lappalainen is a group leader at the New York Genome Center and Assistant Professor at the Columbia University. Her research focus is on functional genetic variation in human populations.
Dr. Lappalainen earned her PhD in Genetics at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), University of Helsinki, in 2009, followed by postdoctoral research at the University of Geneva and Stanford University. Since 2014, she has run her own research group at the New York Genome Center. During her career, she has made important contributions to several international research consortia in human genomics.
The aim of her research group is to improve understanding of the impact of regulatory genetic variation in different cell and tissue types as well as of cellular mechanisms underlying genetic associations to diseases. The work of her research group links computational and population genomics to experimental molecular biology.
Image credit: ESHG
The award, funded by the Leena Peltonen Memorial Fund in the Paulo Foundation, was presented to Dr. Lappalainen on June 16, 2018 in Milan, Italy, at the 52nd Annual European Society of Human Genetics meeting, the largest human genetics conference in Europe.
"Among all the many excellent candidates, Tuuli Lappalainen clearly stood out for both her prestigious scientific talents and her extraordinary contribution within large “team science” projects. These qualities mean that she is a supremely appropriate choice for this prize which honors the spirit of the late Leena Peltonen. The award was a unanimous decision of the committee", said Professor Mark McCarthy from the University of Oxford, the chair of the selection committee.
The Leena Peltonen Prize for Excellence in Human Genetics was established in winter 2010 to recognize scientists who are in the early phases of their independent careers. This year, the committee received nominations for 23 candidates from members of the Human Genomics research community.
“As a female Finnish scientist who was inspired by Leena Peltonen’s important contributions to human genetic research, it’s truly a great honor and especially meaningful to me to receive this award,” noted Dr. Lappalainen.