Human Genomics for Health and Disease

This Grand Challenge is led by Research Director Aarno Palotie.

The Human Genomics Programme at FIMM builds on a long Finnish tradition of high impact genetic and epidemiologic research. Finland was one of the first countries to embrace advances of molecular genetics back in the 1990s, leading to the identification of mutations causing the ‘Finnish disease heritage‘ that often involves recessive genetic diseases that are more common in Finland than elsewhere because of the founding population ‘bottleneck’.

The overarching goals of the programme are two fold
  1. Develop very large-scale resources integrating genomic, epidemiologic, and health outcome data from the Finnish national health registries and biobanks.
  2. Use the platform to discover and understand the genetic drivers of disease
  • to identify new genetically validated targets for therapeutic development and, more broadly, the causal biological processes of disease
  • to develop and deliver clinically useful diagnostics and risk prediction tools to advance public health goals.

The human genetics and genomics arm spearheads the construction of large-scale genetic research programs and gene-discovery efforts on a global scale, as well as the development and implementation of advanced statistical methods, to support the discovery of genetic drivers of health and disease and predictive tools that might have clinical or public health utility. 

Genomics research projects and programmes
Human Genomics research groups

The disease areas of interest cover both common and rare forms of cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, immune disorders, neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases, as well as traits with high relevance for public health such as substance abuse, obesity, sleep and cognition.