Statistics helps us understand the interplay between our environment, genes and other factors

For a statistician like Professor Sangita Kulathinal, Finland is a perfect place to do register-based research.

What are your research topics? 

My research focuses on statistical designs, e.g., prospective follow-up studies, and methods for addressing research questions based on health and other register data. 

The register data are not collected for answering any specific questions. This brings with it statistical challenges, and demands a deep understanding of the subject. 

In addition, statistical modelling of high dimensional data such as register data in combination with genome, microbiome and metabolome data is of interest to me.

Where and how does the topic of your research have an impact?

My research will help in understanding the efficacy of treatments for specific diseases, among other things, and the interplay between our genes, lifestyles, medications, diseases, environment, and gut micro-organisms. 

There are pros and cons to using routinely collected data for research, so my work will hopefully help to enhance the quality of data registers.

What is particularly inspiring in your field right now? 

Finland has nationwide registers covering, for example, demographic, primary and specialised healthcare data.

My interest has always been in designing and analysing studies in order to optimally use available information, so this is the right time to focus on register-based research.

My being in Finland now and in this position inspire me the most in this research field. 


Sangita Kulathinal is a professor of statistics at the Faculty of Science.

Watch Sangita Kulathinal's inaugural lecture as a new professor on 4 December 2019.

Read more about Sangita Kulathinal's work on developing healthcare applications.

Get to know the other new professors.