Modern GWAS meets Classic HLA and latest advances in complex disease genetics

Time: Wednesday - Thursday, January 22-23, 2020
Place: Lecture hall 2 & 3, Biomedicum 1
Organizer: Centre of Excellence in Complex Disease Genetics (CoECDG)

Wednesday, January 22

Lecture hall 3, Biomedicum 1

Modern GWAS meets classical HLA

Chairs: Jake Lin & Mary Pat Reeve

9:00 Morning coffee
9:15 Welcome words: Samuli Ripatti, CoECDG director

Centre of Excellence in Complex Disease Genetics (CoECDG)
9:20 Jorma Ilonen (University of Turku)

HLA and disease association studies in Finland: Early beginning and HLA in type 1 diabetes
9:50 Maisa Lokki (University of Helsinki)

MHC gene studies in cardiovascular disease
10:20 Vincenzo Cerullo (University of Helsinki)

Dressing viruses in tumor’s clothing: cloning-free platforms to trigger tumor-specific immune response
10:50 Satu Koskela (Finnish Red Cross Blood Service)

HLA variation in Finland
11:20 Coffee break
11:50 Päivi Saavalainen (University of Helsinki)

Genetic risk factors and immunopathogenesis of gastrointestinal autoimmune diseases
12:20 Jarmo Ritari (Finnish Red Cross Blood Service)

Imputing HLA variation and examples from FinnGen data
12:50 Lunch break
14:00 Jerome Kelleher (Big Data Institute, University of Oxford)

Tree methods for quantifying population structure and genotype imputation
14:40 Rubina Tabassum (FIMM, University of Helsinki)

Lipidomics based strategies towards prediction and prevention of cardiovascular diseases
15:00 Mart Kals (FIMM, University of Helsinki)

Genetic Associations In Neurotrauma (GAIN) Consortium study of traumatic brain injury outcomes
15:20 Coffee break
15:45 Nella Junna (FIMM, University of Helsinki)

Genetic architecture of severe hypercholesterolemia in Finland
16:00 Ola Hansson (Lund University & FIMM)

Your father’s nose and mother's muscles? - genetics of strength and exercise
16:30 End of day 1


Thursday, January 23

Lecture hall 2, Biomedicum 1

Latest advances in complex disease genetics

Chairs: Mart Kals and Vasudha Ahuja

9:00 Morning coffee
9:15 George Davey Smith (University of Bristol)

Mendelian randomization: past, present and future
9:55 Hanna Ollila (FIMM, University of Helsinki)

Upstream stimulatory factors are pleiotropic transcription factors affecting sleep and circadian rhythms
10:25 Zuzanna Misiewicz (FIMM, University of Helsinki)

SUPER study: Collection of 10,413 severe mental disorder cases in Finland. A component of the Stanley Global Neuropsychiatric Genetics Initiative
10:40 Aki Havulinna (FIMM, University of Helsinki)

Current overview of the FinnGen endpoints
10:55 Coffee break
11:20 Kristi Krebs (University of Tartu)

Pharmacogenomic studies using electronic health records
11:35 Taru Tukiainen (FIMM, University of Helsinki)

Understanding sex differences through human genomics
12:00 Kaur Alasoo (University of Tartu)

Genetic effects on gene expression across cell type, tissues and biological contexts
12:15 Lunch break
13:00 Jaakko Kaprio (FIMM, University of Helsinki)

Past, present and future of population health
13:30 Rashmi Prasad (Lund University)

Choose your parents
14:00 Coffee break
14:30 Caroline Relton (University of Bristol)

Epigenetics in common complex disease: from prediction to cause
15:10 Priit Palta (FIMM, University of Helsinki)

New association testing tools and workflows to analyse FinnGen data
15:25 Petri Pölönen (University of Eastern Finland)

The immunogenomic landscape of hematological malignancies
15:40 Andrea Ganna (FIMM, University of Helsinki)

Biases in genome wide association studies
16:10 End of day 2

16:10-17:00 Keynotes meet with students


Registration is now closed!


University of Helsinki Course Code: DOCPOP-138

ECTS Credits: 1 ECTS (for full attendance & learning diary)

Requirements for 1 ECTS: compulsory attendance in the seminar (both days), pre-reading materials prior to the course, learning diary submitted before the deadline.

For University of Helsinki doctoral candidates the credits will be registered directly to WebOodi based on attendance and learning diary. If a certificate of attendance is needed, please contact the coordinator (


Please write one page on the main messages of the two seminar days AND one page summarizing two articles of choice from the pre-reading materials (half page + half page; please see the pre-reading materials sent to everyone by email).

Learning diary submission deadline: January 27, 2020. Please return your learning diary to:

Please note that all learning diaries will be checked for plagiarism with Urkund.

What is a learning diary?

A learning diary is a tool of reflection. It helps the student to assess what she/he has learned in the seminar/ articles. The aim of a learning diary is to analyze and comment on the talks/ articles.

The key to writing a learning diary is to draw on the talks/ articles, but instead of just repeating what the speaker/ writer has said, the students should speak with their own voice. A diary is a subjective view, and a learning diary should reflect what the student has heard and learnt; it’s the student’s own analysis and insights that count. The speaker’s/ writer’s ideas may even be taken further and elaborated on.

The following questions may help you write your learning diary:

  • What did I learn? What was new to me? Was there something that changed my views and why? Focus on and analyze the themes important to you.
  • What did I not understand? What went against my own ideas? Why? What was less comprehensible? Why? Focus on and analyze the questions that left you puzzled.