People working in Jari Lahti's research group.
Jari Lahti

I was appointed as a Professor of clinical psychology, mental health, and mental health interventions at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki (UHel) in 2020. I graduated as a trainer-level cognitive psychotherapist in 2014 and have been a member of the management board for psychotherapy trainings at the UHel since 2011 and a member of the university consortium for psychotherapist training in Finland since 2016. I am also leading the national specialization training for clinical psychology since it started in 2020.

I am passionate about research. My favorite topics are: interplay of environmental and omics -factors on mental health and cognitive abilities, and effectiveness of psychosocial interventions. Currently, I am leading IMAGINE-consortium that develops, implements, and studies four brief psychosocial interventions for improved mental health in the young people.

Li Tian

I graduated in clinical medicine from Beijing Medical University and received a PhD and Docentship in Biochemistry from the University of Helsinki. I was Academy of Finland's research fellow and a PI in the Neuroscience Center, University of Helsinki during 2011-2016 and a research professor of neuroimmunology in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Tartu during 2018-2022. My major research theme is neuroimmune psychiatry. I have supervised 8 doctoral students in the University of Helsinki and University of Tartu so far and have received research funding from the EU, Finland, Estonia, and China. 

Vera Gergov

I am a clinical psychologist (PhD, specialist degree in psychotherapy) and psychotherapist currently working as the Chief of Professional and Public Affairs in The Finnish Psychological Association and as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Helsinki.

Previously I have over 10 years of clinical experience in adolescent psychiatry and developing psychosocial treatment processes in public mental health care with adolescents, that has driven also my research interests. My research focuses mainly on psychotherapeutic interventions for adolescents and young adults, especially on the effectiveness and predictors of treatment outcome, therapeutic alliance and patients expectations. As a part of the IMAGINE consortium, our research group is focusing on interventions reducing loneliness, and implementation of Groups 4 Health (G4H).

I am also the Vice Chair of the European Network on Individualized Psychotherapy Treatment of Young People with Mental Disorders (TREATme) and a member of The National Advisory Board on Social Welfare and Health Care Ethics ETENE.

Silja Martikainen

I work as a postdoctoral researcher in the IMAGINE project. My research focuses especially on how to support participants' motivation and adherence to the Groups 4 Health psychosocial group intervention. I have worked as a clinical psychologist in primary health care and as a researcher in the fields of developmental psychology and education. I am interested in research that is applicable to practice, focusing especially on factors affecting successful interaction and treatment quality, such as motivation and empathy. This project is intriguing as we have a unique opportunity to study participants' motivation and adherence in a way that can be valuable and easily implemented to clinical practice in mental health care.

Marjaana Mäkinen

I am a postdoctoral researcher, and I am focusing on prenatal exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals and their possible association with behaviour and neurodevelopmental disorders in children. My special interests in this research are the possible roles prenatal maternal stress and epigenetic modifications may have on the process. I study here the direct effects of prenatal EDC exposure, as well as effects mediated by hormonal disturbances or DNA methylation, to the neurodevelopmental outcomes of children. 

I did my PhD at the University of Turku, Finland, on vitamin D and the risk of type 1 diabetes in children. I got interested in endocrine disrupting chemicals due to a collaboration project where we looked at endocrine disruptive chemical exposure, vitamin D and prevalence of type 1 diabetes in children in Estonia, Finland and Russia. The results were ambiguous and for that reason they were not published, as the general type 1 diabetes prevalence in Russia is very low compared to Finland with the highest prevalence in the world. But that is when I got acquainted with endocrine disruptors and wanted to study them further. Endocrine disruptors are all around us, we are all exposed to them, have been exposed to them for a long time and I believe they may be contributing to the mental health challenges we are seeing, especially in children and adolescents. 

Anni Malmberg

I am a doctoral student with background in mathematics and statistics. In 2019-2020 at the department of psychology and logopedics, I assisted in many studies on genome-wide associations to e.g. dementia and social behavior outcomes, and on epigenome-wide associations to e.g. sleep outcomes. 

In 2021, I started my PhD where I develop multi-omics-based biomarkers for e.g. cognitive outcomes and study how much they improve predictability for these outcomes compared to environmental and behavioral factors. Due to my background, I am also interested in the mathematics behind the methodology applied in developing biomarkers.

Oona Karhunen

I am carrying out doctoral research on the role of treatment motivation in the engagement to and the efficiency of psycho-social interventions. My goal is to conduct research that generates easily applicable information for current challenges, focusing on the psychological perspective.

Hanna Kis

I'm currently pursuing Master's degree in Psychology and working as a research assistant in the IMAGINE-project. The project's main focus is to improve mental wellbeing as a means of increasing inclusion of young people. My main responsibilities are related to the practical implementation of the research, such as recruiting the participants, data collection, management and analysis. My greatest interest is first and foremost to holistically understand the human mind - what motivates us, what makes us human?

The themes of loneliness and inclusion have been a great interest of mine for many years, so when I heard of this opportunity, I happily welcomed it into my life.

Iiris Mankki

I'm a psychology student in the University of Helsinki and I work as a research assistant in the IMAGINE consortium. I study psychosocial interventions for students focusing on loneliness and emotional well-being. My spotlight is on the Australian Groups For Health brief intervention, which helps students understand their social groups, and influence them on a very concrete level. I am particularly interested in the wellbeing of young people and institution-based psychosocial interventions that can help people become active in their communities and experience autonomy in their wellbeing.

I entered the world of research through my studies when I took part in the Groups For Health intervention offered by the University of Helsinki, and seized the opportunity to join Jari Lahti's research group.

Heidi Wirkkala

IMAGINE consortium's project coordinator.