People

Contact Information.

Ollikainen Group

Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM)

P.O. Box 20

00014 University of Helsinki, Finland

Miina Ollikainen

Miina Ollikainen is an Academy of Finland Research Fellow with a title of Docent in Epigenetics. She is internationally recognized researcher in twin epigenetics, and she has contributed to several important discoveries on the roles of genome and epigenome on both early life and adult complex disease and trait variation.

Miina received her PhD in Medical Genetics from the University of Helsinki in 2007 under the supervision of Prof Päivi Peltomäki. She spent years 2007-2010 as a postdoc in Early Life Epigenetics group at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and University of Melbourne, Australia, where she studied epigenetics in newborn twins with Prof Richard Saffery and A/Prof Jeff Craig. After returning to Finland in late 2010 she joined the Finnish Twin Cohort Study as a junior group leader.

Since 2013 Miina has led a research group of Epigenetics of Complex Diseases &Traits at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland focusing in obesity, aging, and substance use in early life and in adulthood, using trait-discordant and concordant twin pairs and twin modelling.

Miina is interested in understanding the roles of genome, epigenome and environment in health and disease, in producing reliable biomarker signatures and potential intervention targets for common diseases as well as in identification of epigenetic variants which could be used in risk prediction.

Miina Ollikainen Researchportal profile

Hannes Bode

Hannes is a PhD student under the supervision of Miina Ollikainen and Jaakko Kaprio. He studies risk factors for breast cancer from different sources and their interaction with each other, e.g. environment, behavior, genetics and epigenetics. In particular, he focuses on DNA methylation as a layer of biological regulation influenced by both genetics and environment. In his study he uses data from Finnish Twin Cohort, a cohort of twins born before 1958 and followed up since the 70s. 

Aino Heikkinen

Aino Heikkinen is a doctoral student at FIMM, Group Ollikainen. She is currently working on her PhD thesis, which focuses on the impact of DNA methylation on mitochondrial biogenesis in acquired obesity. Aino received her Master’s degree in Genetics and Molecular Biosciences in 2019 from University of Helsinki. She had previously worked with neurogenetics and microbiology, becoming increasingly interested in epigenetics and, she is therefore extremely excited to pursue her doctoral thesis in DNA methylation.

Mikaela Hukkanen

In her PhD, Mikaela studies epigenetics through ecological and evolutionary theories. Specifically, she investigates the trade-off between reproduction and somatic maintenance hypothesized by life-history theory. Utilizing the Finnish Twin Cohorts and a wild king penguin population from the Indian Oceans' Crozet Archipelago, she studies the effects of reproduction on epigenetic aging rate and mortality.

Anna Kankaanpää

Anna has graduated in mathematics from the University of Jyväskylä. After graduating, she has worked as a statistician. She is currently doing a PhD in Gerontology and Public health at the Gerontology Research Center (GEREC), University of Jyväskylä. She investigates the role of lifestyle-related factors in biological aging using data from the Finnish Twin Cohort. In her study, she uses epigenetic clocks to measure biological aging. She is interested in using quantitative genetic models within structural equation modeling framework to evaluate the genetic and environmental influences on biological aging.

Tianyu Zhu
Mia Urjansson

Mia Urjansson, medical laboratory technologist.  In Ollikainen group she is responsible for the all laboratory work and maintenance.