Research Group Principal Investigator

    Markus Perola, Research Professor, Docent in Quantitative Genetics, Ph.D, M.D.

    Tel. +358 40 861 2557
    E-mail: markus.perola [at]

    National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL)
    P.O. Box 30 (Mannerheimintie 166)
    FI-00271 Helsinki
    Tel. +358 2952 48727 
    E-mail: markus.perola [at]

Diabetes and Obesity Research Program contact information

Postal Address
Research Programs Unit
Diabetes and Obesity
Research Program
P.O.Box 63, Haartmaninkatu 8
FI-00014 University of Helsinki

Visiting Address
Biomedicum 1
Haartmaninkatu 8
00290 Helsinki

Tel. +358 2941 911 (tel. exchange)
Fax + 358 2941 26382
Email name.lastname [at]

Quantitative Genetics Group - Presentation

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Our group has been focusing on the genetics of common disorders and traits utilizing the large population cohorts in THL, such as FINRISK and Health 2000. Several research strategies, such as next-generation sequencing, genome-wide association studies, linkage mapping in families and high density SNP maps and deep sequencing in population-based samples are applied to find genetic components of complex traits.

Currently we have access to more than 30.000 Finnish study participants with genome-wide association data and thousands with exome sequencing data. We are participating and an active member in several large international genetic consortium studies such as BioSHare, BBMRI, Ageing with Elegance and MORGAM. We have been in close collaboration and developers of the  KTL/THL DNA repository for more than 20 years. Our close collaborator is Estonian Genome Project, University of Tartu, with its biobank of population-based study cohort of more than 50.000 individuals. We are coordinating a large FP7 EU Project BBMRI-LPC, which faclititates access and networking among large prospective studies in Europe.

Since 2007, our group has been the genetic co-ordinator of the DIetary, Lifestyle and Genetic factors in the development of Obesity and Metabolic syndrome (DILGOM) project, supported by the Academy of Finland up until 2011. The project has been highly successful in collecting multidisciplinary data on this important public health problem. Already the cross-sectional data has provided plenty of research opportunities and led to nearly 20 high impact publications related to the genetic and other factors related to obesity development and its complications. The cohort was re-examined in 2014. The re-examination included repeated physical examinations and biochemical as well as advanced molecular biological measurements. More and more, we are focusing on the co-determinants of health such as physical fitness and diet. Omics approach, not only genomics, but metabolomics, epigenomics and transcriptomics describes our current work.

More information on professor Perola's current research projects is available here.