Research Group Principal Investigator

    Marja-Riitta Taskinen, Professor, emerita, PhD, MD

    Tel: +358 9 471 71990
    E-mail:marja-riitta.taskinen [at]

Research Programs Unit
Diabetes and Obesity Research Program
P.O. Box 63 (Haartmaninkatu 8)
00014 University of Helsinki

LIPKIN-project office

    Laura Impivaara

    Tel: +358 9 471 1870
    GSM: +358 50 428 7811
    E-mail: ext-laura.impivaara [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]

LIPKIN - Presentation

Marja-Riitta Taskinen, emerita Professor of internal medicine, is one of the most internationally acclaimed researchers in Finland. Professor Taskinen has over 400 original publications and over 100 reviews and chapters (H-Index 78). Her outstanding achievements have been recognised by several international honours and awards including the Claude Bernard Award (EASD 2002), Edwin Bierman Award (ADA 2004), Novartis Award (2006) and Grand Award of the Finnish Foundation for Cardiovascular Research (2011). The Finnish Medical Foundation chose her as the winner of the Pohjola and Suomi Mutual Medical Award for 2012.

Professor Taskinen's group is currently a partner in EU-project RESOLVE (FP7-HEALTH-2012-INNOVATION-1) started in 2013. Professor Taskinen is also a member of National Institute of Health (NIH) (1R01HL113315-01) funded consortium "Genomic and Metabolomic Profiling of Finnish Familial Dyslipidemia Families" started in 2012. The central themes of her research group have focused on the pathophysiology of lipid and lipoprotein metabolism in health and disease, in particular in Type 1 & 2 diabetes, genetics and treatment of dyslipidemias and prevention of CVD.

Patients with diabetes have a 2-fold increase in the risk for CVD compared with patients who do not have diabetes. CVD has remained the leading cause of morbidity and mortality for patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D), despite recent significant advances in management strategies to lessen CVD risk factors. A major cause is the atherogenic dyslipidemia that frequently precede the diagnosis of T2D by several years, indicating that the dyslipidemia is an early event in the development of cardiovascular complications of T2D. The dyslipidemia is characterized by elevated plasma concentration of both fasting and postprandial (i.e., after eating a meal) triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TRLs), small dense LDL and low HDL cholesterol. Importantly this dyslipidemia is also common in general population in particular in obese subjects with insulin resistance and NAFLD. Importantly, statins fail to adequately correct the characteristic dyslipoproteinemia, and several recent clinical trials have failed to show benefit from other agents (fibrates and niacin) when added to statins.

The recent lessons from genetic studies have now generated renewed interest in raised concentrations of triglycerides. This renewed interest has been driven by both epidemiological and genetic evidence demonstrating that raised TRLs and their remnants are directly linked to increased CVD and all-cause mortality. Consequently, efforts to reduce the concentrations of both fasting and postprandial triglycerides and their remnants are thus critical to lessen the burden of residual risk in patients with heart disease.

More information on our current research projects is available here.