Genomics Discovery and Epidemiology in the Kilpeläinen Group

The Kilpeläinen Group investigates how genetic variation contributes to obesity and related metabolic disorders and interacts with the environment, modifying the effect of physical activity, diet, and other lifestyle factors on weight gain and metabolic health.

Research focus

The Kilpeläinen Group applies methods of genetic epidemiology to uncover the genetic underpinnings of obesity and its metabolic complications. We also aim to unravel how genetic variation interacts with the environment, modifying the effect of physical activity, diet, and other lifestyle factors on weight gain and metabolic health.

Our overarching goal is to provide key biological insights and seek ways for translating genetic discoveries to target preventive and treatment strategies with increased precision.

Main findings

“Genome-wide meta-analysis accounting for smoking behavior identifies novel loci for obesity traits”
Published in Nature Communications in 2017 this study uses data from genome-wide association studies to identify loci influencing BMI and central adiposity and identifies 23 novel genetic loci, and 9 loci with convincing evidence of gene-smoking interaction on obesity-related traits.

“Genome-wide physical activity interactions in adiposity – a meta-analysis of 200,452 adults”
Published in PLOS Genetics in 2017 this study performs genome-wide interaction meta-analyses of BMI and BMI-adjusted waist circumference and waist-hip ratio of 200,452 adults to identify genetic variants whose effects on adiposity are modified by physical activity.

“New loci for body fat percentage reveal link between adiposity and cardiometabolic disease risk”
Published in Nature Communications in 2016 this study uses genome-wide association meta-analysis of body fat percentage to increase our understanding of the genetic basis of adiposity and its links to cardiometabolic disease risk.

Staff of the Kilpeläinen Group

Group leader: Associate professor Tuomas Kilpeläinen

The Kilpeläinen Group