Dr Marika Kaakinen


Areas of specialism

Statistical genetics; Multi-omics data

Affiliations and memberships

Frontiers in Genetics, section Human Genomics
Associate Editor
Genes journal
Editorial board member
International Genetic Epidemiology Society
European Society of Human Genetics
American Society of Human Genetics
European Association for the Study of Diabetes


Research interests

Research collaborations


Postgraduate research supervision

Completed postgraduate research projects I have supervised

My teaching

Courses I teach on


My publications


Da Silva Couto Alves Alexessander, De Silva N. Maneka G., Karhunen Ville, Sovio Ulla, Das Shikta, Taal H. Rob, Warrington Nicole M., Lewin Alexandra M., Kaakinen Marika, Cousminer Diana L., Thiering Elisabeth, Timpson Nicholas J., Bond Tom A., Lowry Estelle, Brown Christopher D., Estivill Xavier, Lindi Virpi, Bradfield Jonathan P., Geller Frank, Speed Doug, Coin Lachlan J. M., Loh Marie, Barton Sheila J., Beilin Lawrence J., Bisgaard Hans, Bonnelykke Klaus, Alili Rohia, Hatoum Ida J., Schramm Katharina, Cartwright Rufus, Charles Marie-Aline, Salerno Vincenzo, Clement Karine, Claringbould Annique A.J, Consortium BIOS, van Duijin Cornelia M., Moltchanova Elena, Eriksson Johan G., Elks Cathy, Feenstra Bjarke, Flexeder Claudia, Franks Stephen, Frayling Timothy M., Freathy Rachel M., Elliot Paul, Widen Elisabeth, Hakonarson Hakon, Hattersley Andrew T., Rodriguez Alina, Banterle Marco, Heinrich Joachim, Heude Barbara, Holloway John W., Hofman Albert, Hypponen Elina, Inskip Hazel, Kaplan Lee M., Hedman Asa K., Laara Esa, Prokisch Holger, Grallert Harald, Lakka Timo A., Lawlor Debbie A., Melbye Mads, Ahluwalia Tarunveer S., Marinelli Marcella, Millwood Iona Y., Palmer Lyle J., Pennell Craig E., Perry John R., Ring Susan M., Savolainen Markku J., Rivadeneira Fernando, Standl Marie, Sunyer Jordi, Tiesler Carla M.T, Uitterlinden Andre G., Schierding William, O'Sullivan Justin M., Prokopenko Inga, Herzig Karl-Heinz, Smith George Davey, O'Reilly Paul, Felix Janine F., Buxton Jessica L., Blakemore Alexandra L. F, Ong Ken K., Jaddoe Vincent W.V, Grant Struan F.A, Sebert Sylvain, McCarthy Mark L., Jarvelin Marjo-Riitta (2019) GWAS on longitudinal growth traits reveals different genetic factors influencing infant, child, and adult BMI,Science Advances5(9) American Association for the Advancement of Science
Early childhood growth patterns are associated with adult health, yet the genetic factors and the developmental stages involved are not fully understood. Here, we combine genome-wide association studies with modeling of longitudinal growth traits to study the genetics of infant and child growth, followed by functional, pathway, genetic correlation, risk score, and colocalization analyses to determine how developmental timings, molecular pathways, and genetic determinants of these traits overlap with those of adult health. We found a robust overlap between the genetics of child and adult body mass index (BMI), with variants associated with adult BMI acting as early as 4 to 6 years old. However, we demonstrated a completely distinct genetic makeup for peak BMI during infancy, influenced by variation at the LEPR/LEPROT locus. These findings suggest that different genetic factors control infant and child BMI. In light of the obesity epidemic, these findings are important to inform the timing and targets of prevention strategies.

Additional publications