NCMM guest lecture with Samuli Ripatti and Elisabeth Widén

After nearly two years of zoom-based seminars, NCMM was delighted to welcome international guest lectures from Professor Samuli Ripatti and Dr. Elisabeth Widén from FIMM, our sister Centre in Finland.

Ripatti presentation.

Samuli Ripatti speaking about the potential of translating the FinnGen study findings into health care. Photo: Larissa Lily.

Professor Samuli Ripatti is the Deputy Director at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM). His research group studies genetics of common complex diseases from discovery to translation to health care. In their research, they utilise Finnish research cohorts and a global network of biobank data with longitudinal health event histories to identify genetic associations and potential causal variants modifying the risks of diseases.

In his presentation, Ripatti shared findings from the FinnGen study, one of the largest studies of its kind, that aims to map genome information from 500 000 Finns. So far, the project has combined genome wide data of 350,000 biobanked samples and linked them to several nationwide health registries. Ripatti presented the design of the study, some highlights of the novel genetic discoveries so far, and spoke about the potential of translating the discoveries into health care.

Dr. Elisabeth Widén is the Head of the Genomic Discoveries and Clinical Translation group at FIMM. Originally, a physician by training, her research interests are in genomics and the genetic contribution to complex diseases, and especially implementing genomic research into medical practice. In her presentation, Widén showed how the FinnGen study offers a unique resource for analysing a broad range of diseases and health outcomes. She presented specific examples showing the potential for exploring the clinical implication of single rare variants, and studying sex-specific aspects of health and disease.

Widen presentation
Elisabeth Widén answering questions after the presentation. Photo: Larissa Lily.

Both FIMM and NCMM are part of the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine and the purpose of the Partnership is to facilitate scientific collaboration and knowledge sharing within the Nordic region. It is with this aim in mind that NCMM was especially happy to welcome a physical guest lecture. It was positive to see that the lecture was well attended and gave rise to many questions and a discussion afterwards. 

By Larissa Lily
Published Nov. 17, 2021 1:06 PM - Last modified Nov. 17, 2021 1:06 PM