1.1. 2013–31.12. 2017
University of Helsinki
Jaakko Kaprio is Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at the University of Helsinki and Research Professor at the National Institute of Health and Welfare. His research field is genetics. Professor Kaprio is widely recognised as one of the world-leading experts in the genetics of dependence. He tries to find answers to the key questions of nicotine dependence and its consequences to public health. He works to map and characterise the genes and epigenetic mechanisms that predispose to nicotine dependence and that can explain the connection between smoking and smoking-related diseases. Another aim is to investigate how the interaction between genes and the environment affects genetic predisposition.
One in four adult Finns smoke, and one in two of smokers will die of smoking-related diseases. Smoking is also associated with other major problems in terms of public health, such as alcoholism and depression, and an increased cancer risk. In his research, Kaprio and his team use Finland’s twin registry, in whose development Kaprio himself has played a key role.