1.1.2015 - 31.12.2019
University of Helsinki
Professor Katri Räikkönen-Talvitie (University of Helsinki) is interested in the effects of the foetal growth environment on an individual’s later life. The foetal programming hypothesis has it that adverse environmental conditions may permanently alter foetal mechanisms of physiological regulation in ways that at a later stage may lead to mental and physical vulnerabilities. Räikkönen-Talvitie is particularly interested in researching the adverse foetal events and mechanisms that lie behind the unfolding of this chain of events. She gives particular focus to pregnancy disorders and to foetal exposure to the stress hormone cortisol.
The research project is concerned with the role of the placenta in regulating the transmission of environmental effects from mother to foetus. The research data consist of unique Finnish pregnancy and birth cohorts that offer an excellent opportunity to address these questions from a multidisciplinary perspective. The research is expected to generate significant new information that will help design more effective ways of promoting mental wellbeing throughout the lifespan.
Katri Räikkönen-Talvitie combines in her research elements of psychology, medicine and biology. This multidisciplinary approach yields crucial information about the role of prenatal development and increases our understanding of human psychological development.