Anu Loukola

Anu Loukola, PhD, is a senior researcher at FIMM. She received her PhD in 2000, on studies of microsatellite instability analysis as a tool to diagnose hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer. She then worked as a collaboration scientist at Amersham Biosciences, CA, USA, studying prognostic genetic markers for prostate cancer, and contributed to product development projects related to genotyping applications and software. Dr. Loukola returned back to Finland in 2003, to work as a senior scientist in the late Academician Leena Peltonen’s group at the National Public Health Institute (currently National Institute for Health and Welfare), Finland, focusing on genetic association and linkage studies of neuropsychiatric disorders. At the same time she worked as a part-time genotyping specialist at the Finnish Genome Center (currently FIMM Technology Center), and as a part-time Helsinki Biomedical Graduate School coordinator (2005-2006). She was on maternity/parental leave in 2007-2012. Dr. Loukola joined the Twin Study group at the University of Helsinki, Department of Public Health, in 2012, and focused on the genetic background of addictions and co-morbid neuropsychiatric disorders. She joined FIMM in 2016 while the research group of prof. Jaakko Kaprio moved to FIMM.

Selected publications

He L, Pitkäniemi J, Heikkilä K, Chou YL, Madden PA, Korhonen T, Sarin AP, Ripatti S, Kaprio J, Loukola A. Genome-wide time-to-event analysis on smoking progression stages in a family-based study. Brain Behav. 2016 Apr 22;6(5):e00462. doi: 10.1002/brb3.462.

Ware JJ, Chen X, Vink J, Loukola A, Minica C, Pool R, Milaneschi Y, Mangino M, Menni C, Chen J, Peterson R, Auro K, Lyytikäinen L-P, Wedenoja J, Stiby AI, Hemani G, Willemsen G, Hottenga JJ, Korhonen T, Heliövaara M, Perola M, Rose R, Paternoster L,Timpson N, Wassenaar CA, Zhu AZX, Davey Smith G, Raitakari O, Lehtimäki T, Kähönen M, Koskinen S, Spector T, Penninx BWJH, Salomaa V, Boomsma D, Tyndale RF, Kaprio J, Munafò MR: Genome-wide meta-analysis of cotinine levels in cigarette smokers identifies locus at 4q13.2. Sci Rep. 2016 Feb 1;6:20092. doi: 10.1038/srep20092.

Loukola A, Buchwald J, Gupta R, Palviainen T, Hällfors J, Tikkanen E, Korhonen T, Ollikainen O, Sarin A-P, Ripatti S, Lehtimäki T, Raitakari O, Salomaa V, Rose RJ, Tyndale RF, Kaprio J. A genome-wide association study of a biomarker of nicotine metabolism. PLoS Genet. 2015 Sep 25;11(9):e1005498.

Fisher ML, Loukola A, Kaprio J, Turner JR. Role of the Neuregulin Signaling Pathway in Nicotine Dependence and Co-morbid Disorders. Int Rev Neurobiol. 2015;124:113-31. doi: 10.1016/bs.irn.2015.07.006. Review.

Loukola A, Wedenoja J, Keskitalo-Vuokko K, Broms U, Korhonen T, Ripatti S, Sarin AP, Pitkäniemi J, He L, Häppölä A, Heikkilä K, Chou YL, Pergadia ML, Heath AC, Montgomery GW, Martin NG, Madden PA, Kaprio J. Genome-wide association study on detailed profiles of smoking behavior and nicotine dependence in a twin sample. Mol Psychiatry. 2014; 19(5):615-24.

Internal links

External links

Anu Loukola

Job title

Senior Researcher

Areas of expertise

Complex diseases

Started at FIMM



MSc (Genetics), University of Helsinki, 1997
PhD (Medical genetics), University of Helsinki, 2000
Title of Docent (Molecular genetics), University of Helsinki, 2011
Last updated: 05.12.2016 - 13:18