Mari Kaunisto

Dr. Mari Kaunisto received her Ph.D. in genetics in 2005. She has worked at FIMM for several years, first as a geneticist in the Genotyping Unit of FIMM Technology Centre and later as a Senior Researcher and Communications Coordinator.

Her research interests lie in the field of complex trait genetics, especially in the genetics of pain sensitivity and migraine. She has ongoing research collaborations with Aarno Palotie (FIMM), Maija Wessman (Folkhälsan), Eija Kalso (HUS, BrePainGen project) and Ville Pettilä (HUS). She has a role in two EU Research Projects (Gloria, EUROHEADPAIN) and is a supervisor of several Ph.D. students.

Dr. Kaunisto’s main responsibility is to take care of FIMM’s science communication.  She has received further training in communications in 2012-2013 and has expertise in communication planning and implementation. In 2014, Dr. Kaunisto was in charge of the FIMM’s website renewal project. She is also the producer of FIMM’s Annual Report. She supports FIMM researchers in their outreach activities by writing press releases and news stories, organizing media events and hosting visitor groups.

Dr. Kaunisto is especially interested in projects where personal health-risk information based on genetic data is provided to the participants. She has a role as a communication expert in FIMM’s Personal genomics projects, such as KardioKompassi and Digital Health Revolution. In the future, she would like to find and develop new ways in which FIMM could more easily interact with the general public.

Selected publications

Cajanus K, Kaunisto MA, Tallgren M, Jokela R, Kalso E. How much oxycodone is needed for adequate analgesia after breast cancer surgery: effect of the OPRM1 118A>G polymorphism. J Pain. 2014 Dec;15(12):1248-56.

Kurki MI, Gaál EI, Kettunen J, Lappalainen T, Menelaou A, Anttila V, van 't Hof FN, von Und Zu Fraunberg M, Helisalmi S, Hiltunen M, Lehto H, Laakso A, Kivisaari R, Koivisto T, Ronkainen A, Rinne J, Kiemeney LA, Vermeulen SH, Kaunisto MA, Eriksson JG, Aromaa A, Perola M, Lehtimäki T, Raitakari OT, Salomaa V, Gunel M, Dermitzakis ET, Ruigrok YM, Rinkel GJ, Niemelä M, Hernesniemi J, Ripatti S, de Bakker PI, Palotie A, Jääskeläinen JE. High risk population isolate reveals low frequency variants predisposing to intracranial aneurysms. PLoS Genet. 2014 Jan 30;10(1):e1004134.

Kaunisto MA, Jokela R, Tallgren M, Kambur O, Tikkanen E, Tasmuth T, Sipilä R, Palotie A, Estlander AM, Leidenius M, Ripatti S, Kalso EA. Pain in 1,000 women treated for breast cancer: a prospective study of pain sensitivity and postoperative pain. Anesthesiology. 2013 Dec;119(6):1410-21.

Kambur O, Kaunisto MA, Tikkanen E, Leal SM, Ripatti S, Kalso EA. Effect of catechol-o-methyltransferase-gene (COMT) variants on experimental and acute postoperative pain in 1,000 women undergoing surgery for breast cancer. Anesthesiology. 2013 Dec;119(6):1422-33.

Anttila V, Winsvold BS, Gormley P, et al. Genome-wide meta-analysis identifies new susceptibility loci for migraine. Nat Genet. 2013 Aug;45(8):912-7. doi: 10.1038/ng.2676

Internal links

External links

Mari Kaunisto
+358 50 317 5483

Job title

Senior Researcher, Communications Coordinator

Areas of expertise

Complex diseases
Quality control
Social media
Personal genomics

Started at FIMM



M.Sc. (Genetics), University of Helsinki, 2000
Ph.D. (Genetics), University of Helsinki, 2005
Last updated: 27.05.2015 - 09:53