Group Kere

Genetics of Complex Phenotypes

We focus on gene effects and networks in complex human phenotypes. Our major projects are dyslexia, psoriasis, early embryonic development, and rare immune deficiency diseases. There is a strong strategic synergy between the projects, even though they represent different physiological systems.

Our research group was established 1994. We work in tight collaboration with clinical specialists as well as leading experts on special methods, such as single-cell transcriptomics and brain imaging, and are involved in international consortia. We use modern genomics tools such as high-throughput DNA and RNA sequencing for identifying gene variants and gene expression profiling, respectively, as well as epigenetics research techniques. In addition, our group has an interest in comparative studies between human and other species, such as dog.

We have identified several susceptibility genes e.g. for dyslexia, providing opportunities to study the pathogenetic mechanisms. Our major breakthrough provided a detailed transcriptome of early embryos in 1995. and now our focus is to identify the most critical factors regulating the early embryonic development. We have recently characterized two genes LEUTX and DPRX that are key factors in embryonic development. In psoriasis, we showed that innate immunity related signaling pathways are active also in non-immune cells of psoriatic skin. In dyslexia we are studying the relationship between a genetic background and brain activity. Our studies on immune deficiency disorders are focused on identifying genes behind the new and rare types of diseases. We have already identified several new genes with work ongoing on yet new genes.


Read more

Senior Scientists

Outi Elomaa, PhD, Docent, Administrative Group Leader

Sini Ezer, PhD

Shintaro Katayama, PhD

Satu Wedenoja, MD, PhD, Associated researcher

Undergraduate Students

Lisa Gawriyski, MSc
Inka Häkkinen, BM
Elina Tuovinen, BM


Eira Leinonen, Research Nurse

Auli Saarinen, Laboratory Assistant

Katayama S, Skoog T, Söderhäll C, Einarsdottir E, Krjutškov K, Kere J. Guide for library design and bias correction for large-scale transcriptome studies using highly multiplexed RNAseq methods. BMC Bioinformatics 20:418, 2019

Keskitalo S, Haapaniemi EM, Glumoff V, Liu X, Lehtinen V, Fogarty C, Rajala H, Chiang SC, Mustjoki S, Kovanen P, Lohi J, Bryceson YT, Seppänen M, Kere J, Heiskanen K, Varjosalo M. Dominant TOM1 mutation associated with combined immunodeficiency and autoimmune disease. NPJ Genom Med. 4:14, 2019

Madissoon E, Damdimopoulos A, Katayama S, Krjutškov K, Einarsdottir E, Mamia K, De Groef B, Hovatta O, Kere J, Damdimopoulou P. Pleomorphic Adenoma Gene 1 Is Needed For Timely Zygotic Genome Activation and Early Embryo Development. Sci Rep. 9(1):8411, 2019

Katayama S, Panelius J, Koskenmies S, Skoog T, Mähönen K, Kisand K, Bondet V, Duffy D, Krjutškov K, Kere J, Ranki A. Delineating the Healthy Human Skin UV Response and Early Induction of Interferon Pathway in Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus. J Invest Dermatol. 139(9):2058, 2019 

Gaertner VD, Michel S, Curtin JA, Pulkkinen V, Acevedo N, Söderhäll C, von Berg A, Bufe A, Laub O, Rietschel E, Heinzmann A, Simma B, Vogelberg C, Pershagen G, Melén E, Simpson A, Custovic A, Kere J, Kabesch M. Nocturnal asthma is affected by genetic interactions between RORA and NPSR1. Pediatr Pulmonol. 54(6):847, 2019

Katayama S, Ranga V, Jouhilahti EM, Airenne TT, Johnson MS, Mukherjee K, Bürglin TR, Kere J. Phylogenetic and mutational analyses of human LEUTX, a homeobox gene implicated in embryogenesis. Sci Rep. 8(1):17421, 2018

Weltner J, Balboa D, Katayama S, Bespalov M, Krjutškov K, Jouhilahti EM, Trokovic R, Kere J, Otonkoski T. Human pluripotent reprogramming with CRISPR activators. Nat Commun. 9(1):2643, 2018

Folkhälsan Research Foundation

Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation

Medicinska Understödsföreningen Liv Och Hälsa (Life and Health Medical Fund)

Päivikki and Sakari Sohlberg Foundation 


Dyslexia consortium “DYSGEBRA”: Heikki Lyytinen, PhD, Professor, and Riitta Salmelin, DSc, Professor

Hannele Laivuori, MD, PhD

Hannes Lohi, PhD, Professor

Timo Otonkoski, MD, PhD, Professor

Mikko Seppänen, MD, PhD

Juha Tapanainen, MD, PhD, Professor


    • Juha Kere

      MD, PhD, Professor, Group Leader

    • Tel:
      +46 73 421 3550

    • Contact
    • Outi Elomaa

      PhD, Docent, Administrative Group Leader

    • Tel:
      +358 50 448 5664

    • Contact