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Emma Raitoharju

Academy Research Fellow

About me

I have worked in Tampere University/University of Tamperen since 2008. Most of my career, icluding my PhD thesis I have doen in the study group of Clinical Chemistry, but in September 2021 I started acting as the PI of the research group of Molecular Epidemiology. In the start of my career I studied the genetics alterations, that predisposes individuals for atherosclerosis and myocardial infarctions. I continued my research with investigation of gene expression in the atherosclerotic plaque, but became soon focused in the associations between epigenetic profiles and cardiometabolic diseases. Most of my career I have worked with non-coding RNAs, especially miRNAs, and their profiling from human population samples. Form larger research question I am currenlty interested in Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) hypothesis and hopefully in the future I can also focus my researh on investigation of trangenerational inheritance of aquired traits through epigenetic mechanisms.

I work with population cohorts and utilize epidemiological approach in my research. For the last decade majority of my research has been conducted on the lognitudinal and multigenerational The Young Finns Study ( Although I have background in molecular biology, most of my work and the work of my study group is based on bioinformatics.

Research unit

Molecular Epidemiology

Research fields

Molecular biology, epigenetics, population studies, epidemiology, biostatistics


Academy of Finland, Competitive State Research Financing of the Expert Responsibility area of Tampere University Hospital , Yrjö Jahnnson Foundation, Laboratiolääketieteen kehittämissäätiö

Selected publications

1. Methylation status of nc886 epiallele reflects periconceptional conditions and is associated with glucose metabolism through nc886 RNAs. Marttila S, Viiri LE, Mishra PP, Kühnel B, Matias-Garcia PR, Lyytikäinen LP, Ceder T, Mononen N, Rathmann W, Winkelmann J, Peters A, Kähönen M, Hutri-Kähönen N, Juonala M, Aalto-Setälä K, Raitakari O, Lehtimäki T, Waldenberger M, Raitoharju E. Clin Epigenetics. 2021 Jul 22;13(1):143. doi: 10.1186/s13148-021-01132-3. IF=6.551

2. Human Prostate Tissue MicroRNAs and Their Predicted Target Pathways Linked to Prostate Cancer Risk Factors. Enwald M, Lehtimäki T, Mishra PP, Mononen N, Murtola TJ, Raitoharju E. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Jul 15;13(14):3537. doi: 10.3390/cancers13143537. IF=6.639

3. Adulthood blood levels of hsa-miR-29b-3p associate with preterm birth and adult metabolic and cognitive health. Marttila S, Rovio S, Mishra PP, Seppälä I, Lyytikäinen LP, Juonala M, Waldenberger M, Oksala N, Ala-Korpela M, Harville E, Hutri-Kähönen N, Kähönen M, Raitakari O, Lehtimäki T, Raitoharju E. Sci Rep. 2021 Apr 28;11(1):9203. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-88465-4. IF= 4.379

4. Whole blood microRNA levels associate with glycemic status and correlate with target mRNAs in pathways important to type 2 diabetes. Mononen N, Lyytikäinen LP, Seppälä I, Mishra PP, Juonala M, Waldenberger M, Klopp N, Illig T, Leiviskä J, Loo BM, Laaksonen R, Oksala N, Kähönen M, Hutri-Kähönen N, Raitakari O, Lehtimäki T, Raitoharju E. Sci Rep. 2019 Jun 20;9(1):8887. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-43793-4. IF = 4.259 

5. Blood hsa-miR-122-5p and hsa-miR-885-5p levels associate with fatty liver and related lipoprotein metabolism - The Young Finns Study. Raitoharju E, Seppälä I, Lyytikäinen L-P, Viikari J, Ala-Korpela M, Soininen P , Kangas AJ, Waldenberger M, Klopp N, Illig T, Leiviskä J, Loo B-M, Oksala N, Kähönen M, Hutri-Kähönen N, Laaksonen R, Raitakari O, Lehtimäki T. Sci Rep. 2017 Jan 27;7:41483. doi: 10.1038/srep41483. IF = 4.259 

6. Blood microRNA profile associates with the levels of serum lipids and metabolites associated with glucose metabolism and insulin resistance and pinpoints pathways underlying metabolic syndrome: The cardiovascular risk in Young Finns Study. Raitoharju E, Seppälä I, Oksala N, Lyytikäinen LP, Raitakari O, Viikari J, Ala-Korpela M, Soininen P, Kangas AJ, Waldenberger M, Klopp N, Illig T, Leiviskä J, Loo BM, Hutri-Kähönen N, Kähönen M, Laaksonen R, Lehtimäki T. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2014 Apr 28;391(1-2):41-49 IF = 3.754 

7. MicroRNAs in the Atheroclerotic Plaque. Raitoharju E, Oksala N, Lehtimäki T. Clin Chem. 2013 May 31. doi: 10.1373/clinchem.2013.204917. IF = 7.292

8. MicroRNA-616 and atherosclerosis--a commentary on the paper by Liu et al. Raitoharju E. Atherosclerosis. 2013 May;228(1):42-3. IF =4.239

9. A comparison of the accuracy of Illumina HumanHT-12 v3 Expression BeadChip and TaqMan qRT-PCR gene expression results in patient samples from the Tampere Vascular Study. Raitoharju E, Seppälä I, Lyytikäinen LP, Levula M, Oksala N, Klopp N, Illig T, Laaksonen R, Kähönen M, Lehtimäki T. Atherosclerosis. 2013 Jan;226(1):149-52. IF = 4.239 

10. miR-21, miR-210, miR-34a, and miR-146a/b are up-regulated in human atherosclerotic plaques in the Tampere Vascular Study. Raitoharju E, Lyytikäinen LP, Levula M, Oksala N, Mennander A, Tarkka M, Klopp N, Illig T, Kähönen M, Karhunen PJ, Laaksonen R, Lehtimäki T. Atherosclerosis. 2011 Nov;219(1):211-7. IF = 4.239