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Tampere University’s coeliac disease researchers are the most prolific publishers in the world

Published on 18.12.2019
Tampere University
professorit Katri Kaukinen ja Markku MäkiTampereen yliopiston professori emeritus Markku Mäki on maailman tuotteliain keliakiatutkija. Professori Katri Kaukinen on tuoreen tutkimuksen mukaan julkaissut toiseksi eniten keliakiaa koskevia tieteellisiä artikkeleita.
An international study examining the development of publications in the field quotes the active coeliac disease (CD) research at Tampere University. The study analysed all scientific publications on CD published between 1980 and 2018 by bibliometric methods.

The study shows that the most frequent publisher is Tampere University’s Professor Emeritus Markku Mäki with 216 publications. The second highest number of articles, 152, was produced by Professor Katri Kaukinen, Mäki’s successor in the field at Tampere University. The fifth is Professor Pekka Collin from Tampere University Hospital who has published 131 articles.

After the top two researchers from Tampere comes Director Peter H R Green from the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University, New York, with 148 publications. Professor Jonas Ludvigsson at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, has published 147 articles making him the fourth most productive author.

Tampere University produced the highest total number of articles on CD research followed by Tampere University Hospital. The next most active universities were the University of Naples Federico II in Italy, Columbia University, the University of London, and Karolinska Institutet.

The highly esteemed British Lancet Gastroenterology&Hepatology journal recently published a news article titled “Country Focus. Coeliac disease in Finland: what can we learn?” The editors had found that Markku Mäki’s study on CD medication the journal published in September 2019 was based on research conducted entirely in Finland, and began to investigate why Finland is a pioneer in CD research.

According to the news article, less severe forms of CD started to become more prevalent in Finland in the 1970s. At the start of the 1980s, primary-care physicians were briefed about coeliac disease and allowed to order blood tests, which meant that the number of diagnoses grew. However, there are also other so far unknown causes for the disease.

The news mentions that around 2 % of Finnish adults are thought to have CD, which is one of the highest prevalances in the world, possibly even the highest. Mäki notes in the interview that since the 1960s, Finland has been in the forefront of clinical research in CD and in creating diagnostic criteria.

At Tampere University, research on CD started in the 1970s. Its leading figure since the start of the 1990s was Professor of Paediatrics Markku Mäki who started the CD research group. Mäki has especially investigated the diagnostics, prevalence and causes of CD and developed a rapid diagnostic test. Mäki retired in 2015, but he is still actively involved in international drug trials, among other things.

Tampere University’s Celiac Disease Research Center was established in 2016 and Professor of Internal Medicine Katri Kaukinen leads it. The goal of the centre is to increase understanding on gluten-induced diseases. Research on CD at Tampere University is unique because it covers the entire lifespan and does not concentrate on one age group only. The research has five focus areas: CD in adults, dermatitis herpetiformis or skin CD, CD in children, and the immunobiology and genetics of the disease. The last-mentioned two fields are basic research, which analyses the mechanisms behind the disease.


Demir E & Comba A: The evolution of celiac disease publications: a holistic approach with bibliometric analysis. Irish Journal of Medical Science, 2019.

Talha Khan Burki: Country Focus: Coeliac disease in Finland: What can we learn? Lancet Gastroenterology&Hepatology 2019



Professor Emeritus markku.maki [at]

Professor Katri Kaukinen, katri.kaukinen [at]