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Karolina Kauppi

Karolina Kauppi

Assistant professor

About me

My main research interest is to understand the genetic and biological mechanisms of cognitive aging, as well as aging and cognition in neuropsychiatric diseases. The ultimate goal with my research is to enable development of efficient therapeutics or treatments for cognitive impairments in both aging and disease. I conduct genetic studies of cognition, biological markers for diseases and aging, as well as brain function and structure, using longitudinal cohort studies. I also study the function of risk genes and relatedness between diseases in relation to biological gene networks in the human protein interaction.  

I hold a KI faculty funded career position as an assistant professor since 2019, and am affiliated to the Aging research group at MEB.

I also have a part-time affiliation to Umeå university and Umeå Center for Functional Brain Imaging.

Research description

The overall goal with my research is to reveal the biological mechanisms of cognition in normal aging and diseases with a strong cognitive component. 

My two main current lines of research projects concerns:

- The genetics of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) in normal aging. AD is a highly heritable progressive neurodegenerative disorder that increase dramatically with increased age. I study how genetic risk for AD is related to cognition, brain structure and function, and levels of biomarkers of AD before the onset of the disease. The aim is to improve our understanding of the functional role of disease genetics on underlying biological processes. 

- How genetics of Schizophrenia impact cognition, brain processes and aging-related phenotypes. Schizophrenia is a highly complex disease with high polygenicity, and clinical as well as genetic heterogeneity. I am using network based methods utilising information from the protein interactive to further reveal the biological link between schizophrenia and related traits, as well as to reveal potential genetic subgroups of the disease. 

I am also involved with projects concerning disease genetics in relation to other biological aging phenotypes such as telomere length and DNA methylation. 

 

Teaching portfolio

 

 

Education

PhD in physiology (on genetics, memory and brain functioning), Umeå University. 2013.

MSc in Biomedicine, Umeå University 2009. 

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