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Kelli Lehto

Kelli Lehto

Affiliated to research

About me

I am an early career researcher in genetic epidemiology with a focus on psychiatry. I investigate genetic and psychological risk factors for psychiatric problems (primarily depression, anxiety, stress-related disorders) and the contribution of psychiatric risk factors to somatic health and disease across the lifespan. My research joins genetic, epigenetic and life course approaches using population-based samples with available genetic data (e.g. Swedish Twin Register, UK Biobank).  

Research description

My current projects are focused on:

  • Determining why some individuals develop mental and somatic health problems after serious psychological trauma, but others are resilient. I am joining genomics methods (e.g. polygenic risk scores and genetic correlations) with objective indicators of psychological trauma (e.g. childhood adoption, bereavement) to investigate this question.
  • Investigating genetic relationships between psychiatric disorders and somatic health (e.g. asthma, cumulative health decline in older populations) to understand better the underlying shared genetic risk factors behind the high co-morbidity of various mental and somatic health problems.

Supervision of students

Hilda Daníelsdóttir, Masters in Public Health, KI, 2018 (main supervisor)

Victor Dahlström, Degree project in Medicine, KI, 2018 (co-supervisor)

Vanja Zenlander, Undergraduate project in Medical program, KI, 2017 (main supervisor)

Robert de Meijere, Degree project in Medicine, KI, 2017 (co-supervisor)

Funders

Hans and Loo Ostermans Foundation for Medical Research, Tore Nilsons Stiftelse, KI Research Foundation.

Publications

  • [pubmed:29576022]
  • Lehto K, Karlsson IK, Lundholm C, Pedersen NL. Early life stress and genetic risk for neuroticism predicting health outcomes in older Swedish twins. Behavior Genetics 2017;47(6):669-669.
  • [pubmed:28825976]
  • [pubmed:26738427]
  • [pubmed:25455586]
  • [pubmed:23856319]
  • [pubmed:23928267]
  • [pubmed:21206400]
  • [pubmed:20537407]
  • [pubmed:20878967]

Education

2015 – PhD in Psychology (summa cum laude), University of Tartu, Estonia 2008 – MA in Psychology, University of Tartu, Estonia  

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