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Molecular Pathology and Genetics of Cancer´s Profile image

Molecular Pathology and Genetics of Cancer

Research group
01.01.2022 -
Institute of Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences

Steering Group

  • Veli-Matti Kosma, MD, PhD, Professor of Pathology, veli-matti.kosma(at)
  • Arto Mannermaa, PhD, Adjunct Professor, arto.mannermaa(at)
  • Ylermi Soini, MD, PhD, Professor of Pathology, ylermi.soini(at)
  • Reijo Sironen, Md, PhD, Senior Researcher, reijo.sironen(at)

Project overview

We have two major research entities employing researchers with varying expertise, laboratory personnel and administrative staff. We aim to study the etiology and pathogenesis of malignant diseases with a special emphasis on the histopathologic, molecular pathologic and genetic/genomic factors. Profound collaboration between several research groups at the UEF and Kuopio University Hospital (KUH) as well as with our national and international colleagues is vital for thriving achievements.

Research topics

  1. Cancer Genetics/Genomics and Epigenetics
    – Important common genetic variants that underlie breast cancer risk, and their effects on risk, individually and in combination
    – Interaction between genetic loci and known or suspected environmental/lifestyle risk factors
    – Association between genetic factors, environmental/lifestyle risk factors and cancer risk for certain tumour subtypes, and their effect on clinical outcome
    – Functional effects of candidate breast cancer risk and clinical outcome affecting genes and gene variants
    – Global histone modification patterns in ER-alpha + and – breast cancer and their effect on clinical outcome
    – Cell culture models of the data
  2. Interaction between cancer cell and tumour stroma
    – Regulation of epitheliomesenchymal transition (EMT) and its involvement in cancer spread and metastasis
    – Involvement of cancer associated fibroblasts and stem cells in tumor spread and involvement of endotheliomesenchymal transition in tumor progression
    – Regulation of mesenchymoepithelial transition (MET) at distant tumor sites
    – Impact of reactive oxygen species on tumor behaviour and the role of nrf2 and keap1 in tumorigenesis, therapy resistance and cancer risk
    – Mechanistic interactions between EMT, stemness, and oxidative mechanisms which we believe are highly connected

Research group

Jaana Hartikainen, Hanna Tuhkanen, Hanna Peltonen, Kaisa Nieminen, Maria Tengström, Mikko Pelkonen, Marie Tuomarila, Hermanni Ahonen, Anna Jouppila-Mättö, Timo Nykopp, Katri Uimonen

Laboratory personnel

Aija Parkkinen, Eija Myöhänen

Funding sources

Finnish Cancer Organisations, Competitive Research Funding of the Northern Savo Hospital District special state subsidy for health research (KUH EVO/VTR-funding), Academy of Finland, UEF strategic funding (Spear Head Projects) and others


Collaborations within the University:
– Collaborations in Kuopio have involved researchers from Medical Biochemistry, Oncology, Surgery, Radiology, Dermatology, Anatomy, Gynecology and Obstetrics, Clinical Microbiology, Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Section, Urology, Neurosurgery and AIV-Institute

National Collaborations:
– Researches from Oncology, Pathology, Cancer Genetics, Internal Medicine, pulmonary section and Institute of Dentistry, University of Oulu and Oulu University
– Hospital as well as researches from Biomedicum, University of Helsinki, Helsinki University Hospital and University of Turku and University of Tampere

International collaboration:
– Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC, including 71 research groups. The consortium is lead by Dr. Douglas Easton, Genetic Epidemiology Unit, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, UK
– University of Naples, Italy; Dr. Margarete Fischer-Bosch-Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Stuttgart, Germany
– Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
– The Medical University of Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
– COGS Breast Cancer Consortium and The Beijing Genome Institute, Shenzhen, China


  • Päivi Auvinen

  • Ritva Vanninen

  • Robert Winqvist

  • Pekka Neittaanmäki

  • Hiltrud Brauch

  • Sami Heikkinen

  • Jorma Palvimo

  • Doug Easton

  • Paul Pharoah