• Arvo (3rd floor), Arvo Ylpön katu 34, 33520 Tampere, Finland

Kirsi Pietiläinen





The goal of Professor Kirsi Pietiläinen's obesity research is to pinpoint how alterations in mitochondrial machinery lead to diseases that are caused by the direct consequence of excess energy intake and lack of physical activity.

Clinical studies

KP’s group uses an ambitious set of modern clinical, systems- and molecular methods to study mitochondrial function in adipose tissue and muscle in

- obesity-discordant monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins
- obese subjects undergoing weight loss treatment.

Systems biology (genomics, transcriptomics, epigenomics, metabolomics, lipidomics and microbiome) data from the clinical samples is applied for further studies by cell culture and molecular methods, and state-of-the-art imaging techniques.


The KP group has collected a unique sample of obesity-discordant twins - the most powerful, natural human experiment in which the obese and lean groups are matched for genes (fully in MZ pairs, partially in DZ pairs), sex, age, and many enviromental factors such as the family and in-utero exposures. 

The other study design used by the KP group, experiments before and after weight loss also allow full matching for the genotype, sex, and age between the obese and leaner state. The KP group aims to identify promising novel biological pathways and biomarkers of the early disturbances of obesity and their genetic and environmental contributions. The studies combine an ambitious set of clinical methodology with modern systems biology (genomics, transcriptomics, epigenomics, metabolomics, lipidomics, microbiome) and molecular methods.

Featuring findings from KP’s group and her collaborators here.

Contact information

Kirsi Pietiläinen, Professor, MD, PhD, PSc in Nutrition
Diabetes and Obesity Research Program
P.O.Box 63, Haartmaninkatu 8
FI-00014 University of Helsinki
Tel. +358 50 599 2295
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