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Epi Seminar Series

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014
3:30 pm to 4:50 pm
Health Sciences K-069

"Smoking, genes and outcomes"


Jaakko Kaprio, MD, PhD

Professor of Genetic Epidemiology
Department of Public Health
University of Helsinki


Smoking has been associated with multiple health outcomes and traits. While the causal nature of the association has been definitely demonstrated for many outcomes, other associations may be due to confounding. To address unknown or unmeasurable confounders, the study of twin pairs discordant for smoking can be informative. The talk will describe ongoing work by Dr. Kaprio on the relationship of smoking with lung cancer risk in the Nordic Twin Cancer project (with >130, 000 twins), and of smoking with suicides and future income using the older Finnish Twin Cohort (16000 pairs) with follow-up from 1975 onwards.

About the Speaker:

Jaakko Kaprio, M.D., Ph.D. is Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at the University of Helsinki, Finland and Research Professor in Behavioral Genetics at the National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki since 2001. In 2012, he was appointed to a coveted Academy of Finland research professorship for 2013-2017. He has over 800 original scientific publications.  He was Director of the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in Complex Disease Genetics (2007-2011).

Dr. Kaprio has worked in epidemiology, in particular genetic epidemiology. His central interests have been in the study of adult chronic disease and the development of their behavioral risk factors with a focus on substance use and addictions. In particular genetic and environmental factors affecting smoking, and nicotine dependence have been studied using twin, family and molecular genetic approaches.  He has worked with the Finnish Cohort studies since 1976, and with other population-based samples in Finland and has engaged in extensive international collaborations, with researchers in the USA, Europe and globally.  He is currently an associate editor for Nicotine and Tobacco Research, and Addiction and serves on the editorial board of five other journals.  He was President of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco European chapter in 2011-2012.and organized the SRNT-E in Helsinki in 2012.  He is attending the SRNT Annual Meeting in Seattle in February 2014.  He has also served as President of the International Society for Twin Studies.  


van Dongen J, Slagboom PE, Draisma HH, Martin NG, Boomsma DI. The continuing value of twin studies in the omics era. Nat Rev Genet. 2012 Sep;13(9):640-53.doi: 10.1038/nrg3243. Epub 2012 Jul 31. Review. PubMed PMID: 22847273.

Updated on December 31, 2013