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).
2015 – PhD in Psychology (summa cum laude), University of Tartu, Estonia
2008 – MA in Psychology, University of Tartu, Estonia
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)
Hans and Loo Ostermans Foundation for Medical Research, Tore Nilsons Stiftelse, KI Research Foundation.
- Genetic risk for neuroticism predicts emotional health depending on childhood adversity.
Psychol Med 2019 Jan;49(2):260-267
- 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.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome, personality, and depression: A twin study.
Psychoneuroendocrinology 2017 Nov;85():63-68
- BDNF Val66Met genotype and neuroticism predict life stress: A longitudinal study from childhood to adulthood.
Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 2016 Mar;26(3):562-9
- Effect of tryptophan hydroxylase-2 gene polymorphism G-703 T on personality in a population representative sample.
Prog. Neuropsychopharmacol. Biol. Psychiatry 2015 Mar;57():31-5
- The 5-HTTLPR genotype and depressiveness link: contribution of aspects of environment and gender.
Psychiatry Res 2013 Aug;209(1):126-7
- Effect of COMT Val158Met polymorphism on personality traits and educational attainment in a longitudinal population representative study.
Eur. Psychiatry 2013 Oct;28(8):492-8
- Effects of serotonin transporter promoter and BDNF Val66Met genotype on personality traits in a population representative sample of adolescents.
Psychiatr. Genet. 2011 Oct;21(5):261-4
- Food restriction leads to binge eating dependent upon the effect of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor Val66Met polymorphism.
Psychiatry Res 2011 Jan;185(1-2):39-43
- ADIPOQ SNP45 associated with lean body mass in physically active normal weight adolescent girls.
Am. J. Hum. Biol. ;22(6):813-8
Nobels väg 12A