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About me

I am a postdoc at the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics. I joined Prof. Nancy Pedersen’s group in the beginning of 2016 to work on multiple longitudinal twin studies of aging.  My main research interests are involving gene-environment interplays behind personality and psychiatric problems across the lifespan.


2015 – PhD in Psychology (summa cum laude), University of Tartu, Estonia
2008 – MA in Psychology, University of Tartu, Estonia
2006 – BA in Psychology, University of Tartu, Estonia

Research description

My current projects are focused on incorporating life stress measurements and polygenic risk scores to investigate the development of stress sensitivity, and predicting mental and physical health in older twins.  


BDNF Val66Met genotype and neuroticism predict life stress: A longitudinal study from childhood to adulthood.
Lehto K, Mäestu J, Kiive E, Veidebaum T, Harro J
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.
Lehto K, Vaht M, Mäestu J, Veidebaum T, Harro J
Prog. Neuropsychopharmacol. Biol. Psychiatry 2015 Mar;57():31-5

The 5-HTTLPR genotype and depressiveness link: contribution of aspects of environment and gender.
Kurrikoff T, Hiio K, Täht K, Harro J, Veidebaum T
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.
Lehto K, Akkermann K, Parik J, Veidebaum T, Harro J
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.
Hiio K, Merenäkk L, Nordquist N, Parik J, Oreland L, Veidebaum T, et al
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.
Akkermann K, Hiio K, Villa I, Harro J
Psychiatry Res 2011 Jan;185(1-2):39-43

ADIPOQ SNP45 associated with lean body mass in physically active normal weight adolescent girls.
Passariello C, Gruodytė R, Hiio K, Mäestu J, Jürimäe J, Saar M, et al
Am. J. Hum. Biol. ;22(6):813-8