Tuuli Lappalainen, the Director of the National Genomics Infrastructure at SciLifeLab and Professor in genomics at KTH, recently received the Göran Gustafsson award for her research on the impact of genetic differences on gene expression regulation.
Tuuli Lappalainen’s research group is investigating the role of genes and the environment in shaping human diversity. Small differences in our DNA and human genome can influence our risk of developing certain diseases and affect other traits. To understand this better, the team is gathering large amounts of data on gene expression and the entire genome from tissue samples.
“We want to try to understand the genetic makeup that underlies human diversity, why we all differ from each other. This naturally includes the risk of getting diseases but also plays a role in other human traits,” says Tuuli Lappalainen in a pressrelease.
They are also using CRISPR technology to precisely alter the genetic makeup of human cells grown in the lab. Combining these two approaches, the team hopes to uncover new insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying human diversity. “Both methods have advantages and disadvantages, but we believe very much in combining the two,” she says.
Photo of Tuuli Lappalainen: Christian Lönnholm