Prof Aarno Palotie
Former Group Leader at the Wellcome Sanger Institute
Professor Aarno Palotie was a Group Leader at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, researching genetic traits affecting the Central Nervous System.
This person is a member of Sanger Institute Alumni.
From 2007 to 2013 Aarno was a senior Group Leader at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, UK. Since 2013 he splits his time between the Finnish Institute for Molecular Medicine (FIMM) in Helsinki, The Broad Institute and MGH in Boston.
This page is being maintained as a historical record of Aarno’s research at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, but is no longer being updated.
Professor Aarno Palotie is faculty member at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the Massachusetts General Hospital, Center for Human Genetic Research in Boston MA and is the Research Director of the Human Genomics Program at the Institute for Molecular Medicine, FIMM in Helsinki, Finland. He investigates the genetic predisposition of traits affecting the Central Nervous System, particularly migraine, epilepsy, schizophrenia and autism.
Aarno earned his MD and PhD degrees at the University Of Oulu, Finland. He served his residency in laboratory medicine and earned his speciality in Clinical Chemistry (Clinical pathology) at the University of Helsinki.
After his residency he founded and ran the diagnostic laboratory for molecular genetics at the Helsinki University Hospital and was Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Helsinki. From 1998 to 2002 he was Professor of Pathology at the University Of California School Of Medicine, Los Angeles. From 2002 to 2008 he was Director of the Finnish Genome Center, an independent institute at the University of Helsinki. Since 2004 he has been a visiting Professor at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. He also holds a position at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) in Helsinki. From 2007 to 2013 Aarno was a senior Group Leader at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, UK. Since 2013 he splits his time between the Finnish Institute for Molecular Medicine (FIMM) in Helsinki, The Broad Institute and MGH in Boston.
Aarno has a long history of research exploring the genetics of Mendelian and complex traits. This has included locus and variant identification in monogenic diseases belonging to the Finnish disease heritage and linkage and association studies in complex traits. Linked to his clinical specialty and clinical duties, Aarno has a history in developing and applying new techniques for molecular diagnostics, mutation detection, physical mapping and tissue arrays.
At the Institute, Aarno’s group studied the genetic predisposition of traits affecting the Central Nervous System: migraine, epilepsy, schizophrenia and autism. His work was based on using large, well-characterised special populations and family samples. The wealth of multiple large sample sets these samples provided allowed the group to use different study designs for genome variant identification, verification and effect size estimation. In collaboration with several international groups, including the International Headache Genetics Consortium, Aarno’s group used data from genome-wide association studies to identify the first robust variant associated with common forms of migraine.
Aarno is the co-chair of the neurodevelopmental arm of the UK10K project, which aims to sequence the exomes of 3000 schizophrenia and autism cases.