Dr Ville-Petteri Mäkinen

Helsinki University of Technology

Dr Ville-Petteri Mäkinen received his Doctor of Science degree in 2010 from Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland. In his thesis, Dr Mäkinen investigated the complication burden in type 1 diabetes, and especially the metabolic characteristics of patients with diabetic kidney disease. He developed a method to statistically estimate the robustness of complex human phenotypes, helped develop a high-throughut NMR metabolomics platform, and applied both to a large nation-wide collection of patients with diabetes. During the course of his work, Dr Mäkinen demonstrated the detrimental effects of the metabolic syndrome phenotype on type 1 diabetes management (the metabolic syndrome is traditionally associated with the more common, obesity-related type 2 diabetes). Recently, Dr Mäkinen studied integrative genomics in Prof Xia Yang's group in University of California, Los Angeles with special focus on the causal genetic perturbations of gene regulatory networks that predispose to coronary artery disease. He is also an Honorary Research Associate of Imperial College London, a Postdoc Fellow of the American Heart Association and, starting from 2014, EMBL Australia Group Leader within the Heart Health theme in the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute in Adelaide.

Metabolic phenotypes of common complex diseases

Diabetes, kidney disease and atherosclerosis often co-occur and interact in vulnerable individuals. By screening a large number of metabolites and other molecular traits, it is possible to investigate the emergent metabolic phenotypes that predict future clinical end-points, and thus better understand the combined genetic and environmental factors involved.