University of Eastern Finland

The University of Eastern Finland (UEF) has approximately 15,500 students and 2,500 members of staff and is one of the largest universities in Finland. Its profile areas are ageing, lifestyles and health, environmental change and sustainable use of natural resources, diversifying learning and interaction and cultural encounters, mobilities and borders. The university has extensive international relations and it is involved in several international networks. UEF’s Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition focuses on food and health, clinical nutrition, lifestyles and living environments, occupational health, ageing and health care services.

Role in LongITools

The UEF team is involved in research activities in work packages 4, 5 and 6 and is working on two main aims:

  • to investigate lifestyle and food related environmental exposures on health and the risk of disease in children and adults using intervention studies;
  • to conduct metabolomics analysis on blood samples from birth cohorts. 

Intervention studies included in LongITools:

  • Panic-study: Physical Activity and Nutrition in Children;
  • Elipa-study: Food for weight maintenance;
  • Fibrefects-study: Grain fibre modification for gut-mediated health effects;
  • Sysdimet-study: Systems biology approach to understand dietary modulation of gene expression and metabolic pathways in subjects with abnormal glucose metabolism.

Professor Marjukka Kolehmainen

Principal Investigator (PI)

Marjukka is Professor in Food and Health at UEF. Her expertise is within nutrition and the health effects of food and food components. Her main scientific interest has been in the effects of whole grain cereals and berries from the molecular level to whole body physiology, especially their effect on inflammation, and more recently on gut microbiota and gut barrier function. Recently Marjukka coordinated the Nordic collaboration of Nordic Centre of Excellence project SYSDIET and a large Finnish multicentre clinical intervention to study mental stress. Her role in LongITools is to study lifestyle and food related environmental exposures on the health and risk of disease in adults, using intervention studies integrating data from several levels of physiology, from molecules to metabolites.


Professor Kati Hanhineva


Kati is Research Director and Group Leader of the food and nutritional metabolomics team at UEF, and also Professor of Food Development at the University of Turku. Her main research focus is within the biochemistry of foods, molecular level understanding of the role of nutrition in maintaining good health, and food-microbiota interaction. The key analytical technology at the different stages of research is the mass-spectrometry based metabolic profiling that she has developed and utilised for various food and nutrition related applications. Her role in LongITools is to lead the LC-MS metabolomics analytics and supervise the researchers participating in the metabolomics related tasks at UEF.


Professor Timo Lakka

Research Team

Timo is Professor of Medical Physiology. His main scientific interest is in risk factors and pathophysiological mechanisms for obesity, type 2 diabetes, and atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases during childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Timo is a PI of a long-term physical activity and dietary intervention in children investigating these mechanisms in school children and adolescents. Timo’s role within LongITools is to study lifestyle related environmental exposures on health and risk of disease in children and adolescents using the Panic-intervention.


Dr Otto Savolainen

Research Team

Otto is a senior scientist at UEF and he is also leading the Chalmers Mass Spectrometry Infrastructure at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. His research focus is on bioanalytical method development and different OMICs technologies as well as their application in different research questions related to human health and nutrition. He is an expert in hyphenated mass spectrometric techniques and has over 10 years’ experience in different chromatographic and mass spectrometry applications and, via his research, is committed to promoting good health through a healthy lifestyle and good food.