Cell Biology International Poster Prize winner
Kristiina did her undergraduate studies at the University of Oulu, Finland, majoring in genetics. After finishing a Masters of Science in 2007, she started her graduate studies at the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. She joined the group of Professor Juha Kere doing research in the genetics and molecular biology of complex diseases such as asthma, dyslexia and SLE. Her research focus is on the biological basis of developmental dyslexia; to understand the functions and regulation of the susceptibility genes linked to dyslexia, which is one of the most common childhood learning disabilities. The group have studied in detail the regulation of the first dyslexia candidate gene DYX1C1 through genetic variants in the promoter region and identified the transcription factors binding to those sites [FASEB J. (2008) Aug;22(8):3001-9]. They have also identified that the DYX1C1 is involved in the oestrogen receptor pathway by interacting with the oestrogen receptors, and regulation of their protein levels and activation [Hum. Mol. Genet. (2009) Aug 1;18(15):2802-12]. To date, Kristiina is using transcriptome profiling, global protein-protein interaction studies and live-cell imaging, and is identifying common regulators for all of the susceptibility factors to identify the biological pathways leading to dyslexia.