Hannes Lohi


Description of research and teaching

Our research is focused on the development of canine models of human complex diseases. Our novel approach takes advantage of an experiment initiated by man 15,000 years ago, taming of the wolf and, more recently, generating 400 strictly inbred pure dog breeds.  Canine purebreeding has resulted in highly uniform genomes within each breed, in which the “noise” of background genetic variation is reduced making it easier to detect genetic “signals” that contribute to disease.  That alone would not be very helpful without the fact that several of the essential components of most disease phenotypes can be found and measured in dogs. Dog is a large animal and clinically and physiologically close to human than typical laboratory rodent models. Dogs develop biologically analogous, if not homologous, conditions to human genetic disorders. Canine disorders usually respond to human medications and also other clinical and phenomenological studies suggest that these traits may share biological mechanisms across species. We aim to utilize this unique genetic system to identify new genes for morphology, behavior and various disorders.  Towards our aims, we have established one of the largest Dog DNA Banks in the world with ~60 000 samples from 330 different breeds.

Although we work with many genetic traits in dogs, our research focuses on neurological and neurobehavioral conditions such as common epilepsy and anxiety.  We have already mapped several new loci and genes in these disorders and believe that the natural canine models provide clinically and physiologically relevant models to corresponding human diseases. Comparison of the identified loci, genes and pathways across species will establish dogs as novel therapeutic models to understand the molecular pathogenesis of these complex traits. Meanwhile, breeders will benefit from the new DNA markers developed to identify the carriers for improved breeding plans. Dr Lohi has successfully developed the first advanced gene panel test for dogs, MyDogDNA test (www.mydogdna.com), as an efficient tool for veterinaary diagnostics and breeding programs through his partially owned private company, Genoscoper  Ltd).

More on our research:



Further information on the affiliationResearch Programs Unit, Molecular Neurology, Faculty of Medicine; Department of Veterinary Biosciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

Highlighted publications

  1. Genetic Panel Screening of Nearly 100 Mutations Reveals New Insights into the Breed Distribution of Risk Variants for Canine Hereditary Disorders

    Donner, J., Kaukonen, M., Anderson, H., Moller, F., Kyostila, K., Sankari, S., Hytonen, M., Giger, U. & Lohi, H. 15 Aug 2016 In : PLoS One. 11, 8, 18 p., 0161005

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Molecular Characterization of Three Canine Models of Human Rare Bone Diseases: Caffey, van den Ende-Gupta, and Raine Syndromes

    Hytönen, M. K., Arumilli, M., Lappalainen, A. K., Owczarek-Lipska, M., Jagannathan, V., Hundi, S., Salmela, E., Venta, P., Sarkiala, E., Jokinen, T., Gorgas, D., Kere, J., Nieminen, P., Drögemüller, C. & Lohi, H. 17 May 2016 In : PLoS Genetics. 12, 5, 20 p., e1006037

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. A Missense Change in the ATG4D Gene Links Aberrant Autophagy to a Neurodegenerative Vacuolar Storage Disease

    Kyostila, K., Syrja, P., Jagannathan, V., Chandrasekar, G., Jokinen, T. S., Seppala, E. H., Becker, D., Drogemuller, M., Dietschi, E., Drogemuller, C., Lang, J., Steffen, F., Rohdin, C., Jaderlund, K. H., Lappalainen, A. K., Hahn, K., Wohlsein, P., Baumgartner, W., Henke, D., Oevermann, A., Kere, J., Lohi, H. & Leeb, T. Apr 2015 In : PLoS Genetics. 11, 4, 22 p., 1005169

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Identification of a common risk haplotype for canine idiopathic epilepsy in the ADAM23 gene

    Koskinen, L. L. E., Seppälä, E. H., Belanger, J. M., Arumilli, M., Hakosalo, O., Jokinen, P., Nevalainen, E. M., Viitmaa, R., Jokinen, T. S., Oberbauer, A. M. & Lohi, H. 2015 In : BMC Genomics. 16, 10 p., 465

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Multiple Changes of Gene Expression and Function Reveal Genomic and Phenotypic Complexity in SLE-like Disease

    Wilbe, M., Kozyrev, S. V., Farias, F. H. G., Bremer, H. D., Hedlund, A., Pielberg, G. R., Seppala, E. H., Gustafson, U., Lohi, H., Carlborg, O., Andersson, G., Hansson-Hamlin, H. & Lindblad-Toh, K. Jun 2015 In : PLoS Genetics. 11, 6, 27 p., 1005248

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  6. A SEL1L Mutation Links a Canine Progressive Early-Onset Cerebellar Ataxia to the Endoplasmic Reticulum-Associated Protein Degradation (ERAD) Machinery

    Kyöstilä, K., Cizinauskas, S., Seppälä, E., Suhonen, E., Jeserevics, J., Sukura, A., Syrjä, P. E. S. & Lohi, H. 2012 In : PLoS Genetics. 8, p. e1002759 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  7. Novel origins of copy number variation in the dog genome.

    Berglund, J., Nevalainen, E., Molin, A. M., Perloski, M., LUPA consortium, Andre, C., Zody, M. C., Sharpe, T., Hitte, C., Lindblad-Toh, K., Lohi, H. T. & Webster, M. 2012 In : Genome Biology. 13, 8, p. R73 41 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  8. Identification of Genomic Regions Associated with Phenotypic Variation between Dog Breeds using Selection Mapping

    Vaysse, A., Ratnakumar, A., Derrien, T., Axelsson, E., Pielberg, G. R., Sigurdsson, S., Fall, T., Seppala, E. H., Hansen, M. S. T., Lawley, C. T., Karlsson, E. K., Bannasch, D., Vila, C., Lohi, H., Galibert, F., Fredholm, M., Haggstrom, J., Hedhammar, A., Andre, C., Lindblad-Toh, K., Hitte, C., Webster, M. T. & LUPA Consortium 2011 In : PLoS Genetics. 7, 10, p. e1002316 21 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  9. Variation in Genes Related to Cochlear Biology Is Strongly Associated with Adult-Onset Deafness in Border Collies

    Yokoyama, J. S., Lam, E. T., Ruhe, A. L., Erdman, C. A., Robertson, K. R., Webb, A. A., Williams, D. C., Chang, M. L., Hytönen, M. K., Lohi, H., Hamilton, S. P. & Neff, M. W. 1 Sep 2012 In : PLoS Genetics. 8, 9, p. e1002898 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  10. LGI2 Truncation Causes a Remitting Focal Epilepsy in Dogs

    Seppälä, E. H., Jokinen, T. S., Fukata, M., Fukata, Y., Webster, M. T., Karlsson, E. K., Kilpinen, S. K., Steffen, F., Dietschi, E., Leeb, T., Eklund, R., Zhao, X., Rilstone, J. J., Lindblad-Toh, K., Minassian, B. A. & Lohi, H. 2011 In : PLoS Genetics. 7, 7, p. e1002194 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  11. A mutation in hairless dogs implicates FOXI3 in ectodermal development

    Drögemuller, C., Karlsson, E. K., Hytönen, M. K., Perloski, M., Dolf, G., Sainio, K., Lohi, H., Lindblad-Toh, K. & Leeb, T. 2008 In : Science. 321, 5895, p. 1462 1 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  12. Genome-wide association mapping identifies multiple loci for a canine SLE-related disease complex

    Wilbe, M., Jokinen, P., Truve, K., Seppälä, E. H., Karlsson, E. K., Biagi, T., Hughes, A., Bannasch, D., Andersson, G., Hansson-Hamlin, H., Lohi, H. & Lindblad-Toh, K. 2010 In : Nature Genetics. 42, 3, p. 250-254

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  13. Expanded repeat in canine epilepsy

    Lohi, H., Young, E. J., Fitzmaurice, S. N., Rusbridge, C., Chan, E. M., Vervoort, M., Turnbull, J., Zhao, X. C., Ianzano, L., Paterson, A. D., Sutter, N. B., Ostrander, E. A., Andre, C., Shelton, G. D., Ackerley, C. A., Scherer, S. W. & Minassian, B. A. 2005 In : Science. 307, p. 81-81 1 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Latest activities

  1. Terveydeksi: Koira tieteen palveluksessa

    Lohi, H. (Speaker)
    27 Oct 2017

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

  2. Chair: Session 3: Neurology

    Lohi, H. (Speaker)
    20 May 201724 May 2017

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

  3. Canine disease genetics

    Lohi, H. (Speaker)
    7 Dec 20169 Dec 2016

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

View all (71) »

Highlighted prizes

  1. Helsingin kaupungin tiedepalkinto 2013

    Hannes Lohi (Recipient), 6 Jun 2013

    Prize: Prizes and awards

View all (2) »

Latest projects

  1. The effect of pressure vest on noise phobic dogs in a double-blinded experiment

    Pekkin, A., Hänninen, L., Koskela, A., Tiira, K., Pöytäkangas, M., Lohi, H. & Valros, A.

    Unknown funder


    Project: Research project

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