Irma Järvelä


Information om forskning och undervisning

Research projects

The research group works in close collaboration with experts in bioinformatics, music education and in clinical research to identify genetic variants underlying traits affecting both normal and abnormal brain development.

I Biological basis of musical aptitude

The project represent an interdisciplinary project where the modern methods of molecular and statistical genetics, bioinformatics and music education are combined to elucidate the cross-talk between genes and cultural inheritance in music perception and production. The study represents a pioneer work at international level in aiming to understand the evolution of human cognitive functions in music.

II Molecular genetics of intellectual disability

Intellectual disability (IQ<70) is present in 2-3% of the populations. Genetic factors are responsible for 50 % of severe mental retardation. We use exome sequencing to identify novel genes and mutations in Finnish families with ID of unknown cause. Several mutations have been identified to date.

Members of the group

Chakravarthi Kanduri, MSc

Preethy Nair, DVet, MSc

Jaana Oikkonen, MSc

Anju Philips, MSc

Laboratory: Department of Medical Genetics
Office: Room B311b
Tel: 050 544 7030 mobile
Tel: 02941 25506 laboratory


Intellectual disability:

MD Tuomo Määttä, Disability Services, Joint Authority for Kainuu, Kajaani

Professor James Lupski, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas

Professor Suzanne McLeal, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas

PhD Isabelle Schrauwen, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas

Professor Jozef Gecz, Adelaide Children’s hospital, Adelaide

Professor Hans van Bokhoven, Department of Human Genetics, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen

MD PhD Elisa Rahikkala, Department of Clinical Genetics, PEDEGO Research Unit and Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu

Docent Raija Vanhala, Helsinki university hospital

Professor Maria Arvio, Turku and Oulu University

MD PhD Kristiina Avela, Helsinki University Hospital

Docent Teppo Varilo, The Department of Medical genetics, University of Helsinki


Professor Tuire Kuusi, Helsinki University of Arts

MuD Pirre Raijas, Joensuu Conservatoire

Professor (emer) Kai Karma, Helsinki University of Arts





The Academy of Finland

Biomedicum Helsinki Foundation

The Finnish Medical Society (Finska Läkaresällskapet)


List of five recent publications profiling research activities of the group

group Philips AK, Siren A, Avela K, Doagu F, Ahvenainen M, Arvio M, Somer M, Kääriainen H,  van Esch H, Haas S, Hu H, Froyen G, Kalscheuer V, Järvelä I. X-Exome sequencing in Finnish families with  intellectual disability ? Five novel mutations and two syndromic phenotypes found. Orphanet J Rare Dis 9:49, 2014


Oikkonen J, Huang Y, Onkamo P, Ukkola-Vuoti L, Raijas P, Karma K, Vieland VJ, Järvelä I. A genome-wide linkage and association study of musical aptitude identifies genetic variants related to inner ear development and neurocognitive functions. Mol Psychiatry 2014 Mar 11. doi: 10.1038/mp.2014.8. [Epub ahead of print].


Hautamäki A, Kivioja J, Seitsonen S,  Savolainen ER, Liinamaa MJ, Luoma A, Järvelä I, Immonen I. The IL-8, VEGF and CFH Polymorphisms and Bevacizumab in Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Ophthalmology 121(4):973-974.e2, 2014.


Kanduri C, Ukkola-Vuoti L, Oikkonen J, Buck G, Blancher C, Raijas P,  Karma K, Lähdesmäki H, Järvelä I. The genome wide landscape of copy  number variations in the MUSGEN study provides evidence for a founder  effect in the isolated Finnish population. Eur J Hum Genet 2013, Apr  17. [Epub ahead of print].


Ukkola-Vuoti L, Kanduri C, Oikkonen J, Buck G, Blancher C, Raijas P,  Karma K, Lähdesmäki H, Järvelä I. Genome wide copy number variation  analysis in extended families and unrelated individuals characterized  for musical aptitude and creativity in music. PLoS ONE 8(2): e56356, 2013


Possible URL address to lab's home page or/and EU/other project project

Mera information om affiliationresponsible for teaching of medical genetics at the faculty of medicine

Ett urval av publikationer

  1. The effect of music performance on the transcriptome of professional musicians

    Kanduri, C., Kuusi, T., Ahvenainen, M., Philips, A. K., Lahdesmaki, H. & Jarvela, I., 25 mar 2015, I : Scientific Reports. 5, 7 s., 9506.

    Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review

  2. A genome-wide linkage and association study of musical aptitude identifies loci containing genes related to inner ear development and neurocognitive functions

    Oikkonen, J., Huang, Y., Onkamo, P., Ukkola-Vuoti, L., Raijas, P., Karma, K., Vieland, V. J. & Jarvela, I., feb 2015, I : Molecular Psychiatry. 20, 2, s. 275-282 8 s.

    Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review

  3. The effect of listening to music on human transcriptome

    Kanduri, C., Raijas, P., Ahvenainen, M., Philips, A. K., Ukkola-Vuoti, L., Lahdesmaki, H. & Jarvela, I., 12 mar 2015, I : PeerJ. 3, 17 s., 830.

    Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review

  4. Creative Activities in Music - A Genome-Wide Linkage Analysis

    Oikkonen, J., Kuusi, T., Peltonen, P., Raijas, P., Ukkola-Vuoti, L., Karma, K., Onkamo, P. & Jarvela, I., 24 feb 2016, I : PLoS One. 11, 2, 21 s., 0148679.

    Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review

  5. Detecting signatures of positive selection associated with musical aptitude in the human genome

    Liu, X., Kanduri, C., Oikkonen, J., Karma, K., Raijas, P., Ukkola-Vuoti, L., Teo, Y-Y. & Jarvela, I., 16 feb 2016, I : Scientific Reports. 6, 9 s., 21198.

    Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review

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Senaste aktiviteter

  1. The most common genetic diseases in primary health care

    Irma Järvelä (!!Speaker)
    27 sep 2018

    Aktivitet: Typer för tal eller presentation!!Oral presentation

  2. Kokemusasiantuntijuus - olennainen osa harvinaisiin sairauksiin liittyvää opetusta

    Irma Järvelä (Deltagare)
    4 sep 2018

    Aktivitet: Andra aktivitetstyperTyper av övriga aktiviteter - Extern undervisning och koordinering av ämne

  3. Helsingin Sanomat / Autismin perinnöllisyys

    Irma Järvelä (!!Advisor)
    12 jul 2018

    Aktivitet: Konsulttyper!!Consultancy

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Senaste pris

  1. The Docent of the Year 2018, University of Helsinki

    Irma Järvelä (!!Recipient), 21 mar 2018

    Pris: Pris och hedersbetygelser

  2. Helsinki university, international evaluation of research and teaching

    Irma Järvelä (!!Recipient) & Kaija-Leena Kolho (!!Recipient), 2012

    Pris: Pris och hedersbetygelser

  3. Helsingin Liike- ja Virkanaisten yhdistys

    Irma Järvelä (!!Recipient), 31 okt 1991

    Pris: Pris och hedersbetygelser

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Senaste projekt

  1. Musikaalisuuden biologisen perustan tutkimus

    Järvelä, I., Oikkonen, J. & Ukkola-Vuoti, L.

    Unknown funder


    Projekt: Forskningsprojekt

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