Reseach of the Chair of the Human Genetics

 

Current research is executed mostly in the direction of reproductive biomedicine:

  • Placental genetics and genomics (transcriptomics, epigenetics, genome structural variants, microRNAs) in normal and adverse pregnancy outcomes
  • Genetic factors implicated in pregnancy-related diseases
  • Genetic factors implicated in male and female reproductive health, infertility and disorders of gonadal development (exome sequencing, genetic association studies)
  • Investigations of ‘pleiotropic genes’ with a broad spectrum of phenotypic effects
  • Biomarker studies with the focus on translational research

Our research is mostly targeted to the analysis of various human biological samples, including both targeted genetic studies and large-scale bioinformatic analysis of genomic data generated on the patient’s samples. If relevant, in vitro experimental research is applied for functional validation of the generated hypotheses. The chair has assembled over ~15 years a large biobank of clinical samples, collected in collaboration with our clinical partners at the Tartu University Hospital.

Our studies are executed in the synergy with a long-term collaboration with Estonian and international research network.

Daily partnership has been developed with clinical collaborators at the Andrology Centre (led by Prof. Margus Punab) and Women’s Clinic, Tartu University Hospital (partnership with Prof. Kristiina Rull and others). Women's Clinic, East Tallinn Central Hospital and Women's Clinic, West Tallinn Central Hospital. 

The current main international collaboration

  • partner in male reproductive genetics is a worldwide consortium GEMINI (‘Gentics in Male Infertility’, PI: Dr. Don F. Conrad).
  • Prof. Tom Lenaerts, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. 

Grants

 

The most important publications in last five years

  1. Lillepea K, Juchnewitsch AG, Kasak L, Valkna A, Dutta A, Pomm K, Poolamets O, Nagirnaja L, Tamp E, Mahyari E, Vihljajev V, Tjagur S, Papadimitriou S, Riera-Escamilla A, Versbraegen N, Farnetani G, Castillo-Madeen H, Sütt M, Kübarsepp V, Tennisberg S, Korrovits P, Krausz C, Aston KI, Lenaerts T, Conrad DF, Punab M, Laan M. (2024) Toward clinical exomes in diagnostics and management of male infertility. Am J Hum Genet 111(5):877-895. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2024.03.013.
  2. Juchnewitsch AG, Pomm K, Dutta A, Tamp E, Valkna A, Lillepea K, Mahyari E, Tjagur S, Belova G, Kübarsepp V, Castillo-Madeen H, Riera-Escamilla A, Põlluaas L, Nagirnaja L, Poolamets O, Vihljajev V, Sütt M, Versbraegen N, Papadimitriou S, McLachlan RI, Jarvi KA, Schlegel PN, Tennisberg S, Korrovits P, Vigh-Conrad K, O'Bryan MK, Aston KI, Lenaerts T, Conrad DF, Kasak L, Punab M, Laan M. (2024) Undiagnosed RASopathies in infertile men. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) 15:1312357. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2024.1312357
  3. Triin Kikas, Anna Maria Punab, Laura Kasak, Olev Poolamets, Vladimir Vihljajev, Kristjan Pomm, Mario Reiman, Stanislav Tjagur, Paul Korrovits, Margus Punab, Maris Laan (2023) Microdeletions and microduplications linked to severe congenital disorders in infertile men. Scientific Reports 13(1):574. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-27750-w. 
  4. Inno R, Kikas T, Lillepea K, Laan M (2021). Coordinated Expressional Landscape of the Human Placental miRNome and Transcriptome. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, 9 (697947), 1−20. DOI: 10.3389/fcell.2021.697947.
  5. Hallast P,  Kibena L, Punab M, Arciero, E, Rootsi S, Grigorova M, Flores R, Jobling, MA, Poolamets O, Pomm K, Korrovits P, Rull K,  Xue Y, Tyler-Smith C, Laan M (2021). A common 1.6 mb Y-chromosomal inversion predisposes to subsequent deletions and severe spermatogenic failure in humans. eLife, 10, e65420. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.65420.
Doktorantuur

Career conference „To new hights with a PhD degree!“

Teaduskonverentsi publik

Call for abstracts: scientific conference celebrating the anniversary of the Faculty of Medicine

 Tartu Ülikooli bio- ja siirdemeditsiini instituudi inimese geneetika õppetooli uuring koostöös Tartu Ülikooli Kliinikumi meestekliinikuga näitas, et üllatavalt suurel osal viljatutest meestest on lapsena diagnoositud munandi laskumishäire. Õigeaegne sekkumine aitab tulevikus lahendada viljatusprobleeme ja ennetada haruldaste kasvajate riski.

Testicular maldescent in infertile men may be a sign of a more severe genetic syndrome