Research of the Department of Biochemistry


Our current focus

Our research integrates metabolomics, biochemistry and vascular functional-structural studies into translational medical outputs for disease prevention, diagnostics (including subclinical), and development of advanced therapies. As an integration of clinical metabolomics, biochemical methods and functional-structural analysis of arteries, we have been developing research over the last two years so that the aggregate output of the next six years will make a significant contribution to the development of a novel translational medicine research platform (arteriobolomics). The main focus is on cardiovascular disease (particularly atherosclerosis of the lower limbs), primary episode psychosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as one of the main causes of disability and death in the European Union.


Current collaborations

In Estonia – Endothelial Center, Department of Pulmonology, Cardiology, Psychiatry, Dermatology and Venereology in Tartu University Hospital, The North Estonia Medical Centre

International – Cardiff University, Cambridge University, Uppsala University, Macquarie University, Kings College in London, Institute of biotechnology in Manchester, etc.

Companies – BioCC OÜ, VF Bioscience France



The biopanks of Estonian Genome Center and Endothelial Center



Five patents over the past five years, total patents in 28 countries.


The five most important publications in the last five years

  1. Carolin Kuuskmäe, Mari-Anne Philips, Kalle Kilk, Liina Haring, Raul Kangro, Indrek Seppo, Mihkel Zilmer, Eero Vasar. Kynurenine pathway dynamics in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders across the disease trajectory. Psychiatry Res, 2023 Oct:328:115423. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2023.115423. Epub 2023 Aug 19.
  2. Ying Xia, Emma Andersson, Sumit K Anand, Emmelie Cansby, Mara Caputo, Sima Kumari, Rando Porosk, Kalle Kilk, Syam Nair, Hanns-Ulrich Marschall, Matthias Blüher, Margit Mahlapuu. Silencing of STE20-type kinase TAOK1 confers protection against hepatocellular lipotoxicity through metabolic rewiring. Hepatol Commun, 2023 Mar 17;7(4):e0037. doi: 10.1097/HC9.0000000000000037. eCollection 2023 Apr 1
  3. Parksepp, M, Haring, L, Kilk, K, Taalberg, E, Kangro ,R, Zilmer, M, Vasar, E. A Marked Low-Grade Inflammation and a Significant Deterioration in Metabolic Status in First-Episode Schizophrenia: A Five-Year Follow-Up Study. Metabolites, 2022 Oct 17;12(10):983. doi: 10.3390/metabo12100983
  4. Parksepp, M, Leppik L, Koch, K, Uppin K,  Kangro R, Haring L, Vasar E, Zilmer M. Metabolomics approach revealed robust changes in amino acid and biogenic amine signatures in patients with schizophrenia in the early course of the disease. Sci. Rep.2020,0:13983,
  5. Kasepalu, T Kuusik, K, Lepner, U, Starkopf, J, Zilmer M, Eha, J, Vähi ,M, Kals, J. Clinical Study. Remote Ischaemic Preconditioning Reduces Kidney Injury Biomarkers in Patients Undergoing Open Surgical Lower Limb Revascularisation: A Randomised Trial. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2020,

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