Terho Lehtimäki MD, PhD is currently a professor of Clinical Chemistry and Chief Physician of the Department of Clinical Chemistry, University of Tampere, Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences and Fimlab Laboratories (Ltd), Pirkanmaa Hospital District, Finland which is the second largest clinical laboratory in Finland. His research interests are focused on cardiovascular disease risk factors, atherosclerosis biomarkers, vascular and cell biology and functional genetics of diseases. Terho Lehtimäki has over 650 publications from the field including articles in all world top journals, e.g., Science, Lancet, Nature, Nature Genetics, JAMA and Circulation. Tampere is the coordinating partner in an EU Collaborative Project on Inflammation and Vascular Wall Remodeling (AtheroRemo) and partner in several other collaborative efforts within the European Union and in the US and Canada. In addition Terho Lehtimäki is the responsible investigator of the genetic section of The Cardiovascular Risk In Young Finns study (YFS) and The Finnish Cardiovascular Study (FINCAVAS) and the leader of The Tampere Vascular Study (TVS) focusing on the use of “OMICS” techniques in the research of atherosclerosis and functional genetics.
Terho Lehtimäki has skills in traditional and problem based teaching methods of over 25 years as part of the Medical Faculty of Tampere University which has been nominated three times as a Centre of Excellence in high level teaching by the Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council. Professor Lehtimäki graduated as MD and PhD in 1992 from the University of Tampere. He was nominated as senior lecturer (docent) in Medical Biochemistry, at the University of Tampere in 1996, Specialist in Clinical Chemistry in 1999 and a senior lecturer (docent) in Clinical Chemistry, University of Kuopio in 2003. He has supervised over 50 thesis, master's thesis and medical advanced studies. Terho Lehtimäki has been involved in a national team of specialists since 2003 making national guidelines (Käypä hoito -suositus) for the prevention of dyslipidemias and cardiovascular diseases. Also, Terho Lehtimäki is a member of the board of the Finnish Medical Association of Clinical Chemistry and member of the editorial board in two international journals. Terho Lehtimäki’s research group is well recognized and represented in over 30 international consortia.
Auni Collings, Jussi Hernesniemi, Maria Juujärvi, Hannele Kinnunen, Niko Kämppä, Leo-Pekka Lyytikäinen, Nina Mononen, Niku Oksala, Emma Raitoharju, Ilkka Seppälä, Tuukka Taipale, Miska Sulkava, Ismo Hänninen, Juho-Pekka Karjalainen, Jaakko Laaksonen, Leena Hakkarainen, Pashupati Mishra
Nina Peltonen, Ulla Kala
Genetic and biochemical factors predisposing to atherosclerosis
Lehtimäki and his team study atherosclerosis, the metabolism associated with cardiovascular diseases and the biology of the blood vessel wall. One of the most important study lines currently are the genetics and epigenetic studies of complex diseases and traits, including cardiovascular risk factors and diseases. The concept of “vulnerable plaque” has been extended to the more recent definition of the “cardiovascular vulnerable patient,” in which “intraplaque” and “systemic” factors contribute to the cumulative risk of acute cardiovascular events. The traditional view that atherosclerosis is simply a lipid storage disease has been challenged by a growing body of evidence of other key components contributing to the disease etiology, like inflammation pathways that play a central role in all stages of atherosclerotic disease from the early initial lesion to the late-stage plaque rupture. However, molecular mechanisms promoting premature atherosclerosis development and plaque rapture are not fully understood and this has severely hampered the advance of diagnostic and therapeutic programs. One of the major problems in clinical practice is to recognize a high risk unstable plaque carrying patient. Also, no current therapeutic regime directly targets atherosclerosis. The present study plan is a continuation of the 5-year AtheroRemo Project (2008-2013), funded by The European Union 7th Framework Program. AtheroRemo has been originally designed to advance the present knowledge on the role of inflammatory remodeling in the different stages of atherosclerosis.
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