Introducing Senior Researcher Henna Martiskainen

Introducing Senior Researcher Henna Martiskainen

Senior Researcher Henna Martiskainen works in the Molecular Genetics of Alzheimer’s Disease Research group, Institute of Biomedicine at the University of Eastern Finland. The objective of the group is to identify new hereditary risk factors related to Alzheimer’s pathogenesis from extensive Alzheimer’s disease cohorts and to provide new information on the functional mechanisms of the Alzheimer’s disease risk genes and thus to identify new predictive biomarkers and drug targets for Alzheimer’s disease. “I study microglial cells and their relevance to Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Microglia are the immune cells of the brain and form the first line of response and defense against any perturbations in the brain”, describes Henna. In addition to Alzheimer’s disease Henna mentions Nasu-Hakola disease, a rare neurodegenerative disease in the Finnish genetic heritage which starts at the age of 20-30 years.

“Good cooperation networks between the University of Eastern Finland,  Kuopio University Hospital and Biobank of Eastern Finland enable high-quality research”, says Henna. “In addition, our research group has cooperated with the Neurocenter Finland as part of the AlzTrans pilot”, she continues.

Henna, with a background in natural sciences, also has experience in commercial research. “In academic research, I am fascinated by the freedom of research,” Henna says.

At the beginning of 2023, she started a three-year research fellow contract at the University of Eastern Finland. The Faculty of Health Sciences awarded Henna Martiskainen, PhD, as a well-performing applicant in the Academy Research Fellow call, complementing the new recruitment model piloted by the University of Eastern Finland.


Molecular Genetics of Alzheimer’s Disease research group:

AlZTrans pilot project, Neurocenter Finland:

Seven UEF Research Fellows started this autumn – a new call for well- performing Academy Research Fellow applicants will be opened next summer (UEF 12.9.2022):



Kuopio Brain & Mind is part of a nation-wide Neurocenter Finland researcher network. For more information, please visit