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Pentti Tienari

  • PL 63 (Haartmaninkatu 8)



1995 …2023

Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Curriculum vitae

CURRICULUM VITAE in short               Pentti Tienari (Nov 10, 2010)

Current position:

-          Neurologist 50% (Helsinki University Central Hospital)

-          Research group leader, Academy Researcher 50% (Program of Molecular Neurology, Biomedicum, Univ Helsinki)

-          Neurologist (Helsinki and Uusimaa Multiple Sclerosis Society)


-          MD 1989 (Univ. Helsinki)

-          PhD 1994 (Univ. Helsinki) 

-          Associate professor (docent) 1998 (Univ. Helsinki) 

-          Specialist in clinical neurology 2005 (Univ. Helsinki)


Scientific education and career

1. Predoc 1990 – 1993. National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland (Prof Leena Palotie-Peltonen), and Dept Neurology, Univ. Helsinki (Prof Jorma Palo). Academic dissertation 17 Dec. 1993.

2. EMBO post-doctoral fellowship 1 Aug. 1993 – 31 July 1995. Univ. Heidelberg, ZMBH (Prof. Konrad Beyreuther) and EMBL (Dr. Carlos Dotti).

3. Visiting scientist, Univ. Heidelberg, ZMBH, (Prof. Konrad Beyreuther) 1 Aug. 1995 – 31 May 1996.

4. Group leader (ca. 50% of the time), Dept. Neurology, Univ. Helsinki, and Molecular Neurology Programme of the Biomedicum-Helsinki, June 1 1996à.


Most relevant clinical experience

  1. Resident in Neurology 1996-2004, Dept. Neurology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.
  2. Internist, Psychiatrist, Neurologist 2004-2005, Central Military Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.
  3. Neurologist, Dept of Neurology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, 2006à.
  4. Molecular genetics of multiple sclerosis
  5. Molecular genetics of neurodegenerative disorders (e.g. ALS, Alzheimer, Parkinson)
  6. Cell biology of Alzheimer’s disease
  7. Epidemiology of multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease
Research topics
Academic activities

Research awards and major grants, last 5 years

Awarded grants as principal investigator during                                     2005-2010

Finnish Academy                                                                                            490,000€             

Helsinki University Central Hospital EVO-grants                                      370,000€

Sigrid Juselius Foundation                                                                            260,000€

Other sources                                                                                                  130,000€

Graduate Schools                                                                                            60,000€

As Co-PI

Microsoft Research Foundation                                                                   161,000€

American ALS Foundation                                                                              70,000€


Supervised PhD theses

1. Liisa Myllykangas, University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine Feb. 2002. ”Genetic modulation of of age-associated brain pathology.” 

2. Marja-Liisa Sumelahti, University of Tampere, Faculty of Medicine June 2002. “Occurrence and Natural Course of Multiple Sclerosis in Finland.  Five on-going PhD thesis projects under supervision.

3. Johanna Eerola-Rautio, Univ. Helsinki “SPECT-aided diagnostics and genetic factors of Parkinsno’s disease” Dec. 2008,

4. Alessandro Bonetti, Univ. Helsinki, “The role of chromosomes 2q33, 7q32 and 19q13 in multiple sclerosis susceptibility”, Oct. 2009.


Opponent in academic doctoral dissertations:

1. Arturs Liegers (2001), Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. ”Immunogenetics of multiple sclerosis”.

2. Tero Tapiola (2001), Kuopio University, ”Biological markers for Alzheimer’s disease”. 3. Jun Wang (2003), University of Kuopio, “Mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease”. 4. Kati Karell (2003), University of Helsinki, “Genetics of coeliac disease”. 5. Mari Kaunisto (2005) University of Helsinki, “Characterization of loci predisposing to migraine with aura and episodic ataxia type 2”. 6. Katri Haimila (2009) Genetics of T cell co-stimulatory receptors CD28, CTLA4, ICOS and PDCD1 in immunity and transplantation.


Reviews of PhD theses:

1. Francis Akenami (1999), University of Helsinki, ”Plasminogen activating system in multiple sclerosis”.

2. Johan Westberg (1999), University of Helsinki. ”Regulatory pathways of apoptosis-related proteins in neural differentation”.  3. Hannele Kangas (2000), University of Helsinki ”Familial amyloidosis of the Finnish type (FAF) – Consequences of amyloidosis-associated mutation for gelsolin processing and function”.  4. Jesper Ekelund (2001), University of Helsinki ”Molecular genetics of schitzophrenia and comorbid and related traits”. 5. Päivi Holopainen (2002), University of Helsinki ”Genetic susceptibility to celiac disease: HLA-unlinked candidate genes”. 6. Juha Paloneva (2003), University of Helsinki, ”Molecular background of PLO-SL”.  7. Juha Kolehmainen (2004), University of Helsinki, ”Molecular background of Cohen’s syndrome”.


Reviewer tasks for the following journals:

The Lancet, Lancet Neurology, Brain, JAMA, Annals of Neurology, Neurology, Genes & Immunity, Neurobiology of Aging, Journal of Neuroimmunology, Biochemistry, European Journal of Human Genetics, Febs Letters, Journal of Neurochemistry, Acta Neurologica Scnadinavica, Human Mutation, Human Genetics, Annals of Medicine, Stroke, Journal of Medical Genetics, Clinica Chemica Acta, Duodecim, Suomen Lääkärilehti.

Grant Reviews

1. Associazione Italiana Sclerosis Multipla, 1997. 2. R&D Office, Northern Ireland:  Principal Investigator programme for the promotion of neuroscience, 3. Finnish Cultural Foundation, 2001. 4. Duodecim/Finnish Medical Foundation, 2001-03. 5.  Academy of Finland, review panel 2002 and 2005, 6. Helsinki Biomedical Gradutate School (HBGS) 2006. 7. Association pour la Recherche sur la Sclerose en Plaques (ARSEP, France) 2005, 2006, 2007. 8. Medical Research Council (MRC) Clinician Scientist Fellowship and MRC grant 2008.


10 selected original publications (international original articles 87, international reviews 7, citations >2700, h-index 29)

1. Tienari PJ, Wikström J, Sajantila A, Palo J, Peltonen L (1992) Genetic susceptibility to multiple sclerosis linked to myelin basic protein gene. Lancet 340, 987-991.

2. Czech C, Mönning U, Tienari PJ, Hartmann T, Masters CL, Beyreuther K, Förstl H (1993) Apolipoprotein E epsilon 4 alleles and Alzheimer´s disease. Lancet 342, 1308-1309.

3. Tienari PJ, De Strooper B, Ikonen E, Simons M, Weidemann A, Czech C, Hartmann T, Multhaup G, Masters CL, Van Leuven F, Beyreuther K, Dotti CG (1996) The b-amyloid domain is essential for axonal sorting of amyloid precursor protein. EMBO J 15, 5218-5229.

4. Kuokkanen S, Sundvall M, Terwilliger JD, Tienari PJ, Wikström J, Holmdahl R, Petterson U, Peltonen L (1996) A putative vulnerability locus to multiple sclerosis maps to 5p14-p12 in a region syntenic to eae2. Nature Genet 13, 477-480.

5. Tienari PJ, Ida N, Ikonen E, Simons M, Multhaup G, Weidemann A, Masters CL, Dotti CG, Beyreuther K (1997) Intracellular and secreted Alzheimer´s b-amyloid species are generated by distinct mechanisms in cultured hippocampal neurons. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 94, 4125-4130

6. Hartmann T, Bieger SC, Bruehl B, Tienari PJ, Ida N, Roberts GW, Masters CL, Dotti CG, Unsicker K, Beyreuther K. (1997) Identification of cellular compartments of Alzheimer’s disease b-amyloid peptide generation. Nature Med 3, 1016-1020.

7.Kuokkanen S., Gschwend M, Daly MJ, Terwilliger JD, Tienari PJ, Wikström J, Palo J, Stein L, Hudson T, Lander E, Peltonen L (1997) Genome-wide scan of multiple sclerosis in Finnish multiplex families. Am J Hum Genet 61, 1379-1387.

8. Lincoln MR, Montpetit A, Cader MZ, Saarela J, Dyment DA, Tiislar M, Ferretti V, Tienari PJ, Sadovnick AD, Peltonen L, Ebers GC, Hudson TJ (2005) MHC association in multiple sclerosis is restricted to the HLA class II region by dense SNP mapping. Nature Genet 37, 1108-12.

9. Jakkula E , Leppa V, Saarela J, Kallio S, Tienari PJ, Koivisto K, Elovaara I, Reunanen M, Pirttilä T,  Purcell S, De Jager P, Hafler D, Palotie A, Daly MJ, Peltonen L. Genome-wide association study in a high-risk isolate for multiple sclerosis reveals associated variants in STAT3 gene. Am J Hum Genet. 2010;86(2):285-91.

10. Laaksovirta H*,  Peuralinna T*,  Schymick JC*, Scholz SW, Lai SL, Myllykangas L, Sulkava R, Hernandez DG, Gibbs JR, Tienari PJ*,Traynor BJ*. A substantial proportion of ALS in Finland is explained by the chromosome 9p21 locus. Lancet Neurol 2010; Oct;9(10):978-85.


Fields of Science

  • 3112 Neurosciences
  • 3124 Neurology and psychiatry

International and National Collaboration

Publications and projects within past five years.