Canine genetic studies

These pages are dedicated to the canine genetic research done at the University of Helsinki and at Folkhälsan Research Center.

In the past few years, the dog's genome has been sequenced, which has opened up tremendous possibilities for uncovering the genetic background of the hereditary diseases and behavioral characteristics, as well as traits such as build, coat color and size of different dog breeds.

The unique population history and breed structure of dogs make them great candidates for genetic research. Compared to similar human studies, studies on dogs make it possible to identify genes, even those causing complex diseases, from a much smaller collection of samples.

The aim of our research is to identify genetic abnormalities leading to different hereditary diseases, as well as other breed-specific traits, to develop genetic tests for purposes of breeding, and to use the gained knowledge in the study of human diseases. A new genetic discovery opens up possibilities for the better understanding of disease mechanisms and helps us to improve diagnostic methods, treatments and drug development.