Jyrki is a certified clinical nutritionist and an adjunct professor of nutritional epidemiology. His main interest in research is the impact of dietary fatty acids and their food sources on the risk of major chronic diseases, mainly on cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. The other major topic of research interest is vitamin D.
For several years the main interest of research for him was the health effects of fish consumption and environmental contaminants in fish, but recently he has given more attention also to other dietary fatty acids and their food sources. The main study population for these investigations has been the KIHD cohort. During the recent years he has also expanded his field of research to vitamin D. In addition to the epidemiological research in the KIHD cohort, he is a co-principal investigator of the large Finnish Vitamin D Trial and a principal investigator of smaller vitamin D trials, such as VitDbol, which concentrate mainly on the molecular effects of vitamin D.
After the doctoral dissertation in August 2005, he started his 2.5-year post-doctoral research period as a visiting scholar at the Harvard School of Public Health. During his stay in Boston in 2005-2007 he made good contacts with the research teams of the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and Nurses' Health Study (Eric Rimm and Walter Willett) from Harvard and also with the researchers from the Cardiovascular Health Study (Dariush Mozaffarian). He is the main KIHD collaborator in the Fatty Acids and Outcomes Research Consortium (FORCE) consortium, which aims to investigate the relations of fatty acid biomarkers with chronic disease.
In his free time he likes to do sports, ride horses, cook or go out to take photographs (www.jyrkivirtanen.fi).
E-mail: jyrki.virtanen at uef.fi
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