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Human Genetics Research, Maris Laan Group
Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine, University of Tartu, Ülikooli 18, 50090 TARTU

human genetics and 'omics', male and female reproductive biomedicine; placenta; cardio-vascular metabolism


We work only with human material mostly originating from clinical partners. Me and my clinical colleageus have collected one of the largest clinical biobanks in Europe in reproductive biomedicine (> 10,000 blood samples, > 3000 placentas, >5000 urine samples) with the focus on male infertility and reproductive disorders, and pregnancy complications.


human genetic data analysis, mutation detection, RNASeq and miRSeq data analysis, Exome-Seq data analysis, clinical sampling and biobanking

Collaborations outside COST

Genetics in Male Infertility (GEMINI) consortium, ICBP-GWAS consortium; >10 year active collaboration with Estonian and international andrology and gynecology community

Short description of ongoing research projects

The research portfolio of our group covers expertise in human genetics, complementary cutting-edge ‘omics’ (transcriptomics, miRNomics, epigenomics, exome-Seq)' technologies and analytical tools, as well as clinically orientated genetic research. Since the establishment in 2003, the team has developed a dense collaboration with partners from Tartu University Hospital (Dr. Margus Punab, Andrology Centre; Dr. Kristiina Rull, Women’s Clinic) to carry out translational studies in human reproductive and cardio-metabolic biomedicine. The group’s current research focuses on placental genetics and ‘omics’ in normal and impaired pregnancy, and analysis of genes implicated in human male and female reproduction with downstream implications on general health.

  1. Kasak L, Rull K, Sõber S, Laan M. Copy number variation profile in the placental and parental genomes of recurrent pregnancy loss families. Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 27;7:45327.
  2. Punab M, Poolamets O, Paju P, Vihljajev V, Pomm K, Ladva R, Korrovits P, Laan M. Causes of male infertility: a 9-year prospective monocentre study on 1737 patients with reduced total sperm counts. Hum Reprod. 2017 Jan;32(1):18-31. 
  3. Juhanson P, Rull K, Kikas T, Laivuori H, Vaas P, Kajantie E, Heinonen S, Laan M. Stanniocalcin-1 Hormone in Nonpreeclamptic and Preeclamptic Pregnancy: Clinical, Life-Style, and Genetic Modulators. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Dec;101(12):4799-4807. 
  4. Sõber S, Reiman M, Kikas T, Rull K, Inno R, Vaas P, Teesalu P, Marti JM, Mattila P, Laan M. Extensive shift in placental transcriptome profile in preeclampsia and placental origin of adverse pregnancy outcomes. Sci Rep. 2015 Aug 13;5:13336. 
  5. Putku M, Kals M, Inno R, Kasela S, Org E, Kožich V, Milani L, Laan M. CDH13 promoter SNPs with pleiotropic effect on cardiometabolic parameters represent methylation QTLs. Hum Genet. 2015 Mar;134(3):291-303.
Other activities of potential interest to others

active member of ESHG (European Society of Human Genetics), ESE (European Society of Endocrinology), EAA (European Academy of Andrology) NEEDS: Epigenetics of placenta and its link to fetal development and pregnancy compliations is inadequately studied. Similarly, there is accumulating knowledge that sperm epigenome affects fertility chances and possibly, the offspring's health. We are interested in developing contact to explore in perspective the possibility to correct aberrant reproductive epigenomes.

Cost UE