Facebook post by University of Helsinki

Irma Järvelä was the first to identify the genetic background of lactose intolerance. She also studies the genetic foundation of musical ability. Her primary interest, however, are serious brain disorders. Why? “Some have asked me bluntly what's the point of studying incurable diseases found in such a small portion of the population,” she says. “Research is all for the good – all findings lead to diagnostics, or finding the cause of a child’s condition.” It’s also about coping in the society – having a diagnosis helps the disabled person in getting support from the authorities.
Docent of the Year has focused on the Finnish disease heritage, as well as the genetic foundation of lactose intolerance and musical talent | University of Helsinki helsinki.fi

Irma Järvelä, Docent of the Year, is known for her investigation into the genetic background of lactose intolerance, as well as her research in mapping out the heredity of musical talent. Järvelä’s primary interest, however, are serious brain disorders.