Dr. Katariina Öörni is Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Helsinki, and she leads the Atherosclerosis Research Laboratory of Wihuri Research Institute in Helsinki, Finland.
Katariina Öörni’s research interests are centered on the development of atherosclerotic lesions, particularly in examining the molecular mechanisms related to accumulation of apoB-containing particles in the arterial intima. Most recently, she has identified aggregation-prone LDL as a novel risk factor for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, and her research group showed that the presence of aggregation-prone LDL can predict future cardiovascular deaths independent of conventional risk factors, including LDL cholesterol levels. The aggregation-prone LDL particles were found to be rich in sphingolipids and the group was able to demonstrate a causal role for these lipids in LDL aggregation using in vitro and in vivo models. The goal of Katariina Öörni’s research program is to understand how the blood plasma-derived lipoproteins accumulate in the arterial wall and trigger there local inflammatory responses which precipitate and promote atherogenesis.
Katariina Öörni is a council member of the Finnish Atherosclerosis Society and represents Finland in the Organizing Committee of the European Lipoprotein Club and in the council of the Scandinavian Society for Atherosclerosis Research. She has been the secretary and treasurer of the Scandinavian Society for Atherosclerosis Research in 1998-2006. She is a Co-Editor of Atherosclerosis, the official journal of EAS. She received the Esko Nikkilä Memorial Lecture Award from the Scandinavian Society for Atherosclerosis Research in 2019.