Liisa Myllykangas M.D., Ph.D.

Group Leader, Consultant Neuropathologist and Clinical Instructor, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital


Liisa Myllykangas M.D., Ph.D., is a group leader, consultant neuropathologist, and clinical instructor at the University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital. Her research focuses on neuropathology and genetics of sporadic and familial forms of neurodegenerative disorders.

Dr. Myllykangas received her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Helsinki, where she was supervised by Dr. Matti Haltia. As part of her Ph.D. focused on the population-based Vantaa85+ study, she worked for a year in Dr.  John Hardy’s laboratory at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville. Dr. Myllykangas carried out postdoctoral training on Drosophila models of neurodegeneration at Harvard Medical School with Dr. Mel Feany, after which she established her own group at the University of Helsinki.

Dr. Myllykangas’s wide research portfolio comprises neuropathological, genetic, and experimental studies on various neurological diseases in humans and Drosophila.  The aim of her research group is to characterize histopathological brain changes commonly found in the oldest old and to understand the connection between genetic variation and neuropathological changes in sporadic and familial forms of neurodegenerations. Her group’s work on the population-based Vantaa85+ cohort has made significant contributions to our understanding of the brain pathology of the oldest old population, including characterization of two common forms of alpha-synuclein pathology in Dementia with Lewy Bodies. In addition, her group has identified gene defects of > 10 familial forms of neurodegenerative and cerebrovascular disorders, including novel alpha-synuclein and COL4A1 mutations.

Funded Research

These projects were made possible from Cure Alzheimer's Fund support.