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Heini Maaret NATRI

Postdoctoral Fellow
Post Doctoral Scholars
Postdoc Research Associate
Post Doctoral Scholars


Heini Natri is a CEM postdoc interested in how evolution has shaped human genetic variation in diverse populations, and how inherited genetic variants may alter the patterns on somatic alterations, gene expression, and complex phenotypes, including cancer, autoimmune diseases, and Alzheimer's disease.


Ph.D, 20112015, University of Helsinki
MSc, 20082011, University of Jyvaskyla
BSc, 20062008, University of Jyvaskyla

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Research Interests

I'm widely interested in how evolution has shaped the patterns of human genetic variation, and how inherited genetic variation contributes to complex phenotypes, including cancer, autoimmune diseases, and Alzheimer's disease. Particularly, I'm aiming to understand the relationships between genetic variants, somatic alterations, regulation of gene expression, and clinically relevant complex phenotypes. Towards this goal, I am utilizing a systems genetics approach to study the genetic and regulatory mechanisms underlying cancer susceptibility, response to treatment, and disease outcome. As a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Evolution and Medicine (CEM), Arizona State University, I am conducting integrative analyses of Next Generation Sequence data from various large existing databases (TCGA, GTEx, MMRF CoMMpass). I work in close collaboration with CEM faculty and The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen, Phoenix, AZ).

Research Group

I work in collaboration with CEM faculty assistant professor Melissa Wilson Sayres and professor Ken Buetow, and assistant professor Nicholas Banovich from the Translational Genomics Research Institute.


Natri H.M., Wilson Sayres M., & Buetow K. 2019. Sex-specific regulatory mechanisms underlying Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Submitted manuscript.

Natri H.M., Merilä  J. & Shikano T. 2019. The evolution of sex determination associated with a chromosomal inversion. Nature Communications, 10:145, doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-08014-y​​​

Natri H.M., Shikano T. & Merilä  J. 2013. Progressive Recombination Suppression and Differentiation in Recently Evolved Neo-Sex Chromosomes. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 30(5):1131-44, doi: 10.1093/molbev/mst035

Shikano T, Natri H.M., Shimada Y. & Merilä  J. 2011. High degree of sex chromosome differentiation in stickleback fishes. BMC Genomics 12: 474, doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-12-474