Timo Partonen

Official title: Research Professor
Tel. +358 29 524 8859
E-mail: [email protected]

I study how do depression, insomnia and winter blues affect our health, and what does this mean for the well-being of people living in Finland. I also try to discover ways to alleviate or prevent these problems.

We have identified abnormalities of the internal clock related to winter depression, and we have been able to treat individuals suffering from winter depression with appropriately timed exposures to visible light. We have expanded the view on the importance of circadian rhythms and light exposures for well-being. We have applied this information to the discussion about the principles of lighting. We have also been the first to map the links of chronotype to health status and well-being at the population level.

I am pleased that the topics I study interest people and are relevant to everyday life. There are still plenty of unanswered questions, to which I am looking for answers with my colleagues. There are also some real scientific coconuts, which, when solved, will substantially promote health.


  • Mental health and psychiatry
  • Sleep and circadian rhythms
  • Light and winter blues

Primary duties

  • Research professor
  • Vice head of Mental Health team
  • Chair of the national network for coordination of suicide prevention


  • 2000, Docent (psychiatry), University of Helsinki
  • 1997, Specialised psychiatrist, University of Helsinki
  • 1996, Doctorate (medicine), University of Helsinki
  • 1991, Licensed physician, National Agency for Welfare and Health
  • 1990, Licentiate (medicine), University of Helsinki

Professional background

  • Since 2013, Research Professor, THL
  • 2009–2013, Chief Physician, THL
  • 2004–2009, Academy Research Fellow
  • 1998–2008, Chief Physician and Senior Researcher, National Public Health Institute
  • 1996–1999, Clinical Assistant Professor of psychiatry, University of Helsinki
  • 1994–1998, Specialist and Trainee in psychiatry, Helsinki University Central Hospital

Language skills

  • Finnish (native)
  • English (excellent)
  • Swedish (good)
  • French (satisfactory)

Current projects

CHAMPS (Climate change and Health: Adapting to Mental, Physical and Societal challenges) funded by Academy of Finland as part of the CLIHE (Climate Change and Health) Academy Programme for 2020–2024

Previous projects

  • Genetic etiology of bipolar disorder funded by Academy of Finland for 2003–2006
  • Molecular mechanisms of bipolar and recurrent depressive disorders with the seasonal pattern funded by Academy of Finland for 2004–2009

Professional memberships

Chair of the national network for coordination of suicide prevention



Publications and research

Total number of publications: 738, of which 432 in Web of Science and 342 in PubMed. Of these, 295 published as original research articles (class A1 refereed journal articles) and 58 as review articles (class A2 refereed journal articles).

More information online