Haapaniemi Lab

Our team

Our team has 8 members + alumni with backgrounds in biosciences and clinical medicine. We have previously worked in academic laboratories, hospitals and private companies.

Our laboratory officially started in January 2019 at the Centre for Molecular Medicine Norway located in Oslo, the capital of Norway. 

Current team

Emma

Emma Haapaniemi

Group leader

Writing (grants, permit applications, papers)
45%
Helping the team with their projects
40%
Practising clinical medicine
15%

Emma is the founder of the group and her main project is to keep the lab funded. She has previously worked in genetics, high-throughput biology, different paediatrics departments and emergency rooms across Southern Finland.

For her education she went to the University of Eastern Finland (MD), University of Helsinki (PhD) and Karolinska Institute (Postdoc). 

Her favourite pastimes include riding and petting horses (although she rarely does it nowadays).

Monika

Monika Szymańska

Lab Manager

Lab maintenance
60%
Performing experiments
20%
Writing, reading
20%

Monika’s role is to keep the lab organised. She has previously worked in molecular biology and immunology at the Department of Pathology at Oslo University Hospital.

She has a master’s degree in molecular biology from the University of Gdansk, Poland, and a PhD in cell biology from the University of Oslo, Norway. She has held Postdoc and researcher positions at Oslo University Hospital.

On her free time Monika likes knitting, listening to audiobooks (fantasy and crime stories) and walking her dog, Watson.

Zhuokun

Zhuokun Li

PhD Student

Experiments
70%
Reading papers
15%
Other lab work
15%

Zhuokun works mainly in screening and studying the CRISPR system in cell lines.

She has worked previously in gene therapy, sequencing and finding new CRISPR systems at Beijing Genomics Institute.

She studied at Hainan University (Bachelor) and Tsinghua University (Masters). Zhuokun enjoys reading and painting on her free time.

Oda

Oda Almåsbak

MsC Student

Performing experiments
60%
Experiment design and analysis
20%
Reading and writing
20%

Oda’s main role is optimising a custom CRISPR platform in RPE1 cells and testing a custom platform in PBMCs for her master project.

She has previously worked in BioNtech IMFS GmbH as a scientific trainee to characterise packaging cell lines for stable production of lentiviral vectors.

Oda is doing her masters in Bioscience (University of Oslo), and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (University of Oslo).

She enjoys hiking, dancing, meeting friends and watching TV series.

Team member

Katariina Mamia

PhD Student

Planning and executing experiments
70%
Data analysis & literature
20%
Other
10%

Katariina’s main project involves evaluating the safety and efficacy of different CRISPR systems in patient peripheral immune cells.

She has previously worked in inflammasome biology at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Science.

Katariina has a Master’s Degree in Biomedical Science (Karolinska Institutet). When she’s not at work, she is either hiking, travelling or daydreaming.

Pavel

Pavel Kopčil

PhD Student

Planning and performing experiments
70%
Reading papers
15%
Other lab work
15%

Pavel optimises and evaluates different CRISPR-based tools for precise gene correction in hematopoietic stem cells, establishing in vivo platform, methodologies, and techniques for future transplantation of gene edited cells into the immunodeficient mice strains.

He has previously worked in human epigenetic lab (miRNA, DNA methylation, CRISPR/dCas9, NGS) at Charles University, Medical Faculty (Czech Republic).

Pavel has a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Molecular Biology and Medical Genetics (Brno, Masaryk University, Czech Republic), ERASMUS+ Internship (Aarhus University, Denmark).

His favourite pastims are playing the cello, reading (fantasy, sci-fi, magical realism), travelling, cooking/baking/brewing beer, history (Vikings!), visiting and enjoying cafes with specialty coffee.

Jakob

Jacob Conradi

Research Assistant

Planning and performing experiments
70%
Literature review and writing
20%
Data analysis
10%

Jacob’s main project is the utilisation of novel factors for improving precise editing outcomes in hematopoietic stem cells for future applications in animal and clinical studies. He also assists in ongoing animal experiments.

Jacob has completed his BSc in Biology at the University of Bergen. He is currently working on his MSc in Bioscience, specialising in Molecular Biology at the University of Oslo.

Outside of work, Jacob enjoys biking, skiing and making pizza. He also has a passion for mechanical watches!

Britt

Britt Olaug Lindestad

Lab Technician

Lab technician duties
50%
Organizing biobank
25%
Experiments
25%

Britt’s work involves lab technician duties as well as working with biobanking of PBMCs, helping with T-cell editing, and the collection of stem cells from cord blood at Rikshospitalet.

Britt has previously worked as a principal engineer in a laboratory at the department of gastromedicine at Rikshospitalet.

She has an Integrated Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, with a specialisation in Biotechnology, from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

Britt’s favourite pastimes are travelling, hiking, reading and hanging out with friends.

Alumni

Inkeri

Inkeri Soppa

MSc Student

Experiments with primary T cells
40%
Experiments with reporter cell lines
40%
Small tasks around lab and writing
20%

Inkeri’s main project at the lab involved writing her master thesis while keeping edited primary T cells alive and happy. From time to time she optimised editing in reporter cell lines.

She had previously worked in plant genetics at the University of Umeå. She also taught advanced-level mathematics and chemistry in high school, and did strawberry picking.

Inkeri studied at the University of Helsinki (BSc).

Her favourite pastime is reading. Science fiction and fantasy novels, biographies, detective stores – you name it, she’s read it!

Inkeri is currently working at Kirmo Wartiovaara lab (Finland) researching base editing and
hemophilia A at the University of Helsinki. She’s also starting her third year in medical school next fall at the University of Oulu.

Kathrin Menzner

Erasmus Student

Performing experiments
60%
Design experiments, data analysis, reading papers
20%
Small tasks around the lab
20%

Kathrin helped Zhuokun with screening and studying the CRISPR system in cell lines.

She had previously worked in immunotherapy and molecular neurobiology at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg.

While working at Haapaniemi Lab, she was doing an apprenticeship as a biological lab assistant (German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg).

Kathrin’s favourite pastimes include meeting with friends and travelling.

In July 2020 Kathrin graduated from her apprenticeship as a biological lab assistant. Afterwards, she worked as a biological lab assistant at the German cancer research center in the Molecular neurobiology lab led by Prof. Dr. Ana Martin-Villalba. 

Since April 2022 Kathrin started studying dentistry at the Eberhard-Karls-University in Tübingen, Germany.

Bas

Bas Koppenaal

Research intern

Working and experimenting with cell lines
65%
Data analysis and reading papers
20%
Small tasks around the lab
15%

While at Haapaniemi Lab, Bas helped Zhuokun with screening and studying the CRISPR system in cell lines.

While working at the lab, Bas had an apprenticeship as a life scientist, a biology and medical laboratory researcher.

Thapelo

Thapelo Mathabela

Research intern

Experiments with cell lines
60%
Dealing with the liquid handling robot
20%
Small tasks around the lab
20%

Thapelo assisted PhD students in screening and validating CRISPR cell lines.

He had previously worked as a Research Technician responsible for the Zebrafish facility at Camila Esguerra’s group (NCMM).

He studied at the University of the Free State (B.Sc), and the University of Stellenbosch (Honours).

Thapelo enjoys skiing, hiking, playing tennis and gaming on his free time.

He is now back at school doing his MSc in Biotechnology at NTNU (Norway).

Lisa

Lisa Lutz

Erasmus Student

Performing experiments
70%
Small tasks around the lab
20%
Design experiments and data analysis
10%

Lisa’s main project focused on identifying off-target effects of the CRISPR-Cas9 system. In addition, she helped Monika set up Cas9WT protein production in order to produce our own Cas9WT.

She had previously worked in Bioresources at the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) and Plant protection at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU).

Lisa studied Biotechnology (MSc) at the Austrian Biotech University of Applied Sciences.

Her favourite pastime includes reading, handicraft work, Photoshopping pictures and cooking.

Lisa is currently working at Mattanovich Lab (BOKU, Austria) on a project where she uses a
proprietary organo-autotrophic yeast (a synthetic Pichia pastoris strain) and engineers it to become a producer for organic molecules that serve as monomers for plastic production.

Carola

Carola Pont Vallès

Erasmus Student

Performing experiments
60%
Reading and writing
25%
Data analysis
15%

Carola worked on identifying off-target effects of the CRISPR-Cas9 system while working on her Final Degree Project. She also supported other PhD students with their projects, learning new techniques.

While working at Haapaniemi Lab she was doing her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology at the University of Barcelona (UB).

Carola’s favourite pastimes included horseback riding, scuba diving, meeting with friends and travelling.

Since September 2020 she has been involved in her family’s business (dairy industry brand in Spain), working in the R&D department as product manager and developer, creating plant-based alternatives for their customers.

Frida

Frida Høsøien Haugen

MSc Student

Planning and executing experiments
70%
Literature and writing
20%
Data analysis
10%

Frida was doing a master project in studying and optimising the precision of CRISPR-based editing tools in immune cells.

She previously worked at Norwegian Research Establishment (FFI) and Borregaard. She was also a laboratory teaching assistant in general and organic chemistry at Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU). She also worked as an instructor at Vitenparken Campus, creating and teaching scientific courses to young adults about biotechnology, including gene editing and CRISPR technology.

While working at the lab, Frida was doing MSc studies in Biotechnology, specialising in molecular biology (NMBU). She had completed her BSc in Biotechnology and in Chemistry (NMBU).

Frida enjoys cooking, hiking, listening to podcasts and drinking wine with her friends.

After completing her MSc thesis, Frida moved to a scientist position at Zelluna
Immunotherapy.

Ganna

Ganna Reint

PhD Student

Performing experiments
60%
Experiment design and data analysis
25%
Papers and lab maintenance
15%

Ganna’s main project was to validate CRISPR screening results, with the goal of making the system more efficient and accurate.

She had previously worked in kidney development and organoids (University of Oulu) and in the Traumatology department in a regional hospital (Ukraine).

Ganna studied at Kharkov National Medical University (MD). Her favourite pastimes are yoga and science fiction books. She also enjoys travelling.

After completing her PhD thesis, Ganna moved to a postdoc position at Broad Institute, John
Doench lab.

Nail

Nail
Fatkhutdinov

Post doc

Planning and executing experiments
70%
Data analysis and literature reviews
20%
Other lab work
10%

Nail’s work focused on developing CRISPR gene editing platform for STAT1 GOF disease.

Nail graduated from Kazan Federal University, did his PhD work at the Wistar Institute in the USA, studying
cancer biology.

Currently, Nail is working at Adaptimmune in the UK developing allogeneic cancer cell therapies.

He likes photography, cycling and salmon.