Team

In addition to our group leader, Biswa, we have 6 team members in our lab in Oslo, Norway, and 4 team members in our lab in Helsinki, Finland. Find some further info about us below, as well as the list of alumni.

Photo of Biswa
Biswajyoti Sahu, PhD

Group Leader

I lead the Sahu Lab research groups based in Oslo and Helsinki.

I am a genomics scientist by training with specialization in cancer research, mainly in transcription factor function and gene regulation in cancer.

My area of expertise is in transcription factor biology using several genome-wide functional genomics methods (ChIP-seq/nexus, bulk/single-cell RNA-seq), chromatin state (ATAC-seq), chromatin architecture methods (in situ HiC, ChIA-PET), cell fate conversion and lineage decision by transcription factors (transdifferention), high-throughput enhancer assays (MPRAs such as STARR-seq), genome editing using CRISPR-Cas9 and their integrative computational analysis.

The goal of my research is to understand the role of non-coding regulatory genome in human diseases aiming towards precision translational medicine.

Team - Sep 2023
Group photo of our team in Sep 2023

Samuele Cancellieri, PhD

Post-doc

I’m a post-doctoral researcher at Sahu lab in Oslo and my work involves computational analysis of genomics datasets to understand the role of epigenome programming in human cancers.

I received my PhD in Informatics from the  University of Verona in Italy.

I’ve developed skills in bioinformatics algorithm programming, graph analysis and algorithm development, data analysis and statistical analysis. Furthermore I’ve worked with genomes, variant data and different kind of genetic data including development of a software for in-silico CRISPR/Cas assessment and determination.

Currently, I am working on genomics data that includes single cell genomics, machine learning models and long read sequencing data analysis.

Liangru Fei, PhD

Post-doc

I’m a post-doctoral researcher at Sahu Lab in Oslo and my work involves understanding the role of defined transcription factors in controlling pancreatic cell fate and their role in pancreatic cancer.

I received my Ph.D. in Pathology and Physiopathology at China Medical University in June, 2019 and then started my postdoc in Biswajyoti Sahu’s lab. Currently, my project focuses on the cell-fate conversion by direct reprogramming to make pancreatic excocrine cells. The goal is to understand the changes in 3D-genome architecture during this reprogramming process and getting better insight into the lineage-specificity of human cancers.

In particular, I use defined transcription factors for converting one cell type to another by a method known as transdifferentiation. The goal is to understand the role of these defined factors in modulating chromatin structure and gene expression during this dynamic process of transdifferentiation.

Celina

Celina Wiik, MSc

PhD Student

I’m a PhD Student at Sahu Lab in Oslo and my work involves understanding the molecular determinants operating at the chromatin level in endometriosis.

I completed my Masters Degree in the Molecular Bioscience and Biochemistry program from the University of Oslo in Norway. My Masters thesis work involved isolation and activation of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL) cells. I was studying the effect of pharmacological inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies on the survival and proliferation of CLL cells for possible therapeutic development. The work involved multicolour flow cytometry, RNA work and confocal microscopy.

Currently, I am learning mammalian cell culture and modern genome-wide methods to understand chromatin structure, function and its role in gene regulation in human enhanceropathies such as in endometriosis and exploring parallels with cancer in terms of cellular plasticity.

Rasma

Rasma Gutsmite, MSc

Lab Engineer

I’m a Lab Engineer at Sahu Lab in Oslo and my work involves managing the research operations and assisting researchers with their experiments and day to day work.

I am currently working as a lab engineer in the Precision Cancer Epigenomics laboratory and also shared responsibilities as an engineer in the Center for Molecular Medicine (NCMM), Norway.
My work involves managing the research operations and assisting researchers with laboratory management and ordering and maintenance of lab operations. I also assist with experiments and day to day work in the laboratory whenever possible and I am interested to learn new methods and techniques in cell and molecular biology used in cancer research.

Solveig Bakken

MSc Student

I’m doing Masters thesis in the Sahu Lab in Oslo and my work involves understanding the epigenetic determinants in endometriosis.

I am studying for my Masters Degree in the University of Oslo.

Currently, I am learning cell culture methods in the lab and routine molecular biology techniques.

Marlene Metz

MSc Student

I’m doing my Masters thesis jointly in the Sahu Lab in NCMM and in the Kristensen lab in the Oslo University Hospital. My work involves dissecting the role of driver transcription factors in primary human 3D breast organoids.

I am from Heidelberg in Germany and currently doing my Masters thesis project from University of Oslo.

Currently, I am learning molecular cloning work, plasmid preparation and lentiviral production to express my transcription factors of interest in lentiviral expression vector. In my project, I will be working with human 3D organoid cultures to express my transcription factors of interest and then study their role in gene expression and chromatin state.

Divyesh

Divyesh Patel, PhD

Post-doc

I’m a post-doctoral researcher at Sahu Lab in Helsinki, and my work involves understanding the non-coding regulatory genome for example the role of transposable elements in cancer-specific gene regulation.

I received my Ph.D. from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Gandhinagar in Dec, 2020 and then started my postdoctoral research in Biswajyoti Sahu’s lab. Currently, my project focuses on understanding the non-coding regulatory genome with a special emphasis on the role of transposable elements in organ-specific cancer.

I am using next-generation sequencing based methods such as massively parallel reporter assays (STARR-seq) to decode enhancer function and nascent RNA mapping for understanding their role in cancer genome reprogramming.

Ville

Ville Tiusanen, MSc

PhD student

I’m a PhD Student at Sahu lab in Helsinki and my work involves understanding the critical pancreatic cancer-specific gene regulation and the role of transcription factors in enhancer and super-enhancer structures.

I am interested in understanding the role of cancer-specific enhancers and specifically the super enhancer architecture in primary and cancer cells.

In particular, I am involved in the data analysis of next-generation Illumina sequencing datasets of genome-wide transcription factor binding, epigenetic modifications and chromatin accessibility.

Veera

Veera Erkkilä

Lab Manager

I am studying for my Masters degree in Microbiology at the University of Helsinki, and I am currently working as a lab manager in the Enhancer Biology laboratory shared with Dr. Päivi Pihlajamaa’s laboratory in the Applied Tumor Genomics Program.

My work involves managing the research operations and assisting researchers with their experiments and day to day work in the laboratory.

I also learn new methods and techniques in cell and molecular biology used in cancer research.

Alumni

Jihan Xia, PhD, Post-Doc – University of Helsinki, Finland, now co-PI in Chongqing Medical University, China

Konsta Karttunen, MSc, Masters thesis student and Research assistant – University of Helsinki, Finland

Nikita Poddar, MSc, Research assistant, now Bioinformatician in Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, USA

Pinja Perkkiö, Lab Manager, now Masters student in University of Helsinki, Finland

Frederik Labonte, Erasmus internship, now Masters student in University of Cologne, Germany

Kerim Yavuz, MSc, Research assistant, now PhD student Koç University, Turkey

Ting Wei, PhD, Post-doc – University of Helsinki, Finland

Morena Bazelli, BSc, Erasmus internship, International Hellenic University, Greece

Marco Bardus, Research assistant, Polytechnic Di Torino, Italy