Our team

Our team currently has 9 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. 

Emma Haapaniemi


Main project: Keeping the lab funded
Previously worked in: Genetics, high-throughput biology, different paediatrics departments and emergency rooms across Southern Finland
Education: University of Eastern Finland (MD), University of Helsinki (PhD), Karolinska Institute (Postdoc)
Favourite pastime: Riding and petting horses, but I rarely do it nowadays.
Writing (grants, permit applications, papers) 40%
Helping the team with their projects 40%
Practising clinical medicine 15%

Monika Szymańska


Main project: Keeping the lab organised
Previously worked in: Molecular biology and immunology at the Department of Pathology, Oslo University Hospital
Education: Master’s degree in molecular biology at the University of Gdansk, Poland. PhD in cell biology at the University of Oslo. Postdoc and researcher positions at the Oslo University Hospital
Favourite pastime: Knitting and listening to audiobooks (fantasy and crime stories), walking with my dog Watson

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

Ganna Reint


Main project: Validating CRISPR screening results, with the goal of making the system more efficient and accurate.
Previously worked in: Kidney development  & organoids (University of Oulu), Traumatology department in regional hospital (Ukraine)
Education: Kharkov National Medical University (MD)
Favourite pastime: Yoga and science fiction books. I also enjoy traveling a lot.

Performing experiments 60%
Experiment design and data analysis 20%
Papers and lab maintenance 10%

Zhuokun Li


Main project: Screening and studying the CRISPR system in cell lines
Previously worked in: Gene Therapy; Sequencing and finding new CRISPR systems (Beijing Genomics Institute)
Education: Hainan University (Bachelor); Tsinghua University (Master)
Favourite pastime: Reading, Painting

Experiments 70%
Reading papers 15%
Other lab work 10%

Oda Almåsbak


Main project: Optimize custom CRISPR platform in RPE1 cells and test custom platform in PBMCs for my master project.
Previously worked in: BioNtech IMFS GmbH as a scientific trainee to characterize packaging cell lines for stable production of lentiviral vectors.
Education: Doing my master in Bioscience (University of Oslo), Bachelor’s Degree in Molecular biology and biochemistry (University of Oslo)
Favourite pastime: Hiking, dancing, meeting friends and watching TV-series

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

Katariina Mamia


Main project: Evaluating safety and efficacy of different CRISPR systems in patient peripheral immune cells.
Previously worked in: Inflammasome biology (Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Science).
Education: Master’s degree in Biomedical Science (Karolinska Institutet).
Favourite pastime: Hiking, traveling, daydreaming.

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

Pavel Kopčil


Main project: Optimizing and evaluating 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.
Previously worked in: Human epigenetic lab (miRNA, DNA methylation, CRISPR/dCas9, NGS), Charles University, Medical faculty (Czech Republic).
Education: Bachelor´s and Master´s degrees in Molecular biology and medical genetics (Brno, Masaryk University, Czech Republic), ERASMUS+ Internship (Aarhus University, Denmark).
Favourite pastime: Playing music (cello), reading (fantasy, sci-fi, magical realism), traveling, cooking/baking/brewing beer, history (Vikings!), visiting and enjoying cafes with specialty coffee


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

Frida Høsøien Haugen


Main project: Master project in studying and optimizing precision of CRISPR-based editing tools in immune cells.
Previously worked in: Norwegian Research Establishment (FFI) and Borregaard. Laboratory teaching assistant in general and organic chemistry at Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU). Instructor at Vitenparken Campus Ås creating and teaching scientific courses to young adults about biotechnology, including gene editing and CRISPR technology
Education: Current MSc studies in Biotechnology specializing in molecular biology (NMBU). Completed BSc in Biotechnology and in Chemistry (NMBU).
Favourite pastime: Cooking, hiking, listening to podcasts and drinking wine with my friends

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


Inkeri in the lab

Inkeri Soppa


Main project: Writing master thesis while keeping edited primary T cells alive and happy. From time to time I optimize editing in reporter cell lines.
Previously worked in: Plant genetics (University of Umeå), teaching advanced level mathematics and chemistry in high school, picking strawberries
Education: University of Helsinki (Bsc)
Favourite pastime: Reading! Science fiction and fantasy novels, biographies, detective stories – you name it, I read it.

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

Kathrin Menzner


Main project: Help Zhuokun for screening and studying the CRISPR system in cell lines
Previously worked in: Immunotherapy and Molecular Neurobiology (German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg)
Education (doing at the moment): Apprenticeship as a biological lab assistant (German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg)
Favourite pastime: Meeting friends and traveling

Performing experiments 60%
Design experiments, data analysis and reading papers 20%
Small tasks around the lab 15%

Bas Koppenaal


Main project: Helping Zhuokun for screening and studying the CRISPR system in cell lines
Previously worked in: Studing Life science (biology and medical laboratory)
Education (doing at the moment): Apprenticeship as a life scientist (Biology and medical laboratory researcher)
Favourite pastime: Meeting friends, dancing, watching movies and cooking

Working and experimenting with cell lines 60%
Data analysis and reading papers 20%
Small tasks around the lab 15%

Thapelo Mathabela


Main project: Assisting PhD students in screening and validating CRISPR cell lines
Previously worked in: Research technician responsible for the Zebrafish facility at Camila Esguerra’s group (NCMM)
Education: University of the Free State (B.Sc), University of Stellenbosch (Honours)
Favourite pastime: Skiing, Hiking,Playing tennis and gaming

Experiments with cell lines 60%
Dealing with the liquid handling robot 20%
Small tasks around the lab 15%

Lisa Lutz


Main project: working on a project focusing on identifying off-target effects of the CRISPR-Cas9 system. In addition, I help Monika to set up Cas9WT protein production in order to produce our own Cas9WT 
Previously worked in: Bioresources at the Austrian Institute of technology (AIT) and Plant protection at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU)
Education: Biotechnology (MSc) at the Austrian Biotech University of Applied Sciences.
Favourite pastime: reading, do handicraft work, photoshop pictures and cooking

Performing experiments 70%
Small tasks around the lab 40%
Design experiments and data analysis 15%

Carola Pont Vallès


Main project: Identifying off-target effects of the CRISPR-Cas9 system while working on my Final Degree Project. Joining other PhD students with their project and learning new techniques
Previously worked in: no previous lab experience
Education (doing at the moment): Bachelor’s Degree in Biology at the University of Barcelona (UB)
Favourite pastime horseback riding, scuba diving, meeting friends and traveling 

Performing experiments 50%
Reading and writing 30%
Data analysis 20%