The members of the BiotechClub board are current or former doctoral candidates from the University of Helsinki. They all share a common interest for the scientific environment in and outside of their institute and the curiosity to learn more by actively pursuing their goals and interests.
Snehadri is doing his PhD in the field of oral sciences. His project is on the osteosarcoma microenvironment with a focus on extracellular vesicles and developing 3D models of osteosarcoma for drug testing. He holds a MSc degree in Molecular Biosciences and has a background in biochemistry. He is enthusiastic about the networking opportunities that BiotechClub facilitates between business and academia.
Maksim is a doctoral researcher at the Doctoral Programme in Biomedicine where he engineers advanced optogenetic tools controlled by near-infrared light. The high transparency of mammalian tissue in this spectral range makes these tools particularly valuable for in vivo applications. He holds a MSc degree in Biotechnology and has several years of professional work experience in the industry, where he developed potential therapeutics based on recombinant antibodies, antibody fragments, and cytokines. In spare time, he studies machine learning and data science.
Maksim joined the Biotech Club to support its mission to bridge the gap between academia and industry. He enjoys networking with like-minded peers and biotech industry professionals.
Zhijia is finishing up his PhD in University of Helsinki. He received his Master’s degree in Bioengineering from Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China for his studies of heart development and myogenesis in mice. His doctoral research focuses on how CDK12/CycK kinase regulates gene expression to enable genome integrity. In his free time, he is an avid consumer of NBA. Zhijia likes to communicate with people and talk about what they are doing and explore what’s new or anything of being useful for science. He is at the crossroad of whether to pursue further along the academia path or step into the industrial field, so joining BiotechClub may provide a desired answer.
Karim is a doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki's Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. His research focuses on the relationship between early life nutrition and gut health in piglets. He is investigating the impact of new feed supplementation on the growth and gut microbiota of the animals. With a background in gut microbiome research and experience in proposal development and project implementation, Karim is passionate about working with individuals and organizations in academia and industry to bring innovative solutions to the table.
Mohammad is a PhD researcher in the Integrative Life Sciences Doctoral Program at the University of Helsinki. In his PhD project, Mohammad is studying the structural basis of protein aggregation formed by mutant Huntingtin proteins, the leading cause of Huntington's Disease. Mohammad is a pharmacist at heart, he also has a second bachelor’s degree in Law. He studied his first master’s degree in Laboratory Diagnosis in his home country before moving to Italy where he completed his second master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology from the University of Milan. Mohammad is a goal-oriented and highly motivated young researcher, who aspires to make his knowledge and expertise beneficial in the field of developing new therapeutics. In his free time, he enjoys watching football, going to the gym, and watching documentaries.
Nerea Valdebenito Alamar
Nerea is a doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki since 2021 in the Doctoral Programme in Plant Sciences. Her research focuses on how calcium signals are transduced in response to environmental stresses in the plant model species Arabidopsis thaliana. She holds a B.Sc. in Biotechnology from Universitat de València. Her enthusiasm for plant biotechnology took her to Helsinki to complete the M.Sc. in Agricultural Sciences.
As a biotechnologist she believes in the transfer of knowledge from academia to industry. Joining the Biotech Club she hopes to establish new links with biotech companies and to have a more active role in the transfer of knowledge from university research to non-academic institutions.
Berta Bosch is a doctoral researcher in Human Microbiome (HUMI) group at the Faculty of Medicine. Her work is based on “New formulations of microbiome-based therapies”. She graduated from her master’s in Pharmacy at the University of Barcelona, Spain. The main aims of her PhD work are to develop protocols for anaerobic preparation of fecal material, to study its microbiological stability, and the formulation of intestinal bacteria pure strains, which would facilitate their use as orally next-generation probiotics. When she is not working in her project, you will find her spending time with friends, practicing yoga, traveling, or reading. She believes that stablishing a good solid network in between students and enterprises will facilitate the communication and enhance the future opportunities of those who want to become part of that field.
Elina is a PhD researcher in Doctoral Programme in Biomedicine at the University of Helsinki in the Faculty of Medicine. She studies enzymatic activity of bacterial phytochromes and develops red light regulated optogenetic tools to control bacterial gene expression. She loves to make scientific illustrations to make science more accessible. In her free time, she spends time with her family and friends, does yoga, goes climbing or kayaking.
She joined BiotechClub because she thinks better communication between academia and biotech companies would benefit both sides.
Ying-Chieh is a doctoral researcher in the Brain & Mind program at the University of Helsinki. She is focusing on understanding how vascular dysfunction, especially the contribution of pericytes to the etiology and pathology of Alzheimer's disease. Ying-Chieh holds a bachelor's degree in laboratory science and is a qualified medical laboratory scientist in Taiwan. Then she developed her interest in neuroscience and received her Master's in Neuroscience from National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan, with the topic of microtubules in neuronal development. After that, she worked as an associate scientist in the pharmaceutical industry for several years. With a mixed background in medical-industrial-academic, she is always curious about what is beyond basic research and what we can do to benefit patients.
Dollwin is a PhD Researcher at the Human Microbiome Research Unit (HUMI), and she is enrolled in the Doctoral Program in Biomedicine (DPBM), Faculty of Medicine. She holds a MSc degree in Biotechnology from University of Pune. For her doctoral dissertation she is investigating the interactions between breastmilk sugars, infant gut microbiota and health outcomes. Her hobbies include reading, dancing, theater, practicing yoga and meditation. Dollwin’s aspirations with the BiotechClub include networking with like minded professionals, brainstorming creative ideas and participating in events that help bridge the industry-academia gap. She is also passionate about science communication and outreach activities.
Jerry is a doctoral researcher in cell biology, where he seeks to study how defects in actin dynamics affect the physiological functions of human cells. Prior to his doctoral training, Jerry started out as a research assistant at the National University of Singapore (2019), thereafter at the Yale University School of Medicine (2020-2021), where he applied advanced microscopy techniques to study the dynamic regulation of cortical actin network in immune mast cells. His motivation for pursuing a PhD was led by his interest in solving biological problems, to bridge the gap between molecular mechanism and its application in understanding diseases and illness. He is particularly interested to know more about how commercial industries operate, in hope to broaden his horizons outside of academic research and how he could offer as a researcher.
Rashmi Shrestha is doing her PhD at University of Helsinki in the field of environmental microbiology and microbial ecology. Her research is focused on studying impacts of plant diversity on microbial community and activity related to carbon sequestration in agricultural soil. She completed her Master’s degree in microbiology from University of Helsinki. She joined Biotech Club because she is interested to know about opportunities outside academia and wants to help in creating links between research and industry. She enjoys yoga, hiking and spending time with her friends and family.
Ashwini is a doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki where she works on the structural architecture of virus-host interactions by using cryo-EM and X-ray crystallography. Her work also involves antibody engineering which can be used as scaffolds for structural characterization. She obtained her MSc. Protein Science and Biotechnology from the University of Oulu. Ashwini joined the Biotech Club with the vision of applying laboratory benchwork to real-life necessities. She spends her free time by doing gardening, travelling, creating art and DIY projects.
Olesya, a doctoral researcher in the Doctoral Programme in Drug Research, is currently focused on investigating the molecular mechanisms of action of Cerebral Dopamine Neurotrophic factor (CDNF). CDNF successfully passed phase I-II clinical trials for Parkinson's disease treatment, but its exact mechanism of action remains uncertain.
With an MSc degree in Biotechnology and extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Olesya has worked with pharmacopeial compendia to establish appropriate methods for drug testing.
Driven by her passion for bridging the gap between academia and industry, Olesya joined the Biotech Club. She finds great satisfaction in connecting with fellow enthusiasts who share her interests and interacting with professionals in the biotech sector.
Noemí Gutiérrez Valdés
Noemí is a PhD researcher in Plant Sciences at the University of Helsinki. Her research focuses on plant-made anti-HIV molecules, lysosomal disease enzymes, and COVID-19 diagnostic reagents. She conducted her research at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland for the PharmaFactory project (a Horizon 2020 project). She has collaborated with European SMEs, research institutes, and universities from Spain, Italy, France, and the UK. Her education includes a B.Sc. Biotechnology from ITESM in Mexico and a M.Sc. Plant Biotechnology from Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Noemí strongly believes in the synergy between academia and industry and actively promotes bridging the gap between the two. In her free time, she enjoys running, cooking, and mentoring young women in STEM fields.
Current position: Business development manager at Novo Nordisk
Current position: doctoral student, University of Helsinki
Current position: Supercell, Computer Games
Maria Sanz Navarro
Denis Dermadi Bebek
Sawan Kumar Jha