Motivated researchers (post-docs, PhD & Master's students) can always contact for thesis projects and available positions.

In particular, experimental scientists interested in modern, cutting-edge functional genomics tools for epigenetics research in cancer, gene regulation by transcription factors in cancer, bioinformatics and computational analysis of genome-wide datasets are always encouraged to be in touch. Please contact, if interested.

Biswajyoti Sahu, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator, Docent in Molecular Genetics

I am a Docent (Adjunct Professor) in Molecular Genetics from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Helsinki.

I am a molecular biologist 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 conformation (ATAC-seq, DHS-seq), chromatin architecture methods (in situ HiC, ChIA-PET), cell fate conversion using transcription factors (transdifferention) and high-throughput enhancer assays (MPRAs such as STARR-seq).

I am a Principal Investigator within the Applied Tumor Genomics program of the Research Programs Unit at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki. As a principal investigator, I am leading the Enhancer Biology lab to understand the role of lineage-specific transcription factors and their collaboration with cancer-specific oncogenes in driving tumorigenesis.

Biswajyoti's research profile on ORCiD

Biswajyoti's research profile in the University of Helsinki's research portal (TUHAT)

Biswajyoti on LinkedIn



Liangru Fei, Ph.D.

Post-doctoral fellow

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.

Konsta Karttunen, B.Sc.

TRANSMED stu­dent

I am a final year TRANSMED student and doing my Masters' thesis in the lab of Biswajyoti Sahu. I am interested in understanding the role of non-coding genome in gene regulation. In particular, I am looking at the transposable elements and their role in oncogenic repogramming of enhancers. I am involved in the computational analysis of RNA-seq data for gene expression, transcription factor binding, chromatin accessibility and functional enhnacer activity data. I am also analyzing long-read nanopore sequencing data for improved mapping of repetitive elements in cancer cells.

Divyesh Patel, Ph.D.

Post-doctoral fellow

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. 

Nikita Poddar, M.Sc.

PhD student

I received my M.Sc. in Bioinformatics from Banaras Hindu University, India in 2019. I have done research internships at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Zoological Survey of India and before coming to Finland, I was working at National Institute of Plant Genome Research where I gained experience in NGS data analysis. I have recently started my research studies in Biswajyoti Sahu’s lab. My goal is to work on multi-omics dataset for better understanding of lineage-specific TFs, enhancer reprogramming and gene regulatory networks in cancers of endodermal origin.

Ville Tiusanen, M.Sc.

PhD stu­dent

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. Currently, I am working on the role of lineage-specific trnascription factors in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas.

Jihan Xia, Ph.D.

Post-doctoral fellow

I received my Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine from University of Oulu, Finland in 2019 under the supervision of Professor Gonghong Wei and then started my postdoc in Biswajyoti Sahu’s lab. Currently, my project focuses on understanding the epigenome repogramming during prostate cancer disease progression and role of lineage-specific transcription factors in modulating the 3D-genome architecture. I received Academy of Finland's post-doctoral funding for this project. I am using methods for understanding the cancer epigenome using long read nanopore sequencing (NOME-seq), genome editing using CRISPR-Cas9, functional enhancer assay (STARR-seq) and auxin-inducible degron for better mechanistic understanding of transcription factors and their role in gene regulation.