People

PhD, Adjunct Professor

Principal Investigator, Department of Medical and Clinical Genetics
Group Leader, Applied Tumor Genomics Research Program
Senior Scientist of the Sigrid Jusélius Foundation

Pia Vahteristo in Pubmed
pia.vahteristo@helsinki.fi
02941 25600

PhD, Postdoctoral fellow

I completed my Ph.D. degree in Medical Genetics at the University of Helsinki in early 2017. My thesis work focused on utilizing next-generation sequencing technology to discover novel genetic defects that contribute to uterine leiomyoma development. My research has been published in Science, The New England Journal of Medicine, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). My research interests focus on molecular classification of cancers and malignant transformation of pre-cancerous lesions. I am especially interested in exploring the molecular characteristics that separate a benign tumor from a malignant one. I am currently investigating the genomic landscape of endometrial polyps using next-generation sequencing.

Miika Mehine Research profile
miika.mehine@helsinki.fi
02941 25557

PhD student, MSc

I’m a geneticist finishing a PhD research on uterine leiomyomas. My special interest is to understand how benign leiomyomas can function as precancerous lesions, and eventually identify leiomyomas that have potential for dissemination and development of highly aggressive leiomyosarcoma. The overall aim of this PhD project is to gain biological knowledge on these common tumors, which can be used to treat the patients and prevent cancerous transformation in the body.

Terhi Ahvenainen in LinkedIn
Terhi Ahvenainen Research profile Tuhat
terhi.ahvenainen@helsinki.fi
02941 25557

PhD student, MD

I received my Medical degree in 2013. I´m currently doing specialist training in obstetrics and gynaecology, and working full time in Helsinki University Hospital. My PhD project focuses on uterine leiomyomas in fertile aged women. Our goal is to clarify the molecular background in leiomyomas that lead to operative treatment at a young age. We are especially interested in finding factors that lead to the development of leiomyomas very early, or on the other hand, recurrently. In the clinical part of the project, we study the effects of myomectomy on later reproductive health and quality of life.

anna.ayravainen@helsinki.fi
02941 25557

PhD student, MSc

I majored in human genetics during my Master’s degree. I am currently working on the genetics of histopathological uterine leiomyoma variants and leiomyosarcomas. I am using genomic technologies to investigate these tumors. The variants constitute of different subtypes based on the histopathological evaluations after surgery. This distinguishes them from the common conventional uterine leiomyomas. Little is known about the genetics of theses subtypes. Understanding their molecular background may help with developing personalized treatment options. 

sara.khamaiseh@helsinki.fi
02941 25557

PhD student, MSc

I am a human geneticist with a minor in microbiology. My work aims to shed light on the genetic background of endometriosis. Endometriosis is a common, benign disease that has some shared characteristics with malignancy, e.g. invasion and angiogenesis. On rare occasion, endometriosis has the capability to transform into a malignancy, specifically ovarian cancer. I utilize methods like NGS to study different types of patient samples, and some functional characterization to further elucidate the possible effects of the found variants.

susanna.nousiainen@helsinki.fi
02941 25557

PhD student, MSc

I completed my Master’s degree in genetics in 2020. Currently I am studying endometrial polyps. Although endometrial polyps are very common gynecological tumors, their molecular background and pathogenesis are largely unknown. I am utilizing exomic, genomic and transcriptomic next-generation sequencing methods to characterize genetic aberrations affecting the pathogenesis of these benign uterine tumors.

siiri.reinikka@helsinki.fi
02941 25557

Master's student, BSc

I'm working on my master's thesis project of recurrent uterine leiomyomas. I study the genetic background of recurring leiomyomas, if they are clonally related, independent nodules or if there is a germline predisposition. In my project, I use different laboratory techniques including immunohistochemistry and molecular biology, as well as bioinformatics in analysing sequence data. I study in Translational Medicine master's programme in University of Helsinki.

maare.arffman@helsinki.fi
02941 25557

Master's student, BSc

I am a Master's student in Genetics and Molecular Biosciences. I am particularly interested in genetic alterations leading to tumorigenesis and cancer. My Master’s thesis project focuses on genetic background of uterine leiomyomas, benign smooth muscle tumors of the uterus. The aim is to characterize genetic alterations from point mutations to larger chromosomal rearrangements. I am analysing whole genome sequencing and RNA sequencing data for this purpose.

vilja.jokinen@helsinki.fi
02941 25557

Research assistant, Master’s student, BSc 

 

I am a first year Master’s student in Genetics and Molecular Biosciences and I work as a part time research assistant. Mainly my work consists of laboratory work, such as PCR, DNA/RNA extractions and immunohistochemistry as well as organizing and archiving samples.

anni.lindfors@helsinki.fi
02941 25557

Laboratory technician, MSc (on maternity leave)

I work as laboratory technician for Pia Vahteristo's lab group. 

In addition to my lab management duties I work in the role of research assistant alongside most projects. I work with different laboratory techniques in cell biology, molecular biology, microbiology and pathology. My responsibilities also include maintaining and updating our databases as well as training new lab personnel in various techniques. 

lotta.katainen@helsinki.fi
02941 25634