Outi Kilpivaara's and Ulla Wartiovaara-Kautto's research group is located in Biomedicum Helsinki 1, on Meilahti campus of the University of Helsinki.
Outi Kilpivaara


Principal Investigator

Adjunct Professor in Molecular Genetics

I’m a geneticist with a great passion for hematological malignancies. I received my PhD in cancer genetics (inherited breast cancer) in 2007 and then did my first postdoc in Ross Levine’s lab (hematology) at MSKCC in NYC 2007-2010. When I returned home, I did my second postdoc in Lauri Aaltonen’s lab (cancer genomics) 2011-2014 before establishing my own lab in 2015.

Full list of Outi's publications

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Ulla Wartiovaara-Kautto

MD, PhD, Adjunct Professor

I am a hematologist at the Helsinki University Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Center and am affiliated with the University of Helsinki (UH), Faculty of Medicine, as a principal investigator. I received my PhD in 1999 and medical degree in 2000. Thereafter I specialized in clinical chemistry and clinical hematology. I have worked in the hematology practice for almost ten years and worked as the section chief since 2014. My areas of responsibility include acute lymphoblastic leukemia and inherited blood diseases including genetic predisposition syndromes. Together with Outi Kilpivaara, PhD (doc.), we have a joint research group focusing on hematological genetics in the RPU of University of Helsinki. I am also the coordinator/ responsible teacher of hematology at UH.
+35850 428 7051

Suvi Douglas

Doctoral Researcher, MSc

I completed my Master’s degree in Biology at the University of Helsinki, specializing in human genetics in 2017. My PhD projects focus mainly on the germline predisposition to acute myeloid and lymphoblastic leukemia. In particular, I am studying the mechanisms behind ERCC6L2 –driven bone marrow failure and acute erythroid leukemia. My special interest is also trying to solve the mysteries of undiagnosed patients by finding a germline cause for their symptoms and helping with making a correct diagnosis for the patient.

Suvi's LinkedIn profile

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Marja Hakkarainen

Doctoral Researcher, MD

I recieved my medical degree from the University of Helsinki in 2012 and am specialized in internal medicine. My PhD project focuses on the genetics of inherited bone marrow failure syndromes.

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Ilse Kaaja

Doctoral Researcher, MSc

I joined the Waara lab during my master’s studies and have continued in the lab as a PhD student. I completed a bachelor’s degree in integrative biology at UC Berkeley and a master’s degree in translational medicine at the University of Helsinki. I’m mostly involved in functional- and single cell projects investigating inherited bone marrow failure syndromes and their progression into acute myeloid leukemia (AML), with a special interest in cellular energy metabolism.

Ilse's LinkedIn profile

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Lotta Katainen

Laboratory manager, MSc

I work as laboratory manager for Outi Kilpivaara's and Ulla Wartiovaara-Kautto's lab group. 

In addition to my lab management duties, I work in the role of a 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's LinkedIn profile
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Jessica Koski

Doctoral Researcher, MSc

I received my Master’s degree in Life Science Informatics, majoring in Bioinformatics and Systems medicine (University of Helsinki). My PhD focuses on a wide range of different hematological malignancies and I am studying both germline and somatic genetics.

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Atte Lahtinen

Doctoral Researcher, MD

I am a PhD student. My PhD project focuses on the genetics of Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPNs) including Essential Thrombocythemia (ET), Myelofibrosis (MF) and Polycythemia Vera (PV). I'm researching somatic and germline gene mutations which can cause and predispose to MPNs, and also how these genetic alterations may affect the clinical features of these diseases.

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Laura Langohr

Postdoctoral Researcher, PhD

I am a PostDoc in the iCAN project, Outi Kilpivaara's and Ulla War­tiovaara-Kautto's Hematological Genetics lab, and Esa Pitkänen's Machine Learning in Biomedicine-group. I received my PhD in computer science in the field of data mining (University of Helsinki) and my MSc and BSc in bioinformatics (Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany). My research focuses on understanding how leukemias arise from premalignant conditions utilizing, among others, single-cell sequencing data analysis methods.

Cristina Natalucci

Doctoral researcher, MD

I am a pediatrics resident. I graduated from University of Padova (Italy) with a thesis on inherited causes of hematological and immunological conditions. My project focuses on platelet glycoproteins, on their role in inherited thrombocytopenia and possibly in hematological malignancies.

Tuulia Räisänen

Doctoral reseacher, Medical student

I am a medical student and will graduate from the University of Helsinki in January 2025. My research focuses on TERT gene, exploring the landscape of rare germline TERT variants in Finnish patients, families and population.

  • Elina Hirvonen, PhD