Who we are

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.



Darshan Kumar

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Since 2013

Darshan is doing his PhD studies in the field of imaging. His main focus is imaging biology at the electron microscopy level. From the time of his Master's in the Netherlands, he has been off and on taking business and bio-business related courses. Performing activities from different walks of life, ranging from research to event management, excites him a lot. Being a part of the BiotechClub has boosted his interest not only in connecting companies to academics, but also his own research.


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Larisa Viazmina

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Since 2013

Larisa does her PhD in the fields of Biochemistry and Immunology with a focus on adhesion regulation in leukocytes. She has an experience in interactive teaching and holds a specialist degree in Biotechnology (microbial drug substance manufacturing) from Saint Petersburg Chemical-Pharmaceutical Academy. She has an open-minded attitude, understanding the value of networking , especially between Academia and Industry. Her initiative to experience being part of biobuisness made her a Biotechclub board member.

Jurgita Paukstyte

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Since 2019

Jurgita is doing her PhD in the doctoral program of Integrative Life Sciences since 2017. She is investigating cellular ageing mechanisms using yeast as a model. The main scope of her research is to identify the role of age-dependent polymerization of certain enzymes in metabolic differentiation during ageing. Jurgita received her B.Sc. degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Vilnius, Lithuania in 2014. She later on specialised in Genomics and Systems Biology at Gothenburg University in Sweden in 2016 for her Master´s.

She is excited to meet people from academia and business worlds who are enthusiastic about science. She believes that sharing ideas and working together would bridge both fields and results in innovative advancement. 



Johanna Anttila

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Since 2018

Johanna is a doctoral student in Translational Cancer Medicine Program in the Faculty of Medicine at University of Helsinki. She holds a MSc degree in Biochemistry with Molecular and Cellular Biology major from University of Oulu. In her PhD studies, Johanna aspires to harness oncogene MYC-dependent cancer cell metabolic vulnerabilities with the object of translating the research for the benefit of breast cancer patients. Besides science, Johanna likes organizing courses and events, and also enjoys capturing events via photography. She joined BiotechClub as she is keen on building connections with bio industry professionals.



Erika Gucciardo

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Since 2019

Erika moved to Finland as an Erasmus exchange student in 2010 and carried out her Master thesis project in the field of imaging. She completed her PhD in 2018 in the field of cancer and endothelial cell invasion and is currently working in the field of vascular biology and diabetic ocular vascular complications. Her main focus is in understanding the disease mechanisms of proliferative diabetic retinopathy using ex-vivo 3D models and omics approaches. The interest in bio- and health-business and enthusiasm in promoting networking between Academia and Industry made her a BiotechClub member.


Liliia Andriichuk

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Since 2018

Liliia is doing her PhD in the area of Developmental Neuroscience. Her PhD project is devoted to studying activity-dependent mechanisms that affect neuronal migration in the developing mammalian cortex. She enjoys establishing new techniques in her hosting lab as well as exploring new fields in Biosciences. Her experience includes research in areas of Molecular biology and Biophysics. In addition, she worked as a biochemist in a hospital intensive care unit for 2 years. Liliia decided to join Biotech club because she wants to organize exciting networking events with the possibility to explore the world outside Academia.


Mridul Johari

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Since 2016

Mridul is currently working on the analysis of NGS data for rare Neuromuscular disorders. He has a MSc degree in Molecular Biosciences and an engineering degree in Biotechnology at bachelors level. He is ambitious for a career outside academia and has been involved in event planning and management both at his institute (Folkhälsan Research Center) and the University level.


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Elina Pietilä

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Since 2019

Elina is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Medicine at University of Helsinki, studying the matrix microenvironment of drug resistant ovarian cancer. Elina has an engineering degree in Biotechnology and a master´s degree in Biomedicine. In both of these studies Elina combined academia and outside-academia by completing thesis work for the bachelor degree in a technical research center and for the master degree in a pharmaceutical company. Besides her current PhD candidate-work, Elina has been participating in organizing several courses and research outreach events in the University of Helsinki, but with the interest in networking more towards the bio business and bridging academia and company she wanted to join the Biotech club.



Snehadri Sinha

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Since 2020

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.




Anna Gran

Current position: Business development manager at Novo Nordisk


Vytas Raulinaitis

Current position: doctoral student, University of Helsinki


Zhao Zeng

Current position:  Supercell, Computer Games


Riikka Karjalainen

Gergana Gateva

Maria Sanz Navarro

Mona Christensen

Anastasiya Chernenko

Denis Dermadi Bebek

Heini Hakala

Sawan Kumar Jha

Hongxin Chen

Shentong Fang

Minttu Kansikas

Emmi Joensuu

Vytas Raulinaitis

Prasanna Sakha

Svetlana Semenov

Sandra Söderholm

Mari Teesalu

Isabel Weinheimer

Zhao Zeng