Students and Staff

Ph.D. Student – Eleftheria obtained her B.Sc. in Biochemistry and Biotechnology at the University of Thessaly. She earned her M.Sc. in Molecular Biology at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, while conducting her Master Thesis related to immune checkpoint inhibitors for cancer immunotherapy using single-domain antibody fragments (Nanobodies) obtained by Phage-Display in the laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Immunology. During her B.Sc. and M.Sc. studies, she became particularly interested in Immunology, Genetic engineering, and Bioinformatics. Eleftheria’s doctorate is centered on the development of new therapeutic strategies that increase metastatic melanoma immunogenicity, with the ultimate goal to improve the outcome of current immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Ph.D. Student – Saara obtained her B.Sc. in Biochemistry and M.Sc. in Molecular Biotechnology and Diagnostics at the University of Turku. During her Master’s Degree, she developed a strong interest in cancer immunology, immunotherapy, T cell functions studies. Saara has explored immunology while conducting her Master’s Thesis research on novel modulators of regulatory T cells. Saara’s doctorate studies are centered on the discovery of new functional biomarkers related to T cell exclusion and immunogenicity deficiency in cancer, validated as key mechanisms of resistance to current immunotherapies against metastatic melanomas.

Ph.D. Student – Mona has worked as a Research Associate in Singapore Eye Research Institute since 2017, mainly involved in the projects regarding precision medicine using single-cell genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and lipidomics in fluid biopsies to diagnose and manage primary vitreoretinal lymphoma and uveal melanoma. She obtained her Master’s degree in the orientation of Biochemistry from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in 2015. Mona’s doctorate project is developed partially in Turku and Singapore and is centered on the development of a new metastatic uveal melanoma model for studying resistance to cancer immunotherapies using immune checkpoint inhibitors. It is also part of the international research collaboration between Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI), Melanoma Immune Oncology Research Group (MIORG) from the University of Turku, and Liverpool Ocular Oncology Research Group (LOORG).

Link to Mona’s Publications

MSc. Student – Miriam obtained her B.Sc. in molecular biomedicine at the University of Bonn, Germany.
She is currently at the end of the first year of her Master’s studies in biomedical sciences, (drug discovery and development track) at UTU. Miriam’s research is focused on understanding the immune suppressive roles of specific proteins secreted in the tumor microenvironment of metastatic melanomas.

Project Specialist in Bioinformatics. Arfa obtained has Bachelor’s and Masters’ degrees in Bioinformatics. Her doctoral research was focused on comparing the performance of lower-feature levels (transcripts, exon) to the gene-level data in detecting differentially expressed genes. Arfa is also experienced in comprehensive splicing analysis using RNA-seq data sets. In her studies, Arfa applied various machine learning approaches in serum data to detect biomarkers for disease diagnosis. Through the years, she has gotten extensive experience in analyzing RNA-seq datasets. Arfa’s project is centered on analyzing different bulk and single-cell omic data in several cancer cohorts for the discovery and development of new predictive biomarkers.

Link to Arfa’s Publications