Our Team

Jette Lengefeld, PhD

Assistant Professor

Jette is an Assistant Professor at the University of Helsinki (Finland) since 2021 and at the Karolinska Institutet (Sweden) since 2023. 

Jette did her graduate studies at the ETH Zurich (Switzerland) focusing on asymmetric cell division in the lab of Prof. Yves Barral. This work started her interest in stem cells. Jette performed her postdoctoral studies at the MIT (US) in the lab of Prof. Angelika Amon, where she discovered cellular enlargement as an aging factor of blood stem cells. 

Her independent research team is investigating how blood stem cells fail to maintain their functions during aging and leukemia. She was awarded the ERC Starting Grant in 2024.


Soham Bharadwaj, MSc

PhD student

Soham did his bachelor’s in Biotechnology from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (New Delhi, India), finishing 12th best of all India in his discipline. He pursued his master’s in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Ludwig Maximilians University (Munich, Germany). Scientifically, his interest lies in understanding how cells regulate their size and the implications of size regulation. In his free time, he loves to boulder, hike, and mingle with people.

Congratulations, Soham! He received a University-funded doctoral candidate position for 3 years by the Doctoral Programme in Biomedicine. 


Daniel Davies, MSc

PhD student

For his undergraduate honors degree, Daniel studied Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Glasgow (Scotland) . During the 3rd year, he spent a semester studying abroad at Yonsei University in South Korea. After completing his bachelor’s, Daniel moved to study at the University of Edinburgh, pursuing a master’s degree in Bioinformatics. His research interests revolve primarily around the biology of aging; understanding the underlying mechanisms that cause cellular aging, why these lead to the formation of age-associated diseases and how these can be manipulated in regenerative medicine.


Emilie Cerezo, PhD


Emilie did her doctoral studies in Toulouse (CBI, France) working on the regulation of ribosome biogenesis by the MAPK signaling pathway in the Henry/Henras lab. She has been attracted to the study of cellular aging since her early university years. She now wishes to elucidate the underlying mechanisms that connect changes in HSC size to their dysfunction during age-related diseases. 

Congratulations, Emilie! She received a certificate of excellence by EMBO!


Di Wu, MSc


Di completed his undergraduate studies in Clinical Medicine at Hunan Normal University in Changsha, China. He then pursued a master’s degree in Internal Medicine from Fudan University in Shanghai, China. Di will join us in October 2023 to understand the relationship between cell size, aging and metabolism.

Noel Yeh Martin, PhD

Senior researcher

Noel completed his undergraduate studies in Biology from the University of Salamanca (Spain). After earning his master degree in cell biology at the University of Geneva (Switzerland), he moved to the University of Trento (Italy) to pursue his PhD in synthetic biology in the Mansy lab. Then, he transitioned to the Ludwig Maximilians University-Munich (Germany) as a postdoctoral researcher in the Braun lab. Throughout both his PhD and postdoc periods, he used different approaches to construct synthetic cells to gain a deeper understanding of the fundamental principles of living cells. Now, his research interest centers on investigating the role of stem cells in leukemia.


Elina Hurskainen, MSc

Lab manager and researcher

Elina finished her bachelors and master’s degrees in Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. She works as a laboratory coordinator with versatile tasks from coordinating and integrating lab resources to technical experimental support. Elina’s research project focuses on identifying factors that rejuvenate HSCs. Outside the lab Elina is a live music-enthusiast, cat lover, gamer and an outdoors person. She is also a licensed swim instructor, cocktail bartender and a former sushi chef in case there is a need.


Vandhana Sundar Usha, BSc

Master’s student

Vandhana completed her Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology from Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore, India. At present, she is pursuing her masters in the GMB program at UH. Her academic achievements include an AIR 28 in a national-level Life sciences examination in India. She is highly interested in the fields of Cell and Molecular Biology and Structural Bioinformatics. She has joined the Stem Cell Size lab as a research trainee. Apart from academics, she loves doing various artistic works especially pencil sketching as well as cooking.



Jonah Anderson, MSc

PhD student

Jonah Anderson earned his Bachelor and Masters in Life Science & Technology at Leiden University and Delft University of Technology (the Netherlands) with a focus on cell biology. His scientific interests lie with the mechanisms of aging. He will be studying the connection between cellular enlargement and aging in human samples. 

Insa Strassburg, BSc

Summer student

Insa finished her bachelor degree in Life Science at the Leibniz University in Hannover, Germany. There she worked after her bachelor thesis as a student researcher in a lab for cancer and stem cell research. Now she would like to deepen her knowledge about stem cells and their role in cancer especially leukemia. Apart from academics, she loves dancing, reading and outdoor activities in general.


Anastasiya Ostroverkhova, MSc

PhD student

I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Biology at the University of Leipzig in Germany and am currently completing my Master’s degree in Biochemistry/Biomedicine with a specialization in Hematology. In order to broaden my knowledge and opportunities, I have decided to go abroad after graduation and aim to start my PhD soon. Scientifically, I am particularly interested in the field of cancer and stem cell research. 

You? We are hiring!

We are looking for Postdoc or PhD student

Send us your CV, list of publications, motivation letter including a description of your research interests, and the names and telephone numbers of at least two referees at this email address: jette.lengefeld@helsinki.fi

We are looking forward to your applications!