Tuuli Lappalainen, PhD

Principal Investigator /


Tuuli Lappalainen is a Professor in Genomics at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, an Associate Faculty Member at the New York Genome Center, and the Director of the National Genomics Infrastructure of SciLifeLab. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the Department of Systems Biology at Columbia University.

Her research focuses on functional genetic variation in human populations and its contribution to traits and diseases. She has pioneered the intergration of large-scale genome and transcriptome sequencing data to understand how genetic variation affects gene expression, providing insight to cellular mechanisms underlying genetic risk for disease.

Tuuli received her PhD from University of Helsinki, Finland in 2009, followed by postdoctoral research at University of Geneva, Switzerland and at Stanford University. She started her own lab in New York in 2014, and in 2021 she was appointed as a full professor at KTH. She splits her time between Stockholm and New York City.

Linda Kvastad, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher

Linda joined the lab in the fall of 2022 after completing her Ph.D. in Sweden at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) under the supervision of Joakim Lundeberg. She developed and applied spatial transcriptomics methods to characterize cellular landscapes in tissues, focusing on pediatric brain tumors. In the Lappalainen lab, Linda is interested in genome-wide population differences and their effect on human diseases.

Demirhan Cetereisi, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher

Demirhan obtained his BSc and Master degrees from Istanbul University, Turkey and University Joseph Fourier in France. He completed his PhD at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. During his PhD, he worked on the functional characterization of an orphan GPCR in the mouse brain at the molecular and behavioural levels. He did a first postdoc at the Department of Laboratory Medicine in Karolinska Institute and he worked on the bioengineering of extracellular vesicles using a library screening approach for improving mRNA loading into the vesicles. He joined Tuuli´s Lab as a second postdoc where he will investigate gene dosage to function relationships using CRISPR-based screening approaches. Overall, Demirhan is interested in integrating multiple omics approaches for better understanding of fundamental biological questions. 

Philipp Rentzsch, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher

Philipp is a computational postdoc in the Stockholm lab. Previously, he studied molecular biotechnology at University of Heidelberg and did his PhD with Martin Kircher at Charité, Berlin on the variant effect predictor CADD. He is interested in finding and predicting genomic variants that drive changes in gene expression and phenotype.
When not in the lab, he is likely exploring, mostly by bike, SUP, ski or mars helicopter.

Scott Adamson, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher

Scott joined the lab in fall of 2021. He earned his BS in Environmental Science as well as his PhD in Biomedical Sciences from University of Connecticut. During his PhD, he worked under the supervision of Brenton Graveley to develop massively parallel reporter assays to identify the impact of genetic variance on pre-mRNA splicing, as well as understand splicing regulation more generally. In the Lappalainen lab, he is interested in developing new ways to predict and test the connection between genotype, splicing, and phenotype.

Silva Kasela, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher


Silva Kasela is a postdoctoral research associate in the Lappalainen lab. She is interested in using and developing statistical methods to understand the genetic architecture of human phenotypes and diseases. Silva studied mathematical statistics at the University of Tartu, Estonia. As a PhD student, she joined the Estonian Genome Center at the University of Tartu to integrate her interest in both statistics and biology. She obtained her PhD in molecular biomedicine from University of Tartu studying the genetic regulation of gene expression.

Júlia Domingo, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher

Júlia joined the lab the fall of 2020. She has a BSc in Human Biology and a MSc in Bioinformatics from Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. During her MSc, she investigated the determinants of expression within coding regions. She completed her PhD at the Centre for Genomic Regulation under the supervision of Ben Lehner, where she used deep mutagenesis to understand genetic and physical interactions. In the Lappalainen lab, Júlia is interested in integrating deep mutational scanning and single cell technologies to better understand how the non-coding genome regulates gene expression.

Jonah Einson, BSc

PhD Student


Jonah is a graduate student rostered in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Columbia University. He is interested in developing computational tools for analyzing gene expression data derived from next-generation sequencing technologies. Jonah completed his bachelor’s at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where earned dual degrees in Biochemistry and Statistics. While at UMass, he studied microbial community ecology in food processing systems, and epigenetic predictors of breast cancer.

Molly Martorella, BSc

PhD Student

lab photo

Molly is an MD/PhD student in the Integrated Program in Cellular, Molecular and Biomedical Sciences at Columbia University. She is interested in studying how non-coding variants and environmental exposures affect the transcriptome and how this, in turn, affects disease risk and phenotype. Prior to joining the lab, Molly worked as a technician in Christopher Deppmann’s lab at UVA studying exosomal signaling during neurodevelopment. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College in Biochemistry and Neuroscience. During her undergraduate years, Molly studied neuroprotective effects of estrogen in a schizophrenic rat model, and researched key regulators of receptor recycling in memory formation.

Mariia Minaeva

Undergraduate Researcher

Mariia is an undergraduate student at a joint Master program between Karolinska Institutet, KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Stockholm University studying molecular techniques in life science. She is interested in studying genomic variations associated with diseases in different populations and their effects on the splicing isoforms.

Outside of the lab, Mariia enjoys skiing and travelling.

Renee Garcia

Undergraduate Researcher

Renee is a senior undergrad at the National Autonomous University of Mexico studying genomic sciences. In humans she is interested in studying genomic variation associated with diseases in different populations, and in non-model organisms she would like study the genetic basis adaptation to different environments.  She loves to code and learn new programming languages, also she would like participate in science communication at some point in her carrier.  Outside the lab she usually exercises, watches series, takes photos and explores new york city.

Athena Tsu

Undergraduate researcher

Image from iOS

Athena is an undergraduate student at Columbia University studying applied mathematics.

She is interested in using computational and statistical methods to explore how genetic variation affects phenotype and disease. Outside of the lab, Athena is involved with Columbia Barnard Matriculate and enjoys writing and exploring New York.

Martin Broly, MD

Visiting researcher

Photo d'identité Martin Broly HEC

Martin is a medical resident in Genetics and Genomics at Nantes University Hospital’s department of Genetics in France. He is interested in providing improved diagnosis by integrating -omics data to understand how functional perturbations in the genome and cell environment affect patient’s phenotype and disease. More specifically, his work in the lab concentrates on integrating genomic variants and allele specific expression data derived from high throughput and tissue specific sequencing to gain new insights on how rare coding and non-coding genetic variations contribute to congenital heart diseases. Prior to joining the lab, he was focused on NGS data analysis in a clinical setting in order to provide diagnostic services, genetic counseling, and individualized care for patients.

Carmen Bjurström, PhD

Staff Scientist & Lab Manager

Carmen recently joined the Lappalainen lab to work as a Researcher in Genomics at the Dept of Gene Technology, KTH and will be responsible for establishing our Wetlab in Stockholm.

She obtained her master’s degree in Bioinformatics and PhD in Medical Science from Lund University, Sweden. Her research interest has consistently been focused on cell and gene therapy for blood disorders, which led her to pursue a postdoc at the Dept of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics at UCLA, to work on gene-editing of hematopoietic stem cells as a therapy for sickle cell disease. She is interested in studying functional population genomics, integrating CRISPR and single cell approaches with transcriptomics.

 Marcello Ziosi, PhD

Staff Scientist & Lab Manager


Marcello is responsible for running our wetlab. Before joining the lab he was Associate Research Scientist at the Huston Merrit Center at Columbia University studying genetics and molecular basis of mitochondrial diseases. He obtained his PhD from Bologna University, Italy. He focused his scientific activity on the study of cell competition, a homeostatic cell communication mechanism that leads to the elimination of unfit and potentially malignant cells. In 2011 he moved to New York City as a postdoc at Columbia University to study the genetics and metabolic requirements of cell competition and the role of mitochondria in that.

 Paul Hoffman, BSc

Bioinformatics Analyst


Paul is a bioinformatics analyst, shared jointly with Rahul Satija’s lab. Before this position, he was a bioinformatics specialist for Peter Morrell at the University of Minnesota Agronomy Department. While there, he worked on finding the physical location of SNP markers on the barley genome, helped identify mutations that are important in cold tolerance in barley, and started asking how different motifs in genomic DNA influence point mutations in soybean. Paul earned his Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from the University of Minnesota.

Kathryn Bedrosian, BSc

Executive Assistant for Faculty


Kathryn Bedrosian is an executive assistant for faculty at the NY Genome Center, working for the Lappalainen and Sanjana labs. A native Michigander, she moved to New York in 2004 and currently lives in Bayside, Queens. While pursuing her master’s degree at Michigan State University, she had the opportunity to teach undergraduate students, and she enjoys the opportunity to again work with students in this new position.

Emma Inns

Assistant to Tuuli Lappalainen

Emma Inns started working as a part-time assistant to Tuuli in September 2022. She has over a decade of experience working as an assistant and administrator at Karolinska Institutet and a background in Intensive Care nursing in the UK. In her spare time she enjoys walking, shopping, hanging out with family and friends, and good food.     

Affiliate members and visitors

John Morris, PhD (shared postdoc with Neville Sanjana’s lab)
Kristina Buschur, PhD (shared postdoc with Graham Barr’s lab)
Brielin Brown (shared postdoc with David Knowles)


Renee Garcia, senior undergrad at the National Autonomous University of Mexico
Marion Korach-André, PhD, Research Coordinator (Oct 2021-Aug 2022)
Vardiella Meinier, MD, PhD, Professor on a sabbatical, 2020
Anu Pasanen, Postdoc (2019-2021)
Elise Flynn, MSc, PhD student (2017-2021). Now at Patch Biosciences.
Dafni Glinos, Postdoc (2018-2021). Now at Vertex.
Stephane Castel, Postdoctoral Researcher, Senior Research Fellow (2014-2021). Now CTO and co-founder of Variant Bio.
Sailalitha Bollepalli, Postdoc (2020-2021)
Margot Brandt, PhD student (2014-2019). Now at Nature Communications.
Erica Bertisch, Executive Assistant (2014-2019)
Yige Zhao, Rotation student (2019)
Nora Lam, Rotation student (2019)
Alper Gokden, Associate Scientist I (2017-2019). Now at Columbia University.
Sarah Kim-Hellmuth, Postdoc (2015-2019). Now Marie Curie Fellow at Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich.
Ana Vasileva, Senior Staff Scientist (2014-2018).
Pejman Mohammadi, Postdoc (2015-2018). Now Assistant Professor at Scripps.
Aaron Wolman, Associate Scientist I (2015-2017). Now at Merck.
Yocelyn Recinos, Rotation student (2018)
Edward Ruiz, Rotation student (2018)
Nicholas Giangreco, Rotation student (2016)
Alejandra Cervera, Visiting student (2016)
Alexandre Yahi, Rotation student (2016)
Zach Baker, Rotation student (2015)
Ana Pascoini, Research Assistant (2014-2015)