Lab members

Lab members

Emma R Andersson, Principle Investigator

Emma Andersson, Photo by Stefan Zimmerman

After defending her PhD in Developmental Neuroscience in 2009, Emma pursued postdoctoral studies with Professor Urban Lendahl at the Karolinska Institutet, where her work focused on the role of Notch signaling in development and disease of the nervous system and in the liver. In order to devise a method to rapidly manipulate gene expression in the developing embryonic nervous system and other organ systems, she performed guest research in the laboratory of Professor Elaine Fuchs (Rockefeller University, New York, USA) to further develop the technique of ultrasound-guided in utero microinjection of lentivirus. This technique was originally developed to target developing skin, but the Andersson lab has now established protocols which allow targeting of several organ systems during development, including the nervous, gastric and respiratory systems. She has established the technology as a core facility (Infinigene: Infrastructure for ultrasound-guided in utero injection and rapid genetic manipulation in mouse), in addition to a core facility for virus production. In 2017, thanks to the EASL Mentorship Award, she also spent time at Yale Medical School during a mini-sabbatical with Professor Maria Strazzabosco. Now the lab combines molecular, developmental, and computational biology to address fundamental mechanisms of development of the nervous, vascular and hepatic systems, of relevance to human health.

Lenka Belicova, postdoc

Lenka joined the lab as a postdoc in June 2021. She is fascinated by questions of how cells make fate decisions and how they organize themselves into functional tissues and organs. To the Andersson lab, she brings her expertise in hepatocyte biology and in vitro culture of primary cells developed during her PhD, which she performed under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Marino Zerial at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany. For her thesis on Molecular mechanisms of hepatocyte polarity, she was awarded a PhD from the Medical Faculty Carl Gustav Carus of the Technische Universität Dresden, Germany. Using the newest tools in our lab, she will dissect epithelial cell lineages, their heterogeneity and fate transitions in developing and regenerating livers.  

Sandra de Haan, PhD student (KI-NIH program)

Simona Hankeova, postdoc (former KI-MU program PhD student)

Former PhD student in KI-MU collaboration, shared with Vitezslav Bryja. Currently post doc in the lab, en route to post doc at Genentech.

Jingyan He, PhD student (CSC program)

I received my Master degree from Zhengzhou University in China, majoring in reproductive medicine. This year, I moved to Sweden and joined Prof. Andersson’s lab at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB) to continue my studies. My passion for research is extremely strong and I am very interested in the cutting-edge new technique ultrasound-guided nano-injection.
My PhD project focuses on the liver Notch Code, aiming to investigate the roles of different Notch receptors and ligands in controlling embryonic liver development and malignancy. We also aim to investigate how and whether miRs can be used to regulate Notch signaling in liver.
Elucidating how different Notch components interact during liver development and homeostasis will be essential to improve our basic understanding of the developmental processes, and would also allow improved precision therapy for Alagille syndrome and liver cancer.

Noémi van Hul, Senior Scientist

Noémi received her PhD in 2011 at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL) in Belgium where she worked on the relationship between liver progenitor cells and extracellular matrix in the regenerating liver under the supervision of Prof Isabelle Leclercq. Short after, she joined Prof Tania Roskams’ liver pathology lab at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL) where she had the opportunity to work with human liver samples representing a broad range of liver disease. Early 2014, Noémi exchanged Belgium for Singapore to work on a liver project in the Cell Cycle and Cancer lab at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), A*STAR. A collaboration with a lab specialized in tight junctions, led to the observational finding of a mouse model lacking bile ducts which was the onset for a growing interest in bile duct morphogenesis, tubulogenesis and maintenance. In April 2018, Noémi joined Emma Andersson’s lab to participate to the in-depth analysis of the malformation of the biliary tree in the Nodder mouse model aiming at understanding the hepatic manifestation of the Alagille syndrome.

Afshan Iqbal, PhD Student

Afshan is recently recruited to pursue doctoral studies. She is also working as Lecturer at the University of the Punjab, Pakistan. Her PhD project aims to develop therapies for Alagille syndrome and to elucidate the mechanism of Notch control of growth factor pathways in Alagille syndrome. In parallel, she will study whether putative treatments are not only sufficient, but safe.

David Kosek, PhD Student

David has an MSc. in molecular biology from Uppsala University, where he worked on ribozyme catalysis. He studies gene regulation by microRNAs, with a special interest in their target selection and role in regulatory networks underlying cellular and developmental processes.

Katrin Mangold, PhD Student

I am focusing on the development of the central nervous system and the contribution of DNA mutations to the onset of brain disorders like cerebral palsy. My main interest is to discover de novo mutations in patient samples and combine this with high through-put in vivo screens to investigate the role of the affected genes in brain development. For this I am using ultrasound-guided in utero microinjections of lentivirus to induce widespread alteration of gene expression in the embryonic murine central nervous system.

Since this technique is a powerful alternative to common knock-out model systems, I am also involved in several collaborations with groups at Karolinska Institute that are focusing on the development of other organ systems like the heart, lungs or kidneys and are interested in using ultrasound-guided microinjections in utero as well.

Bettina Semsch, Animal technician specialist and team leader, technician at INFINIGENE

Bettina Semsch was born in Heidelberg, Germany. In 2009 she moved to Sweden and became animal technician and team leader at the production unit KM-W and INFINIGENE.

She works 50% for INFINIGENE and 50% for the lab. Bettina is an expert in embryo transfer, cryopreservation, vasectomy, microinjection, anesthesia, blood sampling and much more.

During her free time, Bettina likes to meet friends, cook, read, go to the movies, travel and she is absolutely fascinated by astronomy & astrophotography. She likes to look at planets, stars and galaxies through her telescope. On her last visit in Germany she met the German Astronaut Alexander Gerst after his lecture and it was such a great experience to talk to him. Bettina’s best moment was a parabolic flight where she was weightless for over 30 minutes – she really wants to do that again as soon as possible!

Elisabeth Verboven, postdoc

Paulina Zydowicz-Machtel, postdoc

ALUMNI (staff, postdocs and PhD students, years in ERA lab in brackets)

Jan Masek (post doc 2016-2020), now PI at Charles University Lab link here

Dimitri Schritt (bioinformatician 2017-2018), now Senior Data Scientist at Scania

Marika Sjöqvist (post doc 2015-2017), now Design transfer specialist at PerkinElmer

Ileana Guzzetti (post doc shared with Katja Petzold lab, 2015-2017), now at AstraZeneca

Emine Ezel Cilek (post doc 2018-2019)

Aiman Elmansuri (post doc 2015-2017)

Linus Christerson (post doc 2015-2017)