Francesca Aguilo (francesca.aguilo@umu.se)

Principal investigator

I'm originally from Mallorca, where I did my Bachelor in Biology and Biochemistry at the University of the Balearic Islands. I then moved to Barcelona, to do my PhD at the University of Barcelona, studying the metabolism of ketone bodies. As a postdoc at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, I became interested in understanding epigenetic and epitranscriptomic mechanisms governing stem cell function. I joined the WCMM and the Department of Medical Biosciences at Umeå University in October 2016 as an independent researcher. I love cinema, music and travelling.

Sandhya Malla (sandhya.malla@umu.se)

PhD student

I am from Nepal. After completing my bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry  from the National College of Advance learning, Kathmandu (Nepal), I joined Jiwaji University, Gwalior (India) for master’s degree. In 2015, I moved to Umeå, and I had the opportunity to work as a project assistant in the Department of Medical Biosciences. After a very competitive selection procedure, I was fortunate to join the laboratory of Dr. Francesca Aguilo first as a project assistant and, since September 2017, as a PhD student. I like playing sports, listening to music and watching football.

Cyrinne Achour (cyrinne.achour@umu.se)

PhD student

I grew up in France and did my Bachelor in Biology in Paris-Sud XI University, Orsay, which introduced me to epigenetics and non-coding RNAs. I then graduated from my Master's degree in Biochemistry & Genetics of RNA (Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris). Before joining the Aguilo Lab for my PhD study, I did a second internship in Pierre and Marie Curie University, studying the role of a putative tRNA-methyltransferase in Drosophila, which grew my interest in understanding how RNA modifications can be linked to development and diseases. Besides Science, I love travelling, music, and training at IKSU!

Devi Prasad (devi.prasad@umu.se)

Postdoctoral fellow

I came from the beautiful Himalayan country Nepal where I completed my BSc. in Biochemistry from Purbanchal University. Then, I went to Jiwaji University, India for MSc. Biochemistry. I have completed my PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2013-2017) from Beijing Institutes of Genomics (UCAS), China, under the supervision of Prof. Yungui Yang, where I studied various RNA modification, including reader proteins for m6A. My research interest areas are on different RNA modifications and its implications in health and disease. I am very much fond of hiking and photography (a lot to learn).

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Paula Petronela Groza (paula.groza@umu.se)

PhD student

I graduated a bachelor programme in Agricultural Biotechnologies and a master programme in Applied Biotechnologies, both in my home country, Romania (University of Agricultural Science and Veterinary Medicine of Cluj-Napoca). My research interests are: genetics, RNA biology, epigenetics, embryonic development, gene regulation, and stem cell biology. Besides studies, I try to make time to sleep, read, take long walks in the nature, go to gym, photograph different aspects of life in their raw form and sometimes write poems. I found my own place in Aguilo’s Lab team and I am grateful for all the opportunities I had since I joined this lab.  

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Kanchan Kumari  (kanchan.kumari@umu.se)

Postdoctoral Fellow 

I completed my doctoral study in 2019 from Institute of Life Sciences, which resides in the beautiful “City of Temples”, Bhubaneswar, India. During my doctoral training, I had an opportunity to study the molecular mechanisms playing important role in tumor biology, specifically in breast cancer. My interest to understand the significance of non-coding RNAs in epigenetics and its’ role in cancer biology motivated me to join the group of Dr. Umakanta Subudhi working with microRNA and DNA nanostructures in 2019. Upon completion of one year of my postdoctoral training at DNA lab, CSIR-IMMT, Bhubaneswar, India, I joined Aguilo group in October 2020 where I look forward to expand my knowledge in molecular biology behind epigenetic gene regulation during cancer progression. A positive attitude towards life keeps me motivated and enthusiastic. Besides research activities, I love music and enjoy traveling and exploring new places.

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Marga Esteva Socias  (margalida.esteva@umu.se)

PhD Student 

I am from Mallorca, but I moved to Barcelona to do my BSc in Genetics at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. During my Master’s degree, I joined Advanced Therapies and Biomarkers in Clinical Oncology Group at IdISBa (Mallorca) where I studied the clinical utility of EGFR as a prognostic biomarker in non-small cell lung cancer patients. Before joining the Aguilo Lab as a PhD student, I also worked as a research support technician in a biobank participating in various research projects related especially to lung cancer and inflammation. Besides research, I try to have time for photography, travelling, cooking and climbing.