Francesca Aguilo (

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 (

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 (

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 like travelling, music and doodling!

Devi Prasad (

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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Ghazala Naz Khan (

Postdoctoral fellow

I come from the UK where I carried out my Bachelor’s degree at the University of Kingston (UK) and then double Master’s at Cranfield University (UK) and Brunel University (UK). I completed my PhD at the University of Bedfordshire (UK) during which I characterised antigens and biomarkers in leukaemia and ovarian cancer. My first postdoc was at the University of Rostock (Germany) followed by Hull University (UK). I joined the Aguilo lab in March 2019 to establish research in ovarian cancer investigating the role of RNA modifications in cancer progression and metastasis. I enjoy traveling, walking and watching movies. 

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Paula Petronela Groza (

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 its 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.  

Carlos Martínez  (

Master student

I am from Spain where I completed my bachelor´s degree in Biology at the university of Alcalá de Henares (Madrid). I started a master´s programme in Molecular Biology in 2018 in Umeå. While I was completing my bachelor´s and my master I developed a special interest in epigenetics and epitranscriptomics and the impact of these fields in cell regulation and development. In order to expand my knowledge I started an internship in Aguilo´s lab in June of 2019. Apart of science, I also love sports, music and I am big history fan.