Confirmed keynote speakers

Dr. Toni T. Seppälä, University of Tampere

Topic: Precision Medicine in Gastrointestinal Cancer

Dr. Toni T. Seppälä graduated from medical school as licentiate of medicine in the University of Eastern Finland in 2010 and defended his PhD thesis on Alzheimer’s disease in 2012. During surgery residency with professor Jukka-Pekka Mecklin’s mentorship he became interested in cancer research.

In 2019–2021 Dr. Seppälä underwent a research fellowship at the department of Surgical Oncology in the Johns Hopkins University and Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore, MD, USA, under supervision of pancreatic surgeons Dr. Richard Burkhart and Dr. Christopher Wolfgang.

In 2022, he was appointed as a tenure track professor of cancer research in University of Tampere and leads laboratories and research groups in Tampere and Helsinki Universities.

He serves on the board of Directors of the European Hereditary Tumour Group, the scientific committee of the Prospective Lynch Syndrome Database, and as a Secretary of the Finnish Society of Surgery.

Dr. Seppälä has published over 100 articles, opinions, podcasts and interviews with >3000 citations, and raised over 2.2M euros of competed research funding.

The majority of Dr. Seppälä’s research have been from the field of hereditary cancer, colorectal cancer and pancreatic cancer, and he is appreciated as an expert especially in Lynch Syndrome. His current interests in cancer research are in personalized medicine utilizing precision technologies in solid tumors, such as genomics, patient-derived organoids and cell-free DNA.

He has worked as a colorectal surgeon since board certification in 2018, and was appointed as associate professor at Uni. Helsinki in 2019.


Dr. Pia R-M Siljander, University of Helsinki / Finnish Extracellular Vesicle Society

Topic: Relevance of 3D cell culture in extracellular vesicle research 

Pia R-M Siljander studied biochemistry during her Masters at the University of Helsinki and at the Wihuri Research Institute during her PhD with focus on collagen receptor interplay in platelet activation, she started her ongoing work on microparticles, a subset of extracellular vesicles (EVs). After PhD completion, she did a Postdoc at the University of Cambridge, U.K. For more than 15 years, she has been working at the University of Helsinki, now as a senior university lecturer at the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Molecular and Integrative Biosciences research program. As the principal investigator of EV research group from 2011-, her continuing interest is to understand the biophysical and functional versatility of platelet and cancer EVs and to develop the methodologies in the EV field. The latter manifested in the establishment of the world’s first extracellular core facility for EVs in 2016. Her projects are driven both academically and through industry-collaboration. She is the vice president of the Finnish Extracellular Vesicle Society (FISEV).

Read more


Dr. Tijmen H. Booij, ETH Zürich, NEXUS

Topic: Automation- and miniaturization of organoid assays for drug screening – development of a screening platform for hepatocellular carcinoma

Tijmen is senior screening specialist at the ETH Zurich core facility NEXUS Personalized Health Technologies in Switzerland. He develops high-throughput screening assays with a particular focus on assay miniaturization for advanced cell systems. Tijmen studied bio-pharmaceutical sciences at Leiden University in the Netherlands, where he also obtained his PhD degree. During his studies, he used lab-automation equipment and 3D-cell culture models to develop and optimize high-throughput and high-content screening assays.


Jonathan Sheard, UPM Biomedicals

Topic: Setting the trend – applications showing automated and scalable 3D cell culture for HTS

Focusing on 3D cell culture products and application development, Jonathan got his Ph.D. in biomedical sciences at Aston University, Birmingham, UK in 2016. Before joining UPM in 2019, Jonathan worked as an independent post-doctoral researcher at Reading University, Berkshire, UK. 


Nick Glass, Perkin Elmer

Topic: Automating GrowDex on the PerkinElmer JANUS Liquid Handling Robot for 3D Cell Culture

Nick Glass (BSc, MSc)

PerkinElmer Team Leader – Field Applications (Oceania)

Nick has been with PerkinElmer for three years, initially as an automation field application specialist and now has the Team Leader for Field Applications in the Oceania region. Prior to joining PerkinElmer, Nick worked in the area of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine where he developed and used automation, 3D printing, and microfluidics for a variety of biological applications. Coming from an engineering background with a strong biological sciences focus, Nick loves enabling science from health to chemistry to basic science with technology.


Dr. Akihiro J. Matsuoka, Northwestern University 

Topic: Generation of iPSC-derived three-dimensional vestibular neuronal spheroids with nanofibrillar cellulose gels

Akihiro J. Matsuoka is an assistant professor in the Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery department at Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. He is also a faculty at the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and the Center for Advanced Regenerative Engineering, Northwestern University.

He received his medical degree (M.D.) and a Doctor of Medical Science (D.M.Sc.) degree from the Kitasato University (Japan), a Ph.D. at the University of Iowa, clinical residency training in Otolaryngology at Indiana University, and a clinical fellowship training in Neurotology/Skull base surgery at the University of California San Diego. Dr. Matsuoka’s research focuses on regenerative engineering using human pluripotent stem cells in the auditory and vestibular systems. He has won several research awards and is the author of over 50 scientific medical peer-reviewed publications.


Dr. Itedale Namro Redwan, BICO/Cellink

Topic: Recapturing in vivo biology — how bioprinting can unlock the advantages of 3D cell culture

Dr. Namro Redwan holds a PhD degree in Chemistry with emphasis on Medicinal/Organic Chemistry from the University of Gothenburg. She obtained her Postdoctoral training in Chemical Biology at the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco. She was an Assistant Professor at the Clinical Chemistry and Transfusion Medicine at the University of Gotehnburg prior to joining CELLINK as a Senior Principal Scientist/Scientific Officer. Today, Itedale is the Chief Scientific Officer, currently leading the Science and Applications team in the R&D department at CELLINK. 

CELLINK is the world leading Bioprinting company and Itedale´s team has commercialized 45+ bioinks and published 15+ application notes in the field of Biofabrication.


Dr. Stefan R. Schmidt, Bioatrium

Topic: Strategies for optimized and intensified cell culture processes

Dr. Stefan R. Schmidt MBA currently serves as COO/Head of Operations at BioAtrium AG, a joint venture of Lonza and Sanofi in Visp, Switzerland. Previously he held the position as CSO and other senior executive roles at Rentschler Biopharma, Germany with overall responsibilities for biologics development and manufacturing. Before that, he was CSO at ERA Biotech in Barcelona, Spain, directing the company’s R&D efforts based on fusion proteins. Prior to that, he worked at AstraZeneca in Sweden where he led the unit of Protein Sciences within Global Protein Science & Supply as Associate Director. He started his leadership career 25 years ago at Biotech companies in Munich, Germany where he built up protein biochemistry teams for Connex and GPC-Biotech. He holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the Julius Maximilians University in Wuerzburg, Germany and a MBA from the University in Gävle, Sweden.


Dr. Hanna Kankkonen, FIMEA

Topic: Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products – Regulatory Considerations

Dr Hanna Kankkonen is currently Senior Scientist at the Finnish Medicines Agency, Fimea, where she has, since 2019, worked as a quality assessor of biological medicines.

She earned her Master’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Oulu in 1996, and her PhD in molecular medicine from the University of Kuopio in 2004 working with professor Seppo Ylä-Herttuala in the field of gene therapy. Altogether Hanna has worked for over 10 years as a researcher at the universities of Tampere and Kuopio and at the University of San Diego in California, where her research focused on the development of virus-mediated gene transfer vectors and gene therapies.

In 2007 Hanna joined Regea Cell and Tissue Center in the University of Tampere where she worked for over 4 years as the Production Manager and also as the Quality Manager of a clinical tissue bank and stem cell manufacturing unit.  Thereafter, before joining Fimea, she worked for 8 years at the University of Tampere, first as a Quality Manager of a biomedical and biotechnological research laboratory, and later as a Senior Advisor in quality and regulatory issues relating to biotechnology, medical devices and advanced therapies.


Dr. Christopher Bravery, Advanced Biologicals

Topic: Regulatory requirements for allogeneic cell banking

Christopher founded Consulting on Advanced Biologicals Ltd at the end of 2009 in order to focus his activities within the Regenerative Medicine sector. Advbiols Ltd provides EU regulatory services to the regenerative medicine industry in addition to business and regulatory research and analysis to identify and focus on the real barriers to commercialisation of regenerative medicine. Christopher has a PhD in xenotranplantation immunology and spent 8 years in biotech (Imutran Ltd, A Novartis Pharma AG Co. and Intercytex) before joining the MHRA as a quality (CMC) assessor (biologicals and biotechnology unit). During this time Christopher was involved with National implementation of the new Advanced Therapies Regulation and also involved through his participation in the CHMP’s cell products working party (CPWP) in implementation at the EMA level including drafting guidelines. 


Markus Haindl, Roche Diagnostics

Topic: Considerations towards industrialization of in vivo Gene Therapies

Markus finished his PhD in 2008 in Molecular Cell Biology at the Max-Planck-Institute of Biochemistry in Munich where he deep-dived into the role of posttranslational modifiers Ubiquitin and SUMO in cell-cycle regulation and ribosome biogenesis He subsequently joined McKinsey&Company as a consultant taking over international strategy and operations projects for clients within the Pharma, Biotech and High-Tech industry. 

By the end of 2010 Markus joined Roche at the Biotech Centre in Penzberg. Since then he was working as a Groupleader and Department Head in Bioprocess Development and Analytical Development & New Technologies, before he took over the Lead for Roche’s  efforts towards Technical Development and clinical supplies for in vivo Gene Therapies as the Global Head of Gene Therapy Technical Operations. 


Snapshot speakers


Roope Ohlsbom, Tampere University

Topic: 3D culture of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells in GrowDex®-T under active flow

Roope Ohlsbom has just started as a doctoral researcher in Adult Stem Cell group at Tampere University. His doctoral studies are going to be concentrated around bone bioprinting applications.

In 2022 Ohlsbom graduated as a Master of Science from Degree Programme in Biotechnology and Biomedical Engineering at Tampere University. He has worked in the Adult Stem Cell group since 2020, as Master’s thesis student and research assistant. Central topics in his work have been mesenchymal stem cells and their differentiation, organ-on-chip devices, and different hydrogels including collagen, fibrin, and GrowDex®-T.


Rosa Karvonen, Tampere University / UPM Biomedicals

Topic: Optimization of GrowDex-A hydrogel for mouse intestinal organoid cultivation

Rosa Karvonen graduated in 2022 as a Master of Science from Degree Programme in Biotechnology and Biomedical Engineering at Tampere University. During her studies she specialized in cell technology.

In her Master’s thesis, Karvonen concentrated on optimization of GrowDex®-A hydrogel for mouse intestinal organoid cultivation. Currently she is working in a cell laboratory at UPM Biomedicals.


Michaela Feodoroff, FIMM 

Topic: Comparison of supporting matrices for 3D drug sensitivity and resistance testing of patient-derived cancer cells

Michaela Feodoroff is a PhD researcher at FIMM (Kallioniemi group) and ImmunoViroTherapy Lab (Cerullo group) at the University of Helsinki. Her research is focused on finding immunotherapeutic treatments for urological solid tumors using oncolytic adenoviruses and patient-derived 3D cell models.  

She completed her BSc (2018) and MSc (2020) in human physiology and virology at the faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Helsinki, while working at Targovax, a clinical stage immuno-oncology company, in 2018-2019.  


Elle Koivunotko, University of Helsinki 

Topic: Angiogenic potential of human adipose derived mesenchymal stromal cells in GrowDex® 

Elle is a second-year doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Pharmacy and was accepted to a salaried position at MATRENA graduate school in 2022. She has worked in Professor Marjo Yliperttula’s Biopharmacy group since 2019 and has gained experience e.g. in freeze-drying, 2D and 3D cell culture and wound healing models in vitro and in vivo. The aim of Elle’s PhD research project is to develop a protective scaffold of GrowDex® for wound treatment components, such as platelet-rich plasma and adipose derived stromal cells, to be utilized in future transplantation and cell therapy applications.


Karina Malmros, Lund University 

Topic: 3D organoid cultures for investigation of lung cancer

Karina Malmros, Research Scientist, PhD in Experimental Hematology, worked with hemostasis and is currently working with 3D cultures from lung cancer tumors at Department of Pathology, Lund, Sweden.


Aino Peura, University of Helsinki

Topic: Micromechanical Regulation of Tumor Immune Microenvironment

Aino Peura is a MD-PhD-student from University of Helsinki and is just starting her third year of PhD in Professor Juha Klefström's group under supervision of senior researcher Pauliina Munne. Her thesis focuses on how stiffness regulated pathways alter breast cancer cell identity and anticancer immune response. Moreover, she is interested how these responses can be mimicked pharmacologically. With a unique 3D-culture model, PDEC (patient-derived explant culture) she is modelling the tumor-microenvironment interaction focusing on the tumor cell phenotypic plasticity and tumour resident immune cells in different 3D matrices including GrowDex-hydrogels.


Conference recordings

We will be releasing some of the conference speeches as recordings later on. Subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on social media to be the first ones to know once the recordings are available.

Follow us on LinkedIn Subscribe to newsletter