Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, Professor

Professor and group leader

Kerstin received her PhD in human genetics at the Karolinska Institute. After a short postdoc at the Whitehead Institute/MIT Genome institute, she went on to lead many vertebrate genome projects, as well as canine disease projects. She was one of the founders of SciLifeLab. She is currently a Professor at Uppsala University and the Scientific Director of Vertebrate Genomics at the Broad Institute.

Sophie Agger

Guest doctoral student

Maja Louise Arendt, Associate Professor

Researcher and veterinarian

Maja is an Associate Professor in Veterinary and Comparative Oncology at the University of Copenhagen and an affiliated researcher with the Kerstin Lindblad-Toh research group. Maja received her PhD in cancer gene therapy and comparative oncology from University of Glasgow and did a Post doc in comparative genetics at Uppsala University. She did a clinical residency program in veterinary oncology at the University of Cambridge and became a European diplomate in veterinary oncology in 2019. Maja’s research focusses on cancer genetics, investigating the role of both germ-line and somatic mutations on cancer development in pet dogs. Maja also has an interest in the genetic relation to different phenotypes in dogs such as their ability to digest starch, hip dysplasia and gestational diabetes amongst others. As a clinician Maja is also involved in clinical trials with the view to improve cancer treatment for both dogs and humans.

Matteo Bianchi, PhD


Matteo received his PhD in medical genetics at Uppsala University with focus on the genetics underlying different immunological diseases in dogs and humans. He also worked as a researcher on the development of bioinformatics pipelines and methods benchmarking in the context of NGS data analysis. Matteo now works within the DISSECT collaborative network, primarily focusing on myositis. He also participates in the bioinformatics analyses of other projects in the group.

Gustav Brander, PhD

Post Doc

Gustaf received his PhD in psychiatric epidemiology at Karolinska Institutet, with a focus on risk factors and health consequences of obsessive-compulsive disorder and chronic tic disorders. Currently, he holds a postdoc position, working on identifying modifying genes conferring risk of canine degenerative myelopathy and human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Gustaf is also a licensed psychologist.

Matthew Christmas, PhD


Matthew received his PhD in population genetics at the University of Adelaide, South Australia in 2016. After a short post-doc there he moved to Sweden to take up a post-doc position at Uppsala University in Prof. Matthew Webster’s group. In this role, he analysed genomic data to address questions on adaptation and genome evolution in bee species. Matthew is now applying his bioinformatic and analytical skills to various projects in the Linblad-Toh lab.

Johanna Dahlqvist, MD, PhD


After receiving her MD, Johanna performed her doctoral studies in clinical genetics at Uppsala University. After a post-doc period in the Lindblad-Toh lab, she went on to do a post-doc in the lab of prof. Nir Hacohen at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT (Cambridge, MA, US), with which she is still affiliated. Returning from the Broad, Johanna is affiliated with the Lindblad-Toh lab and has initiated independent projects concerning the genetics and pathophysiology of ANCA-associated vasculitides in humans. Johanna combines her research with a clinical fellowship in rheumatology at Uppsala University hospital.

Michael Dong


After a Master project at the Umeå Plant Science Center on the development of a pseudogene detection pipeline for the Spruce genome, Michael obtained his Master in Bioinformatics and Biostatistics (AMI2B) and his “Magistery of biology” degree at the University of 

Paris-Saclay / Paris-Sud XI in France in 2016, with a focus on programming, data management and genomics.He then worked two years as a Laboratory Technician in Bioinformatics at the Karolinska Institute, processing and curating zebrafish sequencing data from the DANIOCODE Data Coordination Center, before joining Kerstin’s team early 2019. He has since then been working on the Comparative Genomics side of the 200 Mammals / Zoonomia Project, looking to unveil  secrets behind the most conserved or fast-evolving features in mammalian evolution.

Anna Darlene van der Heiden

PhD Student

Åsa Karlsson, BMA

Research engineer and sample coordinator

Åsa is BMA – a biomedical scientist – and have previously worked at the Clinical chemistry laboratory at the Animal Hospital in Uppsala, mostly with various hormonal analyses based on immunological methods such as RIA and ELISA as well as other clinical chemistry analyses. Åsa has also worked at the Reproductive Center at Uppsala Academic Hospital, where she performed in vitro fertilization treatments.

Sergey Kozyrev, PhD


Voichita Marinescu, PhD


Suvi Mäkeläinen, PhD

Post Doc

Raphaela Pensch

PhD Student

Eric Pederson, PhD

Senior Research Engineer

Eric is a Senior Research Engineer at the Lindblad-Toh Lab. He has a PhD in plant molecular biology from SLU, where he worked on the evolution of plant hormones in the model moss species, Physcomitrella patens. This work entailed the use of many different molecular and microscopy methods, as well as data analysis and project management. Afterwards, he had research position at EBC, Uppsala University, working on a project concerning the circadian rhythm in Marchantia polymorpha as well as a Postdoctoral position at Stockholm University as one of the principle investigators on a project concerning the symbiosis between a feather moss, Pleurozium schreberi, and cyanobactera, Nostoc spp.

Katarina Tengvall, PhD


Katarina received her PhD in molecular genetics at Uppsala University with focus on the genetics behind different immune mediated diseases in dogs. She did her postdoc at KI studying auto antigens involved in multiple sclerosis. Now, Katarina has returned to Lindblad-Toh Lab and works with the dog atopy project primarily, but also with other dog projects including Renal dysplasia, Addison’s disease, Behaviour and IgA deficiency.

Ola Wallerman, PhD


Chao Wang, PhD


Chao received his PhD in animal genetics at HZAU in China with focus on artificial selection and domestication in pigs. He did his postdoc at Uppsala University studying the structural variants in different species. Chao now works with the new canine reference genome and juvenile renal dysplasia in dogs. He also participates in other dog disease projects such as cancers and atopy.

Previous members of the lab

Sharadha Sakthikumar, PhD


Sharadha is a Computational Biologist/Bioinformatician at the Lindblad-Toh Lab. The focus of her research lies in canine and human cancer genomics. Her current work centers on applying whole-exome and whole-genome sequencing to unravel the genetic basis of cancer and, ultimately, discover potentially clinically actionable alterations in the tumors of osteosarcoma and glioblastoma. Previously, Sharadha worked as an Associate Computational Biologist at Cuomo Laboratory, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, USA. The focus of her work there was analyses of sequencing data from pathogenic fungi, aimed at identifying genomic variation underlying the evolution of fungal pathogens and host-pathogen interactions. She was also involved in designing cutting-edge bioinformatics pipelines for high-throughput sequencing analysis.

Elisabeth Sundström, PhD

Scientific coordinator and researcher

Elisabeth received her PhD in molecular genetics at SLU with focus on pigmentation genomics and functional investigations of melanoma in Grey horses. She did her postdoc in functional genomics at Uppsala University, and has been working as a researcher in projects investigating the functional role in cancer and development of the transcription factor ZBED6 and with the genomics of Salmo salar. Elisabeth also has industrial experience from jobs in marketing and sales.