Meet our experts

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Pauliina Halimaa

Managing Director, PhD

Pauliina has MSc degrees from the University of Helsinki (Forest Economics and Marketing) and from the University of Kuopio (Plant Biotechnology). She completed her PhD degree in the University of Eastern Finland. During the PhD project she learned the next generation sequencing technologies and bioinformatics, which were emerging technologies at that time. Because of this know-how, she was recruited to Biosafe Ltd in 2016 as a project manager with a task to build a bioinformatics pipeline for bacterial whole genome sequence analysis in order to assist in their safety evaluation. In addition, fermentation product analyses, such as the PCR-based detection of production strain DNA in products have been in her portfolio. She follows closely the developments in legislation and EFSA guidance with great interest. At Biosafe, she has managed numerous projects related to the safety assessment of microorganisms or products derived from them for use as feed additives, food enzymes and biopesticides. As a Managing Director at Biosafe since March 2020, she is increasingly involved in business development tasks, including productization and branding. Her passion is “to build a smooth customer experience entailing invincible service quality.”

Contact Pauliina
+358 40 640 3225

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Sirpa Kärenlampi

Scientific Director, Professor

Sirpa is Professor Emerita at the University of Eastern Finland. She obtained PhD in biochemistry. Besides working as a full professor of biotechnology, she has served over 20 years as a scientific expert in the European Commission Scientific Committee of Plants (GM plants), in the EFSA GMO Panel (GM plants and microorganisms), in the CEF Panel (particularly food enzymes) and in a FEEDAP Panel working group (GM microorganisms). She has contributed to nearly 200 scientific opinions and guidance documents. In addition to horizon scanning, strategy work and supporting the personnel in scientific questions as Scientific Director, her Biosafe activities include data interpretation, consultations, literature reviews, and gap analyses related to regulatory requirements. She is also participating actively in the EuropaBio activities especially in the area of industrial (white) biotechnology. “Success of biotechnology and harmonization of reasonable safety evaluation system are my great motivators.”

Contact Sirpa

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Atte von Wright

Scientific Adviser, Professor

Atte is Professor Emeritus of Food Biotechnology of the University of Eastern Finland, and a microbiologist and geneticist by training. His research activities cover mainly lactic acid bacteria and their applications as well as food hygiene and food toxicology. He also has a strong background in food and feed legislation (food hygiene, food and feed additives, food contact materials) both at the national and EU level. He has served as a member of the European Commission Scientific Committee for Animal Nutrition as well as two EFSA Scientific Panels (FEEDAP, GMO) and several working groups. Atte’s history at Biosafe Biological Safety Solutions Ltd dates back to the origin of the enterprise. Currently his major contributions to the company are linked to his expertise in toxicological and microbiological matters and in special regulatory or legislative questions.

Contact Atte
+358 50 537 6030

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Arja Tervahauta

Laboratory Manager, PhD

Arja obtained PhD degree in biochemistry. She has an extensive experience in biosciences based on both research and teaching. She is familiar with topics in biotechnology, molecular biology, biochemistry and microbiology. She has a strong methodological background as a researcher, having used a wide range of molecular biological methods (DNA and RNA techniques, PCR, WGS, functional genomics) in national and EU projects focused on molecular mechanisms of metal tolerance of plants. She also acted as assistant coordinator in the projects. As the Laboratory Manager at Biosafe since 2020, she is responsible for the overall operation and development of the laboratory, as well as for the development of testing methods.

Contact Arja
+358 40 619 6222

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Jouni Heikkinen

Key Account Manager, PhD

Jouni obtained MSc degree in applied biotechnology in the University of Kuopio in 2003, and PhD degree in applied zoology in the University of Eastern Finland in 2013. During that time, he gained strong expertise in food microbiology and screening for beneficial microbial strains, especially for use in salmonid aquaculture. He joined Biosafe team in 2013 to work as the Laboratory Director, which gave him a strong expertise in in vitro tests to be carried out according to EFSA guidance. In the beginning of 2020, he moved to the position of Key Account Manager, which gives him more freedom to utilize his knowledge for the benefit of the customers. At Biosafe, his specialities are antibiotic susceptibility testing, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and custom-designed analyses especially related to in vitro efficacy trials and development of specific screening methods for the absence of production strain from diverse products.

Contact Jouni
+358 40 016 5829

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Jenny Makkonen

Project Manager, PhD

Jenny obtained her MSc degree in applied biotechnology in the University of Kuopio in 2006, and PhD degree in biosciences in the University of Eastern Finland in 2013. She has strong research background, including topics in molecular biology, genetics, host-pathogen relationship and virulence evolution. She is experienced in DNA and RNA techniques, PCR, qPCR and digital PCR, as well as metabarcoding and transcriptomics. She has also successfully applied several bioinformatic pipelines and written numerous scientific publications and research reports. At Biosafe, her speciality areas as Project Manager include bioinformatics analyses, especially putting the results in the biological context. She also uses her expertise and experience in developing custom-designed tests for the presence of DNA in products, as requested by the EFSA guidance. She says: “I am always enthusiastic to help Biosafe customers to tackle problems with difficult samples and complex microorganisms.”

Contact Jenny
+358 40 5474 110

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Meeri Sutinen

Quality Manager, Project Manager, PhD

Meeri is a biochemist by training and has obtained PhD degree in biosciences in the University of Oulu. She has extensive scientific background mainly focused on cancer research, with expertise in molecular and cell biology and extracellular matrix. Her methodological expertise includes DNA and RNA techniques, PCR as well as protein assay methods. She started at Biosafe as a researcher in 2018 and was nominated in 2019 as Quality Manager responsible for developing the quality management system. She is also managing various projects, especially those including antibiotic susceptibility and cytotoxicity testing. She also participates in custom-designed tests for the presence of DNA and for the absence of production strain in the products. Her motto is: “I strive to use all my knowledge to the benefit of the customer.”

Contact Meeri
+358 40 574 9191

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Daniel Blande

Bioinformatician, PhD

Daniel studied for an International Master’s degree in Bioinformatics at the University of Helsinki, which covered both theoretical and practical topics in bioinformatics. He completed PhD at the University of Eastern Finland, where he specialised in the analysis of Next Generation Sequencing data for both genomic and transcriptomic studies. He was then postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki where his main work was in genome annotation. As Project Manager at Biosafe his work involves evaluating and developing His main areas of expertise include genome assembly, annotation, R, python and the Linux command line.

Contact Daniel
+358 40 506 8086



Minna Voutilainen


Minna Voutilainen is a bioinformatician with a Master's degree in Biomedicine, who has recently researched childhood leukaemias with the help of NGS (Next Generation Sequencing). Her work at Biosafe focuses on EFSA-required analyses of whole genome sequencing data. She develops pipelines and data workflow for our clients to get their products approved.

Contact Minna
+358 40 5050 913



Pilvi Ruotsalainen

Microbiologist, PhD

Pilvi Ruotsalainen is a microbiologist with a PhD in cell and molecular biology. During the last decade, she has worked in microbiological research. She has built strong methodological experience in a variety of microbiological methods, and molecular biology methods like cloning, digital PCR, and sequencing. She is also experienced in cell cultures and protein purification with chromatography imaging with fluorescence and confocal microscopy.

Contact Pilvi
+358 40 5050 607

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Anne Ukkonen

Regulatory Manager

Anne Ukkonen is a Regulatory Manager focusing on European food and feed guidelines. For our customers, this could mean knowing and explaining the guidelines under which the authorities and EFSA experts assess your product and what the testing and analysis requirements for your product are.

Anne has been working in the biotech industry for about 20 years both as a scientist and a manager. She started her career at the University of Eastern Finland, in professor Sirpa Kärenlampi's research team. Since completing her PhD in biotechnology, she has worked in the private sector as a project leader in a biotech company battling cancer and as a quality control manager in a company producing gene therapy and virotherapy products. She has hands-on experience in a wide array of laboratory techniques both as a researcher and supervisor, and she is well experienced in working in a GMP (good manufacturing practice) environment and what it entails.

Contact Anne
+358 40 5813 160

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Lars Granlund

Project Manager

Lars Granlund is a Project Manager focusing on bioinformatics. He works with the Biosafe laboratory to analyse samples and bioinformatics concerned with the acquisition, storage, analysis, and dissemination of biological data sets, most often DNA and amino acid sequences. He also communicates with clients, writes up reports and manages a diverse range of projects.

Lars has a PhD in imaging techniques in ecological applications and his broad background is in biology, biochemistry and environmental sciences.

Contact Lars
+358 40 5061 244

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Liisa Rimpiläinen

Business Development Manager

Liisa Rimpiläinen is Biosafe’s Business Development Manager, responsible for sales and customer relationships. She is originally a pharmacist by education with a background in social pharmacy and the pharmaceutical industry.

In her work, Liisa is in contact with a diverse range of clients who require assistance applying for EU market authorisation.

There are many things to consider in the authorisation process, often ones of which customers may not be aware. Getting authorisation in the European Union is a journey and Liisa guides clients through all stages of it.

Contact Liisa
+358 40 4178 691

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