Meet our experts

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Pauliina Halimaa

Managing Director, PhD

Pauliina holds MSc degrees from the University of Helsinki (Forest Economics and Marketing) and the University of Kuopio (Plant Biotechnology). She completed her PhD at the University of Eastern Finland. During her PhD project, she learned about next-generation sequencing technologies and bioinformatics, which were emerging technologies at the time. Based on this know-how, she was hired as a project manager at Biosafe Ltd in 2016, with the task of building a bioinformatics pipeline for whole genome sequence analysis of bacteria to support their safety assessment. Fermentation product analysis, such as PCR-based detection of production strain DNA in products, was also part of her portfolio. She closely follows 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 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 with 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 has a PhD in biochemistry. In addition to being a full professor of biotechnology, she has been a scientific expert in the European Commission's Scientific Committee on Plants (GM plants), the EFSA GMO Panel (GM plants and micro-organisms), the CEF Panel (in particular food enzymes) and a FEEDAP Panel Working Group (GM micro-organisms) for over 20 years. It has contributed to nearly 200 scientific opinions and guidance documents. In addition to horizon scanning, strategic work and providing scientific support to staff as Scientific Director, her Biosafe activities include data interpretation, consultations, literature reviews and gap analyses related to regulatory requirements. She is also actively involved in EuropaBio activities, particularly in the area of industrial (white) biotechnology. "The success of biotechnology and the harmonisation of an adequate safety assessment system are my great motivators".

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Atte von Wright

Scientific Advisor, Professor

Atte is Professor Emeritus of Food Biotechnology at the University of Eastern Finland and a microbiologist and geneticist by training. His research has focused on lactic acid bacteria and their applications, food hygiene and food toxicology. He also has a strong background in food and feed legislation (food hygiene, food and feed additives, and food contact materials) both at the national and EU levels. He has been a member of the European Commission's Scientific Committee for Animal Nutrition, two EFSA Scientific Panels (FEEDAP, GMO) and several working groups. Atte's history with Biosafe dates back to the company's inception. Currently, he contributes especially with his expertise in toxicological and microbiological issues and in specific regulatory or legislative issues.

Contact Atte
+358 50 537 6030
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Arja Tervahauta

R&D Manager, PhD

Arja has a PhD in Biochemistry. She has extensive experience in life sciences based on both research and teaching. She is familiar with 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 focusing on molecular mechanisms of metal tolerance in plants. She also acted as assistant coordinator in these projects. As Laboratory Manager at Biosafe since 2020, she is responsible for the overall operation and development of the laboratory as well as the development of test methods.

Contact Arja
+358 40 619 6222
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Jouni Heikkinen

Key Account Manager, PhD

Jouni received his MSc in Applied Biotechnology from the University of Kuopio in 2003 and his PhD in Applied Zoology from the University of Eastern Finland in 2013. During this time, he gained strong expertise in food microbiology and screening of beneficial microbial strains, especially for use in salmonid aquaculture. He joined the Biosafe team in 2013 to work as a laboratory director, which gave him strong expertise in in vitro testing according to EFSA guidelines. In early 2020, he moved to the position of Key Account Manager, which gives him more freedom to use his knowledge for the benefit of customers. At Biosafe, his specialities are antibiotic susceptibility testing, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and customised analyses, especially related to in vitro efficacy testing and the development of specific screening methods for the absence of production strains from various products.

Contact Jouni
+358 40 016 5829
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Jenny Makkonen

Project Manager, PhD

Jenny received her MSc in Applied Biotechnology from the University of Kuopio in 2006 and her PhD in Biosciences from the University of Eastern Finland in 2013. She has a strong research background in molecular biology, genetics, host-pathogen relationships 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 bioinformatics pipelines and has written numerous scientific publications and research reports. At Biosafe, as project manager, she specialises in bioinformatics analysis, especially in putting the results into a biological context. She also uses her knowledge and experience to develop customised tests for the presence of DNA in products, as required by EFSA guidelines. She says: "I am always enthusiastic about helping Biosafe's customers solve problems with difficult samples and complex microorganisms.

Contact Jenny
+358 40 547 4110
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Meeri Sutinen

Quality Manager, Project Manager, PhD

Meeri is a biochemist by training and has a PhD in Life Sciences from the University of Oulu. She has a broad 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 and protein assay methods. She joined Biosafe as a researcher in 2018 and was appointed as a quality manager in 2019, responsible for the development of the quality management system. She also manages various projects, in particular those involving antibiotic susceptibility and cytotoxicity testing. She is also involved in customer-specific tests for the presence of DNA and the absence of production strains in the products. Her motto is: "I try to use all my knowledge for 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, covering both theoretical and practical topics in bioinformatics. He completed his 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 then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki, where his main focus was on genome annotation. As a Project Manager at Biosafe, his work involves the evaluation and development of genome assembly, annotation, R, Python and Linux command lines.

Contact Daniel
+358 40 506 8086
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Minna Voutilainen


Minna Voutilainen is a bioinformatician with a Master's degree in biomedicine, who has recently worked on childhood leukaemia using NGS (Next Generation Sequencing). Her work at Biosafe focuses on the analysis of whole genome sequencing data required by EFSA. She develops pipelines and data workflows for our clients to get their products approved.

Contact Minna
+358 40 505 0913
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Pilvi Ruotsalainen

Microbiologist, PhD

Pilvi Ruotsalainen is a microbiologist with a PhD in cell and molecular biology. She has worked in microbiological research for the last decade. She has gained strong methodological experience in a variety of microbiological and molecular biology methods such as cloning, digital PCR and sequencing. She is also experienced in cell culture and protein purification using chromatography, fluorescence imaging and confocal microscopy.

Contact Pilvi
+358 40 505 0607
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Anne Ukkonen

Regulatory Manager, PhD

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 worked 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 the research team of Professor Sirpa Kärenlampi. Since completing her PhD in biotechnology, she has worked in the private sector as a project manager in a biotech company fighting cancer and as a quality control manager in a company producing gene therapy and virotherapy products. She has practical experience in a wide range of laboratory techniques, both as a researcher and as a supervisor, and is well versed in working in a GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) environment and its implications.

Contact Anne
+358 40 581 3160
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Lars Granlund

Project Manager, PhD

Lars Granlund is a Project Manager with a focus on bioinformatics. He works with the Biosafe laboratory on sample analysis and bioinformatics related to the acquisition, storage, analysis and dissemination of biological data sets, most commonly DNA and amino acid sequences. He also communicates with customers, writes reports and manages a variety of projects.

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

Contact Lars
+358 40 506 1244
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Paula Pescador

Regulatory and Scientific Expert, PhD

Paula Pescador completed her undergraduate studies in Biology at the University of Oviedo and later earned a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from University Rovira i Virgili, Spain with postgraduate studies in toxicology. With a solid foundation in molecular techniques, Paula's career involved postdoctoral research focusing on the intricacies of polyelectrolytes and bilayer membranes at the University of Leipzig. She transitioned into the industry in 2011, taking roles that blended scientific research with regulatory affairs at c-LEcta GmbH before joining Biosafe.

At Biosafe, Paula serves as a Regulatory and Scientific Expert, where she expertly navigates the complex regulatory frameworks of the EU and USA. Her expertise is indispensable for clients aiming to introduce innovative food products to competitive global markets. Paula's proactive approach in anticipating regulatory changes ensures that Biosafe’s clients are always ahead in compliance and market entry strategies. Her role also includes fostering relationships with key industry associations like the European Enzyme Industry Association (AMFEP) and regulatory bodies like EFSA, maintaining Biosafe’s leadership in food safety consulting. 

Contact Paula
+49 155 600 21 621

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