We have the honour to introduce you to the international experts who have confirmed their attendance to date

David Gisselsson Nord

David Gisselsson Nord leads the GMS Childhood Cancer Working Group, providing whole genome sequencing to all children diagnosed with cancer in Sweden. He is a clinician-researcher focused on understanding how cancer cells develop resilience against current ontological treatments. He has identified one of the most common mechanisms by which cancer cells alter their genome through repeated breakage of chromosomes with eroded telomeres. Dr. Gisselsson Nord has also established a series of methods for measuring genetic instability of cancer cells that allow better prediction of prognosis and treatment response. Today he divides his time between clinical work as a pediatric pathologist and research on childhood cancer. He combines high-resolution genomics on clinical samples with mathematical modeling and methods from species evolution. By this approach, his team identified four fundamental evolutionary trajectories by which cancer cells compete with each other and evolve towards a higher degree of malignancy. Dr. Gisselsson Nord has received the Fernström Prize to Promising Young Investigators and the SIOP Award for Translational and Basic Research.

Lars O. Baumbusch

Dr. Lars O. Baumbusch is a molecular biologist working as a senior scientist and project group leader at the Dep. of Pediatric Research, Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet, Norway. In his career, he investigated genomic instability, molecular signatures of circulating and disseminated tumor cells (DTCs), and long non-coding RNAs in breast cancer applying modern molecular biology methods and applied bioinformatics. Since 2012, he is working at the Dep. of Pediatric Research, Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet on the molecular biology of oxidative stress and childhood cancer. Together with colleagues and his team, he examines genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and epigenomic changes using animal models of perinatal asphyxia and patient samples. During the last years, he focused on the characterization of the genomic profiles of primary tumors and DTCs of high-risk neuroblastoma patients applying different single cell and sequencing techniques. In addition, he was engaged as an adjunct associate professor at the University of Oslo from 2006 to 2010 and as an associate professor/professor at the Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway from 2018 to 2021. Perspectives: Progress in medical research requires sample collections like the Norwegian Childhood Cancer Biobank (NCCB). These modern biobanks provide the opportunity to combine clinical information with state-of-the art biotechnology and analytical techniques enabling a translation research approach. For more details about the scientific projects, publications, and perspectives of LOB please see https://ous-research.no/baumbusch

Alwin Krämer 

Alwin Krämer studied medicine in Mainz, Germany and Bern, Switzerland. In addition to his clinical education in Internal Medicine with a special focus on hematology and medical oncology at the University of Heidelberg, he completed research fellowships at the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research in Madison, USA and the Danish Cancer Society Research Center in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 2006 he was appointed Full Professor at the University of Heidelberg and Director of the Clinical Cooperation Unit Molecular Hematology/Oncology of German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Department of Internal Medicine, University of Heidelberg. With his clinical/translational research centering around precision medicine approaches in cancer of unknown primary (CUP) and a basic science focus on causes and consequences of chromosomal instability, he aims at elucidating the mechanisms initiating the metastatic process and developing novel treatment options of patients with metastatic disease.

Katarina Puco

Katarina Puco is senior consultant oncologist working at Oslo University Hospital, Institute of Cancer Research as a study oncologist in IMPRESS- Norway study and as a clinician at Lovisenberg Diaconal Hospital. Together with her colleagues from IMPRESS-Norway study team she is participating in clinical interpretation of genomic sequencing results, national molecular tumour board meetings and transfer of knowledge to broad oncological community. As researcher and a part of translational research group, she is focusing on identifying biomarkers and biological mechanisms of tumour response and resistance.  In her clinical work she is specialised in the field of uro-oncology and is working on kidney cancer registry studies, Norwegian therapy guidelines and has participated in a number of clinical trials.

Martin Zoche

Martin is director at Molecular Tumor Profiling
Dept. of Pathology and Molecular Pathology, University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland and a Lecturer at the University of Zurich and Postgraduate Study Course in Pharmaceutical Medicine University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany.  Irmisch, A. et al. (2021). His recent profession activity and publications: "The Tumor Profiler Study: integrated, multi-omic, functional tumor profiling for clinical decision support", "Cancer Cell, Clinicopathological and Genomic Profiles of Atypical Fibroxanthoma and Pleomorphic Dermal Sarcoma Identify Overlapping Signatures with a High Mutational Burden", "MTPpilot: an interactive software for visualization of NGS results in molecular tumor boards. JCO Clinical Cancer Informatics in review" a.o.

Janek Metsallik

Janek Metsallik, MSc, is certified IT architecture professional with 25+ years of experience specialized in enterprise information systems design and integration. He was leading architect of Estonian National Health Records (in position 2006-2011), and has filled the role of solution architect of follow-up developments. He has hands-on experience in designing national interoperability standards, in software modelling, architecture, analysis, and programming. Janek is contributing to the knowledge sharing through lecturing and supervising research in the Health Care Technology programme of Tallinn University of Technology, where he is also working on his PhD on wide-scale health information landscape and interoperability. He has contributed to the standardization and implementation of country-wide solutions of clinical document sharing, and e-ambulance, e-referral, e-consultation and e-laboratory integrations. He has lead development of a direct-access laboratory portal and a mental health decision support system. Janek has strong know-how of e-government technologies, including governmental service bus, digital signature and authentication, data protection regulations, and common interoperability registries. 

Eero Punkka

Dr. Eero Punkka is currently Director of Helsinki Biobank.  Professionally, he has worked in leadership roles of R&D and business development both on the public and private side. He has 20 years of experience in industry ranging from sensor technology to wellness, health and medical products and services. He has originally a research scientist (physics) background from Helsinki University of Technology, VTT Technical Research Center of Finland and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His passion lies in the digitalization of healthcare and the utilization of health data for the benefit of patients and health professionals.

Denis Horgan

Denis Horgan, a former Director of the European Cancer Patient Coalition, who was also a policy advisor in the European Parliament and worked with various international NGOs on health development projects. In addition, he has published over fifty academic articles related to the area of personalised medicine.  Today, Denis is the Editor in Chief of the journal entitled Public Health  Genomics and he is the  Executive Director from the European Alliance of Personalised Medicine (EAPM). The mix of EAPM members provides extensive scientific, clinical, caring and training expertise in personalised medicine and diagnostics, across patient groups, academia, health professionals and industry. Relevant departments of the European Commission have observer status, as does your own organisation, of course. In the relatively short time since it was formed, EAPM has been in the vanguard of raising the profile and explaining the possibilities of personalised medicine in Europe.   In recent years this has created an observable institutional shift in policy due to the issues that the Alliance has put forward through its multi-stakeholder membership and bottom-up policy making.

Peeter Padrik

Dr. Peeter Padrik is a medical oncologist, scientist and healthcare entrepreneur. He has 30 years of experience as a clinician, researcher, leader, and healthcare manager, working previously as a Head of Hematology & Oncology Clinic and Director of Cancer Center at Tartu University Hospital. He works currently also as an Associate Professor of Oncology at University of Tartu. Dr. Padrik is one of the pioneers in the implementation of innovative genetic information into healthcare, previously in research projects and in academic clinical practice, and now as the Founder and CEO of Antegenes. Dr. Padrik’s vision and aim is to achieve longer life for people implementing genetics-based personalized precision prevention of common complex diseases as cancers, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

Ed Schuuring

Prof Dr Ed Schuuring, PhD, senior clinical scientist in molecular pathology, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands. Three decades his research focuses on the identification of prognostic/predictive epigenetic and molecular markers for clinical outcome, response to chemo-radiotherapy, gene-targeted therapy and treatment-resistance in lung, GIST, Head&Neck cancer, as well as methylation-markers for the early detection of cervical cancer in scrapings. More recently his interest expanded to investigate and implement plasma ctDNA as a bloodborne-based molecular tool for the early cancer detection and classification for treatment-decision-making, and to predict MRD and response to targeted and immuno-therapy in patients with NEN/NET, NSCLC and GIST. As a CSMP he is active member in the UMCG Molecular Tumor Board and involved in harmonisation and standardisation of 8 Dutch MTBs. He is heading the laboratory of Molecular Pathology offering the latest innovative methods for treatment-decision-making in the region North-Netherlands. He is a senior member of the Dutch Society of Pathology, PATH, COIN, AACR, AMP, ESP, ASCO, ELBS, among others, and consultant in (inter)national committees and advisory boards on Molecular Pathology, the organisation of international proficiency mutation testing in lung tissue biopsies and plasma ctDNA, and co-authored various international guidelines on Molecular Pathology. He graduated in Medical Biology in 1985 (Cum Laude) and his PhD in 1993 in Molecular Biology (University of Amsterdam). He worked as a staff clinical scientist in Molecular Pathology at LUMC (1991-2000) and UMCG (2001-now). He co-authored >280 publications.

Please find more details on my research and publications on  http://www.rug.nl/staff/e.m.d.schuuring/ and information on Molecular Pathology on www.moloncopath.nl

Rob Pieters 

Rob Pieters is Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology and Professor of Pediatric Oncology at the University of Utrecht, both in Utrecht, The Netherlands. In 1987 he obtained his MSc in human movement science and his MD at the Free University of Amsterdam and in 1991 his PhD with a thesis on drug resistance in leukemia. After finishing his training in pediatrics in 1995, he received a clinical fellowship in pediatric oncology from the Dutch Cancer Society. He was Head of Pediatric Oncology/Hematology at the Erasmus MC-Sophia Children's Hospital in Rotterdam, and was a full professor in Pediatric Oncology at Erasmus University Rotterdam from 2000-2017 and since 2017 a full professor in Pediatric Oncology at the University of Utrecht. Rob Pieters is initiator and one of the founders of the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology. This national center has merged all expertise from all former childhood cancer centers in the Netherlands, thereby establishing the largest center in Europe for treatment and research of childhood cancer. Rob Pieters’ research is focused on the development of personalized therapies for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). He chairs and/or is member of many boards of international childhood cancer study groups and advisory boards of international institutes and organizations in the field of cancer. In 2018 he received a Royal knighthood decoration as Officer in the Order of Oranje Nassau for his achievements for children with cancer. Rob Pieters published >600 book chapters and papers in peer-reviewed journals, has supervised >50 PhD students and is a frequent speaker at international congresses.

Johanna Sandgren

Johanna Sandgren is the director of the Swedish Childhood Tumour Biobank, a unit at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. She is also part of the coordinating committee for GMS Childhood Cancer Working Group, providing whole genome sequencing to all children diagnosed with cancer in Sweden. Dr Sandgren has a PhD in cancer genomics from Uppsala University, Sweden, and 10+ years of research experience in the field of pediatric cancer genomics. Current focus is to support and enable scientific advances on childhood tumours with the research infrastructure of the Swedish Childhood Tumour Biobank that offers biological samples and genomic data to authorized researchers as well as services to clinical studies.

Vilja Pietiäinen

Vilja Pietiäinen (PhD, adjunct professorship in cell and molecular biology) is a team leader and senior scientist at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM, HiLIFE, University of Helsinki, Finland). She is also a co-director of EuroBioImaging - affiliated FIMM High Content Imaging and Analysis core unit (FIMM-HCA). Her research focuses on the functional precision medicine of solid tumors, including urological cancers, and, more recently, pediatric solid tumors, empowered by multidisciplinary team science and international cross-laboratory validation of assays (such as EU ERA PerMed COMPASS consortium project and iCAN Flagship subprojects). She is particularly dedicated to developing phenotypic imaging -based ex vivo drug testing of patient-derived cancer cells. In these functional precision medicine projects, the drug sensitivity data of patient-derived cancer cell models are combined with genotypic and phenotypic data of patient cancer tissue at the individual patient level. The aim to provide novel understanding, improved diagnostics, and better therapy options for treatment-resistant and metastasized solid tumors.

Richard Rosenquist Brandell

Richard Rosenquist Brandell is Professor of Clinical Genetics at Karolinska Institutet, and Senior Physician at Karolinska University Hospital. He is Director of Genomic Medicine Sweden, a national infrastructure for implementation of precision medicine. Focusing on hematological malignancies and utilizing high-throughput sequencing technologies, his team has identified novel prognostic and predictive biomarkers that have significantly improved patient risk-stratification and clinical decision-making. Rosenquist Brandell is a member of the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet.

Juris Šteinbergs

Juris Steinbergs, PhD, molecular biologist, currently - Deputy Head of Laboratory service, Riga East University hospital. Worked at GenEra SIA, the genetic testing laboratory, and BMC - Biomedical Research and Study centre. Presenter of the TV programme "Bez Tabu", TV3. During the Forum Juris will lead panel discussions on various topics. 

Juha Kononen

Juha Kononen is the Chief Clinical Director at private Docrates Cancer Center in Finland. He is a board-certified Specialist in Medical Oncology and Radiotherapy, M.D., Ph.D. As the Chief Clinical Director, he is responsible for the clinical operations of the hospital and, administratively, the physicians and physicists at the hospital. He has nearly 25 years’ experience as a physician and a researcher. Kononen introduces new diagnostic methods and cancer treatment strategies in a quick and agile fashion to facilitate adoption of precision oncology in clinical practice. The role of connecting the world of science and clinical environment comes naturally to Kononen as, after graduating, he worked for 14 years as a researcher in the United States and Switzerland. While working at the National Human Genome Research Institute in the United States, Kononen developed tissue microarray technology that revolutionized how tissue samples are analyzed in research laboratories. Instead of staining and processing a single biopsy specimen at a time, this method made high-throughput tissue analysis possible by including hundreds of tissue samples per slide. The method became a huge success, and it is still applied in various pathology laboratories around the world. He has published more than 80 articles about cancer research. Recently, he has facilitated adoption of NGS technology in cancer diagnostics in Finland, including using liquid biopsy and ctDNA analytics to monitor treatment responses. In addition to scientific activities, Kononen has been involved in product development, patenting, device design, and providing biomedical companies with drug target and companion diagnostic validation services.  At Docrates he is now active in leading phase I-III clinical trials with novel anticancer agents. “The only way to advance patient care is to gain an understanding of how cancers develop and evolve in response to treatment.  We are now in the brink of having the necessary tools to generate various omics data to understand these processes. These are huge tasks, but we are making progress every year.  As an oncologist, while keeping your eyes focused on science, it is equally important to maintain roots in clinical practice and remain empathetic, practical and treat patients as individuals,” says Juha Kononen, Chief Clinical Director, Docrates Cancer Center.

Karolis Šablauskas

Karolis Sablauskas is hematologist at Vilnius University Hospital Santaros Klinikos working on the diagnostics of inherited hematologic diseases. His research includes applications of deep learning on next generation sequencing data, such as DeNovoCNN – a neural network based tool for the detection of de novo mutations. Currently he is developing the workflow for applying germline whole exome sequencing to all patients diagnosed with acute leukemias who are eligible for stem cell transplantation in Lithuania. He will present his center’s experience on personalizing treatment using genomics for patients diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.

Dāvids Fridmanis

Dr. Fridmanis started at the turn of the millennium as a first-year student at the Faculty of Biology of the University of Latvia. His first research activities that were supervised by Dr. Jānis Kloviņš and Prof. Helgi Schiöth from Uppsala University involved molecular and functional studies of Melanocortin receptors. Being methodologically versatile and interesting, this subject still plays an important role in Dr. Fridmanis’s scientific activities. The time was significant not only for Dr. Friedman's career, but also in science in general, as the "Human Genome Project" was approaching its final phase. As the field of genetics research developed around the world, significant activities in this field were also started in Latvia. These were hallmarked by creation of the "National Genome Database" and the development of genetic analysis infrastructure. Both of these infrastructures at BMC were united under the umbrella of the “Genome Center”, which was headed by Dāvids Fridmanis for 10 years. This close connection with genetic analysis technologies, the rapid development of large-scale sequencing technologies and the growing understanding of the role of the microbiome in the human body inspired Dr. Fridmanis to start research also in the field of human-microorganism interaction. The scientific activities conducted in recent years have given him the confidence that large-scale sequencing technologies are versatile and their application is limited only by the imagination of researchers, therefore Dr. Fridmanis considers it as his duty to promote the widest possible application of these technologies in biology and medicine.

Ģirts Šķenders

Ģirts Šķenders, Laboratory doctor, Head of the Sequencing department at Laboratory Service in the Riga East University Hospital, has 22 years of experience working in clinical laboratories, implementing molecular diagnostics toward precise and timely diagnosis.

Baiba Ziemele

Baiba is the board member of World Federation of Hemophilia, President of Latvian Alliance of Rare Diseases. By passionately learning and gaining experience, from an ordinary patient became a patient advocate in Latvia and internationally. She addresses various issues related to healthcare and access to medicines for people with bleeding disorders (hemophilia, von Willebrand disease, rare coagulation factor deficiencies), people with rare diseases and patients in general. Developed policy on rare diseases in Latvia and Europe as RARE2030 expert, raises awareness of von Willebrand disease on behalf of European Haemophilia Consortium and World Federation of Hemophilia, invites to pay more attention to diagnosis and treatment of women with bleeding disorders worldwide. Leads Latvia Hemophilia Society, Latvian Alliance of Rare Diseases and builds a network of Patient organizations in Latvia.

Emil Syundyukov

Emil Syundyukov is a computer scientist who uses his skills to solve problems in the healthcare industry. Ten years of experience in applied research and development of industrial and academic solutions in the healthcare industry worldwide with academic traction of numerous industrial and academic projects in population health research. He received multiple academic and industrial awards, incl. EIT Health, GapSummit (Cambridge University), “Young Scientist of the year 2016”, Baltic Forbes “30 under 30” nomination in Healthcare and Research, etc. Emil is a Co-Founder and CTO at Longenesis – a leading digital health (RWE) startup in the Baltics, and lecturer at the University of Latvia.

Thomas Hofmarcher

Dr. Thomas Hofmarcher is an Austrian health economist at the Swedish Institute for Health Economics (IHE). He conducts research on the economic burden of cancer and the value of patient access to new cancer medicines. A core focus of his work is the comparative analysis of cancer care systems around the world, covering all areas of cancer control (prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment, survivorship). While most of his earlier work focused on Europe, recent and current work also covers the Asia-Pacific region, and the Middle East and Africa. His work has resulted in over 25 research articles, policy reports, and book chapters and has been covered extensively in international media. He is a regular speaker at international policy events and workshops. He has also advised the European Commission and the OECD in their work with Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. He is a guest lecturer at Lund University, Sweden and holds a PhD in Economics from Lund University.

Karīna Siliņa

Group leader at ETHZ, D-CHAB,  Zurich, Switzerland

Anna Janberga

Anna Janberga is a molecular geneticist at Children's Clinical University Hospital. She is a part of a young and enthusiastic team working with clinical interpretation of whole exome sequencing data, chromosome microarray analysis, and other molecular biology methods to provide precise diagnostics, prognosis, and therapy for children with cancer.

Egija Berga-Švītiņa

Egija Berga-Švītiņa, MSc, is a molecular geneticist at Children's Clinical University Hospital and a PhD candidate at Rīga Stradiņš University. She’s been involved in implementation of next generation sequencing (NGS) and chromosomal microarray analysis (CMA) methods in CCUH. She will be presenting case report about clinical interpretation and importance of molecular analysis findings in hematological malignancies.

Cristian Mezzanotte

Customer Engineer, Google Cloud Public Sector. Cristian is a Customer Engineer on the Google Cloud Public Sector team where he works primarily with Higher Education and Research organizations to identify and enable scientific computing opportunities through business transformation with Google Cloud services.
Cristian has spent nearly 20 years in High Performance Computing, working for several supercomputing centres in Europe and has been part of the HPC infrastructure team within the Human Brain Project, leading the efforts to build a Cloud-based infrastructure to serve Neuroscience and Brain-related Medicine.

Terje Peetso

Dr Terje Peetso is a member of the management board in the  North Estonia Medical Centre in Tallinn. Among ohter tasks she is responsible for the coordination of research and innovation activities in the hospital and cooperation with other hospitals and clinical partners in Estonia and abroad. Dr Peetso worked from 2003 – 2018 in the European Commission on digital health, tobacco control and risk assessment. Before joining the North Estonia Medical Centre, Peetso was the Head of Sector on eHealth and Ageing Policy in the European Commission`s DG CONNECT.   In 2014 she was the EU Fellow in the University of Southern California, USA, where her research focus was on the obstacles which hinder the introduction eHealth in healthcare systems. Dr Peetso holds a diploma in medicine from the University of Tartu, Estonia.

Dace Dimza Jones

Dace is newly appointed Deputy Head of Northern Powerhouse Life Sciences: Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals Department for International  Trade (DIT) and former Industry Facilitator at the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) Greater Manchester. Dace has worked in close collaboration with the industry, CROs, clinicians and academics, as well as other life sciences researchers to support and facilitate opportunities for innovative and ground-breaking research. She has supported the delivery of high-quality research across 31 different clinical areas to ensure the population has the opportunity to take part in innovative, ground-breaking and life-changing research to improve health and wealth. Dace has a public health background and works as a guest lecturer at Riga Stradins University, Latvia. She is also a board member of the Association of Latvian Diaspora Nurses and Midwifes. In her current role Dace is part of DIT’s Northern Powerhouse (NPH) Trade and Investment team. Dace play a significant part in increasing investment into the North of England and help the region achieve ambitions aligned to levelling up priorities focusing on the Life Sciences sector.

Aiga Balode

Aiga Balode is deputy state secretary on digitalization and change management issues of the Ministry of Health. The rapid changes and the innovative perspectives in the health sector in Latvia are not merely related to the digitalisation and IT development. The approach taken is to build an inclusive and resilient Digital Health Ecosystem in Latvia where patients have a major role and close cooperation of the public and private sector would be ensured. A. Balode has professional experience in the field of data protection, ICT governance and international cooperation.

Niklas Probul

Niklas Probul is a doctoral researcher at the Institute for Computational Systems Biology at the University of Hamburg. His research focuses on data privacy and private-by-design federated machine learning approaches centered around the EU Horizon 2020 FeatureCloud project. His research aims towards the development of methods for improving privacy and security of federated learning systems in a healthcare context, as well as understanding the role of microbiomes in human health and disease.

Terry Vrijenhoek

L’ADN fait n’importe quoi (DNA does whatever). That was the opening statement of the thesis of Terry Vrijenhoek. It refers both to the unpredicatble way in which our DNA acts, and to the unlimited possibilities it has for research, diagnostics and care. Terry is the Faculty and Staff Advisor of the Department of Genetics at UMC Utrecht, the Netherlands. As such, he puts the developments in genetics technology (sequencing, editing) into a societal context, thereby providing insights and perspectives from various stakeholders in current and future genetic healthcare. At the same time he involves a wide variety of stakeholders in his mission to develop a strategy for the ‘Genetics Clinic of the Future’.

Terry obtained his Ph.D. on the genetic background of schizophrenia at the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre (RUNMC), the Netherlands. He obtained his M.Sc. in Animal Genetics at Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR).

Terry’s career has been entirely devoted to bringing genetics as close to society as possible. He has been largely involved in networking and career development for young scientists. As chairman of the Genomics Network for Young Scientists (GeNeYouS) he has contributed to the development of a platform for young life scientists. He has been involved in many public engagement activities, and has experimented with many tools and settings to provide applications of genetics in society. Together with 15 other young scientists he co-authored SciencePalooza, a popular science blog which is also regularly published in other media, and Nederland in Ideeën, an annual book with ideas from 99 scientists, journalists and artists.

Jānis Liepiņš

Jānis Liepiņš (Dr. biol.) is a group leader and senior scientist at the Institute for Microbiology and Biotechnology and docent in the University of Latvia. Janis research focuses on the plasticity of eukaryotic cell metabolism in response to mutations affecting cellular energetics and/ or building block production. As a model system, his group uses yeasts and mutations in purine metabolism. The research reveals cell’s capacities and “strategies” how to cope with functional synthetic deficiencies (auxotrophies) brought by a mutation/s. The results would be applicable to microbial biotechnology and/or improving drug chemical genetic screens.  Janis is also the leader of Latvia national biology Olympiad jury. National biology Olympiad is annual, nationwide competition for the young scientists of secondary schools and gymnasiums. Approximately 3000 people participate annually. The aim of this event is to promote biology science and give opportunity for contestants to test their skills and knowledge in biology in open competition and compare their results among their peers in national level.

Katrīna Daila Neiburga

Katrīna Daila Neiburga, MSc, is a research fellow in the Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine at the University of Tartu and performs transcriptome analysis in multiple projects in Riga Stradiņš University. Her doctoral research explores the implementation of RNA-sequencing in molecular diagnostics of primary immunodeficiencies (PID) and aims to increase the diagnostic yield by supplementing whole genome sequencing (WGS) data with information on transcription-related molecular events.

 Aleksandrs Mārtiņš Blūms

Aleksandrs Mārtiņš Blūms is the Counsellor for Research and Space at the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Latvia to the European Union, based in Brussels, a member of the Horizon Europe Strategic configuration programme committee and the European Open Science Cloud Steering Board. Previously Aleksandrs worked on Social Sciences and Humanities and Open Science at the Ministry of Education and Science, where he wrote the Latvian Open Science Strategy for 2021-2027, helping improve the governance of shared IT services for research and e-infrastructures.  He was also involved in developing the concept of the Latvian Dataverse repository network and has been actively advocating for better research data management practices.

Erika Bitina-Barlote

Dr. Erika Bitina-Barlote received her Medical doctor’s degree in 2017 from Riga Stradiņš University – Latvia. At present dr. Bitiņa-Barlote is studying University of Latvia faculty of continuing education specialty urologist and working as resident doctor at Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital (since 2017). Since 2019, she has started her doctoral studies at Riga Stradiņš University in the programme of Medicine, which she completed in 2022. Dr. Bitina-Barlote is junior member of European association of Urology (since 2017). Dr. Bitina-Barlote has a deep interest in urological oncology, especially bladder cancer.

Jukka Kanerva

Jukka Kanerva (MD, PhD, Adjunct Professor) works as consultant in pediatric hematology and oncology at the HUS Helsinki University Hospital, New Children’s Hospital I Helsinki, Finland. He has almost 30 years of experience as a clinician and clinician researcher in the filed of pediatric oncology. His research areas are pediatric leukemia, bone sarcomas, and adverse events of cancer treatment. He is active member of the Nordic Society of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (NOPHO), Scandinavian Sarcoma Group (SSG), EURO EWING Consortium (EEC) and European Osteosarcoma Consortium (FOSTER). His current research projects in Helsinki include iCAN-PEDI and PREPAIR, which aim at detailed molecular characterization drug screening of pediatric solid tumors.