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Arafath (Rafa) K. Najumudeen


Principle Investigator


Arafath (Rafa) Najumudeen obtained his Ph.D. in 2016 under the supervision of Prof. Daniel Abankwa at Turku Bioscience working on mechanisms to target Ras protein clustering. In 2016, Rafa moved to CRUK Beatson Institute in the UK to pursue his postdoctoral studies, working on preclinical models of intestinal cancers in the lab led by Prof. Owen J. Sansom. His studies focused on defining role of metabolic rewiring in colorectal cancer initiation and progression using state-of-the-art preclinical cancer models. He returned to Finland in 2022, having been awarded the Academy of Finland Research Fellowship. He was recently appointed as a FIMM-EMBL Group Leader at the Institute of Molecular Medicine, Helsinki. He runs the Stem Cell Metabolism and Cancer lab at FIMM, Institute of Biotechnology, HiLIFE, University of Helsinki.

Rafa is an affiliate Group Leader at Turku Bioscience, Turku and an affiliate scientist at the CRUK Scotland Institute, UK.


Shima Naddafi


Graduate Student

Shima received her bachelor’s degree in nursing and worked as a healthcare professional. She pursued her Master’s in Translational Medicine at the University of Helsinki and graduated in 2023. Shima did her thesis at Prof. Tom McWilliams lab on “Investigating the role of lipid dysfunction in mitophagy”. Passionate about cell biology and disease mechanisms, she joined the lab to pursue her Ph.D., where she will work on the metabolic rewiring of KRAS mutant colorectal cancer. Her doctoral project aims to identify novel metabolic vulnerabilities of colorectal cancer.


Hao Li


Laboratory Technical Assistant

Hao possesses a comprehensive educational foundation in the field of molecular biomedicine. She pursued her undergraduate studies in China, obtaining a Bachelor's degree in Clinical Medicine and earning the distinction of becoming a licensed clinical doctor. Subsequently, she made the decision to relocate to the University of Helsinki and obtained a Master's degree in Neuroscience. Inspired by her studies, she decided to pursue a Ph.D., with a strong focus on this discipline. Drawing from her prior experience in conducting animal experiments and fueled by her fascination with the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms governing cell fate determination, Hao made the conscious choice to join the lab, where she would be dedicated to advancing research in the realm of colorectal cancer.

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Matas Dinius

Master Student

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Nicholas Wijaya

Masters Intern

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Master Student

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