Our People

Joan Yuan


I grew up mostly in Lund, Sweden, where I had moved with my parents from China as a child. After a long stint in the US for exchange studies followed by PhD (U.VA) and postdoctoral training (NIH) I came back to Lund to establish my lab in 2013 where I now live with my family. I love being a PI, a career that forces continual growth and self-reflection. At home I am a mom of two small children, and avid journal writer and listener of inspiring audio books and podcasts.

Karin Olsson

Lab Engineer

35 years in the profession, I work with cell culture and molecular biology methods as well as ordering and service of machines. I’m involved in almost all the projects in the lab. In my spare time I like to go to our summer house, play with our dog and sing in a choir.

Hugo Åkerstrand

PhD student

PhD student with a focus on genetic regulation of B lymphopoiesis throughout life. Originally from Stockholm but have spent the majority of my adult life in Lund.  I am a voracious and eclectic consumer of literature and music. Fun fact: I was the founding member of the Yuan group when I did my bachelor project in 2013!

Trine Kristiansen


I am from Denmark and moved to Sweden to learn about stem cells. I stayed in Lund to do my PhD in Yuan group and recently defended my thesis in May 2018. I am studying the impact of developmental timing on blood stem cells. This work is aimed at understanding the differences between fetal and adult blood stem cells and how these differences affect mature cell output and function. I also enjoy swimming, eating chocolate and following E-sports.

Niklas Krausse

PhD student

I am originally from Germany and did my undergraduate studies in Frankfurt a.M. and Heidelberg. In 2016, I joined the Yuan group for an internship and fell in love with floorball and fika!

After I finished my Master thesis at the German Cancer Research Center, I joined Joan’s lab as a PhD student in September 2018. In my project, I am trying to understand how different stress factors on hematopoietic stem cells change the immunological output. Besides having fun and coffee in the lab, I enjoy doing sports (especially Volleyball and Skiing) or reading a good book. As a German native, I don’t mind having a good beer now and then either.

Stefano Vergani 


Born and raised in the northern Italy, I crossed the ocean and started a PhD in molecular medicine at Hofstra University (New York). Upon graduation in 2017 I joined Joan’s lab where I’m currently studying the developmental origin of plasma cells committed to the production of antibodies in our body, particularly those residing in the small intestine.

I live in Lund with my wife with whom I share the passion for cooking and travelling. I love football and spending a day in the mountains, either for a hike or a ski-trip. My dream was to become a pirate and I strongly believe that luck favors the bold. Because of my Italian heritage, I suffer from a genetic predisposition to judge any other type of cuisine.

Giorgia Montano

Research Engineer

I am an Italian biotechnologist, I am in love with science. I come from Naples and have lived in Sweden for five years. My background is in cancer research, in particular leukemias, and now I am starting new exciting work on developmental immunology.

I am a “dog person”, I like swimming and I like photos (I am one of the people collecting photobooks). I love to play with babies, I have one child who is one year old and we have a lot of fun together! 

Elena Boldrin


I am Italian and completed my undergraduate studies in Padova. I moved to Germany as part of a joint PhD program and studied the influence of microRNAs on the outcome of pediatric leukemia. I then decided to go further North and came to Lund to learn more about neonatal B cell development and how it is linked to the initiation of leukemia.

Outside the lab I enjoy relaxing reading and drinking tea, but also have fun going out with friends and hiking. I love to travel and I am very excited to have the chance to explore a new country.

Selene Sodini

PhD student

 I am originally from Italy and studied Genetics at undergraduate level in London before completing my research Masters at the University of Edinburgh, where I started training in stem cell work and single-cell technologies. After a further research period there, spurred by a growing interest in immunology and love of picturesque Swedish wintry landscapes (I am definitely a winter person), I joined the Yuan group to study the qualitative differences in B cells of early life and adult life origin. I have a full-blown case of the travel bug, love learning foreign languages and devouring literature.

Yuan Lab Alumni

Alex Doyle

Research Engineer

I am originally from the UK and now a certified Swede. Before joining Joan’s lab as a staff scientist in 2016 I completed a PhD at the University of Kent followed by a couple postdocs in the US and in Lund. In my spare time I enjoy tennis, attempting to play various musical instruments and a good curry.

Alex is now working at STEMCELL technologies! Lucky for us we still get to see him here at the BMC now and then in a different capacity!

Sneh Lata Gupta

Postdoc 2019 – 2021

I was born and brought up in India and I completed my Ph.D. from National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, India. I had my Ph.D. training in B cell biology. In order to extend my knowledge in the field of B cell development and uncovering the role of Lin28b, I joined the Yuan group in April 2019. Being a vegetarian, I am also working on my cooking skills in Lund and it is great fun altogether. I also love listening to Indian music. Creating memories by clicking photographs and uploading on Facebook also gives me great pleasure.

Sneha is starting a new postdoc at Emory University the the laboratory of Jens Wrammert to work on human vaccination strategies!

Stijn Vanhee

Postdoc 2015 – 2019

Stijn Vanhee was raised on a mixture of fries and chocolate. He is interested in understanding the development of the cells that make up our immune system. In his spare time he enjoys reading, music and photography.

Stijn is currently a senior postdoc at the VIB-UGent Inflammation Research Center in Ghent; Belgium, in the laboratory of Bart Lambrecht and Hamida Hammad.