About us- Germ cell biology, developmental programming and epigenetic inheritance of disease

Our group’s research is interested in understanding the developmental principles of the germline in health and disease.

Our research

Illustration of the germline cycle
The germline cycle.

Germ cells are often considered immortal. They are sole messengers to relay genetic and epigenetic information across generations to perpetuate life. The germline cycle is long with specification starting from early gastrulation to gametogenesis continuing after birth. Errors occurring at any stage during this process can lead to devastating and long-lasting effects. With recent technological advances in single-cell sequencing, our knowledge of germline development in mammals has expanded considerably in recent times but some questions are remained. Among them, we aim to answer (1) what regulate progenitor competence and then define cell quality to opt into germline specification? (2) How is migration correlated with epigenetic remodeling? (3) How certain genetic mutations affect gametogenesis? Read more about our research and ongoing projects here

Group members

Qiaolin Deng

PI /Associate professor   

Email: qiaolin.deng@ki.se                                   

Eva Lindgren

Lab manager

Email: eva.lindgren@ki.se                                   

Sanjiv Risal

Research specialist, PhD

Email: sanjiv.risal@ki.se             

Jian Zhao

Email: jian.zhao@ki.se                                   

Emilie Derisoud

Postdoc researcher

Wenteng He

Qing Luo        

Doctoral student

Email: qing.luo@ki.se

Hong Jiang

Allan Zhao


  • Han Hui-Pin (postdoc)
  • Ahmed Reda (postdoc)
  • Veeramohan Veerapandian (postdoc)
  • Menghan Wang (postdoc)
  • Shangli Cheng (postdoc)
  • Julio Agulia Benitez (postdoc)
  • Geng Chen (postdoc)
  • Yu Pei (PhD student)
  • Alice Larsson (master student)
  • Christina An Binh Nordentoft (master student)
  • Alisa Luo (biomedicine student)
  • Tom van Leeuwen (master student)
  • Hannah Schöler (master student)
  • Mathias Ahlqvist (master student)
  • Olli Ainasoja (master student)

Our collaborators

  • Elisabet Stener-Victorin, Dept. Physiology and Pharmacology, KI
  • Jan-Bernd Stukenborg, Dept. Women and Children’s health, KI
  • Martin Enge, Dept. Oncology and Pathology, KI
  • Kenny Rodriguez-Wallberg, Dept. Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, KI
  • Sergiu-Bogdan Catrina, Dept. Molecular Medicine and Surgery, KI
  • Eva Hedlund, Dept. Biochemistry and Biophysics, Stockholm University
  • Xingqi Chen, Dept. Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University
  • Jun Wu, UT Southwestern Medical center, USA
  • Jiayu Cheng, School of Life Sciences, Tongji University, China
  • Weida Li, School of Life Sciences, Tongji University, China
  • Eszter Vanky, Institute for Clinical and Molecular Medicine, NTNU, Norway
  • Sandra Haider, Reproductive Biology Unit, Medical University of Vienna


Current and past funding.

Karolinska Institutet  faculty-funded career position (total 4+2+5 years since 2015)

Karolinska Instituet research grant

Swedish Diabetes foundation project grant

Swedish childhood diabetes foundation project grant

Swedish Research Council for Medical Research (VR) starting grant, project grant and consolidator grant

Wallenberg Academy Fellow

Swedish Medicine Association starting grant

Åke Wibergs stiftelse

Jeanssons stiftelser

Content reviewer:
Linda Nilsson