Name: Lisette Van Tassel
Job title/position and company's name: Manufacturing Specialist, Upstream at FinVector Oy
Education: Bachelor of Science in Biology at Laurentian University (Sudbury, Canada), Master of Science in Biochemistry at University of Oulu (Oulu, Finland), PhD in Biochemistry (2022) at University of Oulu (Oulu, Finland)


What was your dream job as a child? What led you to your school of choice?

When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I was either going to be a cardiologist or a dance teacher. When I was studying Biology (and preparing for medical school), I took an elective course called "Biochemistry of nucleic acids". The professor often went on tangents, in which he would talk about his own research. One day, he went on another tangent about how tumours both form and expand their vasculature network through a process called "angiogenesis". At this point, I no longer wanted to be a medical doctor. I wanted to cure cancer! I noticed that schools in Finland do a lot of great research on tumour angiogenesis. So, I found a University with a great international biochemistry program, and I was accepted at the University of Oulu, where I did my Master of Science in biochemistry.

What does your company do/manufacture? What kind of innovations is your company working on?

FinVector is a world leader in the research and development of Viral-Based Gene Therapy products.

What are you most excited about at your job?

I'm excited about the effect I can have on people's lives. We are curing cancer!

Lisette´s career on a timeline

My favourite school subject was science, and more specifically, biology.
When I was 17, I got my first job as an after-school tutor in math and reading. I'll always remember the look on one very young student's face when he learned addition, and he said "I get it!".
I studied Biology at Laurentian University for my BSc, then Biochemistry at University of Oulu for my MSc, and will defend my PhD in 2022 at the University of Oulu.
During my studies at Laurentian University, I worked part time for a security company. I worked in various locations and roles, but the most eventful will always be when I worked backstage during at the arenas in downtown Toronto. I have met many musicians and artists during my time working there.
In my current position, I perform manufacturing tasks mostly focusing on cell biology, which was a big portion of my MSc and PhD studies.