Marcus Wanselius: "I enjoy going to work every single day"

Just a minute... Marcus Wanselius, PhD student at the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and national competence center SweDeliver, that Friday 20 October defends his thesis in which he introduces a new method to understand how injected drugs act in the human body.


With only weeks until your dissertation, how do you summarize your time at SweDeliver?
As five excellent years where I have learned enormous amounts – both in terms of research and working in complex projects that unite many people. And not least five years where I have enjoyed going to work every single day, SweDeliver is an environment where there is always something exciting going on.

What will we learn at your dissertation 20 October?
I have created a method that will contribute to increased understanding of how drugs injected into tissue under the skin will act in the body. It will also provide support in the development of new drug formulations based on microgels. Our initial tests indicate that the method works, but further validation is still required so later this fall new people will continue the work.

And when the validation is done?
The method is part of a larger puzzle where another piece is contributed by my PhD colleague Julia Parlow, who is using FRAP – an advanced microscopy technique – to predict how complex peptides interact in gels that resemble human tissue. Further on, the results will be implemented in a project led by Erik Sjögren and Ilse Dubbelboer, to generate information for a database enabling calculation of how biological drugs will act after injection and throughout delivery to their intended target.

You have had supervisors at both Uppsala University and AstraZeneca, what has this added to your research?
Quite a lot. Per Hansson, Professor at the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, and Susanna Abrahmsén-Alami, Science & Innovation Director at AstraZeneca, have complemented each other perfectly, providing input from both theoretical and practical perspectives. The fact that I was also able to conduct one month's laboratory work at the AstraZeneca site in Cambridge was directly pivotal for one of my publications.

What other values has your position in SweDeliver generated?
I was recruited as a PhD student during the start-up of SDDF – the predecessor to SweDeliver – together with several other junior researchers. We were able to build from scratch and learn from each other, which was rewarding on all levels. Of the more recent experiences, I especially appreciate the opportunity to participate in the mentor program where Björn Hedin, formulation scientist at Apotek Produktion & Laboratorier AB (APL), did an impressive job. In fact, I have accepted a position similar to Björn's at APL, although he was recently recruited to a new job.

So you have already taken the next step in your career?
Half of it to be exact. I started working part-time last week and will climb up to one hundred percent after my dissertation. I knew early on that I wanted try a position at a research based company, and at APL I will get the opportunity to develop formulations in an industrial context with a social mission - which is pretty much everything I want out of my next job.


  • Marcus Wanselius defends his thesis at BMC, room A1:107a, Husargatan 3, Friday 20 October at 13.15.
  • The dissertation is also broadcast online via Zoom, Join at



Marcus Wanselius, PhD Student
Department of Medicinal Chemistry

text: Magnus Alsne, photo: Mikael Wallerstedt