Meet our PhD students & Postdocs

Work package: Parenteral Drug Delivery

Work package: Oral Drug Delivery

Work package: Pulmonary Drug Delivery

SweDeliver Alumni 

Marcus Wanselius, PhD student

Researcher bio  Marcus Wanselius wrote his master thesis at the Department of Pharmacy, Uppsala University and got his Master of Science in Pharmacy from Uppsala University 2014. Marcus started his PhD studies within Pharmaceutical Physical Chemistry at Uppsala University in the spring of 2018, after working as a pharmacy manager for several years.

Research project  Physiochemical Aspects of Subcutaneous Administration of Drugs

Project aim  To investigate how active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in subcutaneously administered drug formulations interact with the components of the extracellular matrix in the subcutaneous adipose tissue (hypodermis).

A special focus is on pharmaceutical products based on biologics. The investigations provides a basis for the development of novel in vitro methods to model the behavior of pharmaceutical products administered subcutaneously.

Contact

Marcus WanseliusMarcus Wanselius, PhD student
Department of Medicinal Chemistry
marcus.wanselius@ilk.uu.se

Ilse Dubbelboer, Postdoctoral position

Researcher bio  Ilse Dubbelboer is a pharmacist from the Netherlands. She did her PhD in pharmacokinetics, biopharmaceutics and physiologically based pharmacokinetic modelling.

Research project  Modified release formulations enabling colonic absorption of poorly solubles.

Project aim  With focus on the intestinal mucus and the composition thereof, Ilse Dubbelboer is working with collection of intestinal mucus and analysis of –omics data, with in vitro diffusion and dissolution studies on the side.

The aim is to develop and use physiologically relevant in silico and in vitro models and thereby increase the understanding of important physiological aspects affecting colonic release and absorption of poorly soluble compounds.

Contact

Ilse Dubbeldoer, Postdoctoral positionIlse Dubbelboer, Postdoctoral position
Department of Pharmacy
ilse.dubbelboer@farmaci.uu.se

Enamul Mojumdar, Researcher

Researcher bio  Enamul Mojumdar obtained his PhD in pharmaceutical biophysical science from Leiden University. In 2015 Enamul was recruited to a postdoctoral position at Lund/Malmö University, specializing in skin barrier research, trans(dermal) and topical drug delivery systems and molecular self-assembly of lipids/surfactants. In April 2022 Enamul Mojumdar joined SweDeliver and Professor Per Hansson’s research group in Pharmaceutical physical chemistry.

Research project  Novel in vitro methods to understand transport properties of biologics.

Project aim  To develop in vitro methods to understand transport properties of biologics, e.g., peptides, antibodies etc. on a synthetic hydrogel model of the extracellular matrix of subcutaneous tissue.

CONTACT

Enamul Mojumdar, ResearcherEnamul Mojumdar, Researcher
Department of Medicinal Chemistry
enamul.mojumdar@ilk.uu.se

Vahid Forooqi Motlaq, PhD student

Researcher bio  Vahid Forooqi Motlaq completed his Bachelor’s program at Baháʼí Institute for Higher Education in applied chemistry. His Master’s degree was in polymer and colloid science at the department of chemistry, University of Oslo. In 2018, Vahid started his PhD studies at Uppsala University’s pharmaceutical physical chemistry group.

Research project  Amphiphilic properties of drug molecules and their self-assembly in presence of phospholipids

Project aim  To investigate the self-assembly properties of amphiphilic drugs in presence of cell membrane components e.g. phospholipids, receptor proteins, cholesterol etc., and finding the correlation between the chemical structure of drug molecules and their aggregates properties.

Determining the influence of the presence of the amphiphilic drug on the structural deformation of the bilayer membrane is another part of my PhD project.

Contact

Vahid Forooqi motlaq, PhD studentVahid Forooqi Motlaq, PhD student
Department of Medicinal Chemistry
vahid.motlaq@ilk.uu.se

Agnes Rodler, Postdoctoral position

Researcher bio  Agnes Rodler conducted her PhD in a bioprocess science and engineering group at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna where she graduated in 2017. During her PhD Agnes Rodler gained experience in polymer chemistry at the nanoscale as a user at the Molecular Foundry, at Berkeley Labs, USA. From that work, she qualified as a finalist of Merck Millipore’s Life Science award in Bioseparations (Europe) in 2015. In spring 2018 she joined as a postdoc in the Pharmaceutical Physical Chemistry group at Uppsala University.

Project  Novel in vitro models for subcutaneous administration of drugs

Project aim  By developing a physiologically relevant model of the extracellular matrix the project aim to improve the mechanistic understanding of subcutaneous injection to facilitate the innovation and development of formulations with high bioavailability of the active pharmaceutical ingredient and small variability between patients.

This model targets to identify biophysical factors which affect molecular transport through the interstitial space and to elucidate to which extent drug-extracellular matrix interactions are size- or charge related.

Contact

Agnes Rosdler, PostdocAgnes Rodler, Postdoctoral position
Department of Medicinal Chemistry
agnes.rodler@ilk.uu.se

Julia Parlow, PhD student

Researcher bio  Julia Parlow graduated from the master program in Pharmacy at Uppsala University in the spring of 2017. After that she worked at a pharmacy and since autumn 2018 she is a PhD student in the Pharmaceutical Physical Chemistry resarch group at Uppsala University

Project  Novel In Vitro Models for Subcutaneous Administration of Drugs: Transport Properties

Project aim  To develop methods to study the transport of drug molecules in biorelevant synthetic models of human SC extracellular matrix, and to use the methods to clarify the key factors governing the transport with respect to interaction with the constituents of the matrix and the interstitial fluid.

Contact

Julia Parlow, PhD StudentJulia Parlow, PhD student
Department of Medicinal Chemistry
julia.parlow@ilk.uu.se

Martin Lord, Researcher

Researcher bio  Martin Lord is a researcher in the field of immuno-oncology in the group of Sara Mangsbo at Uppsala University. Martin has his background is in biotechnology and cancer research, in which area he holds an MScEng in molecular biotechnology at KTH, and a PhD in tumor biology/lymphoma at Karolinska Institutet.

Martin Lord’s current research interests center around immunotherapy and the development of biological drugs, particularly in the context of bladder cancer, including biomarker discovery and bioinformatics.

Project aim  To investigate a set of synthetically produced peptides harbouring HLA-specific T cell epitopes with respect to their immunogenicity (in vitro and in vivo) and physical profile (secondary structure, electrostatic charge, and hydrophobicity).

An extracellular matrix hydrogel developed within SweDeliver will be used to study how the physical profile of the peptides influences non-cellular transportation and drug drainage in the ECM. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies of the peptides in different formulations will also be conducted.

Contact

Martin Lord, ResearcherMartin Lord, Researcher
Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences
Martin.Lord@farmbio.uu.se

Ellen Brunzell, PhD student

Researcher bio  Ellen Brunzell received her master of science degree in pharmacy from Uppsala University summer of 2020. She wrote her master thesis at Uppsala University in the pharmaceutical physical chemistry research group, and in autumn 2020, Ellen joined the same group as a PhD student

Project  Self-Assembly of therapeutic peptides

Project aim  To characterize the structure of self-assembled peptides by using small-angle scattering measurements, mainly X-ray and neutron scattering. By comparing our results with in vivo methods, the structure of peptide aggregates and its correlation with biological effects can be investigated.

Contact

Ellen Brunzell, PhD studentEllen Brunzell, PhD student
Department of Medicinal Chemistry
ellen.brunzell@ilk.uu.se

Shahina Akter, PhD student

Researcher Bio: Shahina Akter graduated in Pharmacy from Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf (HHU) in Germany. She received her Master's degree in Industrial Pharmacy, focusing her master’s thesis on Molecular simulations of membrane permeability. After finishing her masters Shahina Akter joined the Uppsala University Drug Delivery group as a PhD student.

Research Project: Influence of intestinal colloidal structures and self-assembly on lipid-based formulations for enhancing peptide drug bioavailability.

Aim: To develop a hybrid of the small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) and the simulation methods to analyse complex intestinal colloidal structures and lipid-rich water-based formulations.

CONTACT

Shahina Akter, PhD student
Department of Pharmacy
shahina.akter@farmaci.uu.se

Vicky Barmpatsalou, PhD student

Researcher bio  Vicky Barmpatsalou is a pharmacist, holding a MPharm and a MSc in Industrial Pharmacy from the National University of Athens. Vicky conducted her MPharm research project focusing on the gastrointestinal transfer at the Drug Delivery & Disposition lab at KULeuven and carried out her MSc thesis at Astellas Pharma, where she was involved in the validation of a novel in vitro gastrointestinal transfer setup.

Research project  Exploring the impact of the Gastrointestinal Mucus on drug absorption: Characterization and development of novel predictive tools

Project aim  To provide novel insights regarding the nature of the gastrointestinal mucus of preclinical species, with an end goal to develop in vitro models that will enable the assessment of the permeation behavior of poorly soluble drugs through the colonic mucus.

The acquired knowledge is expected to serve as the basis of the development of novel in vitro tools that can be later used to predict the diffusion profile of advanced drug delivery systems within the colonic mucus. These in vitro models will contribute to the reduction of animal usage in the early stages of drug development.

Contact

Vicky Barmpatsalou, PhD studentVicky Barmpatsalou, PhD student
Department of Pharmacy
vicky.barmpatsalou@farmaci.uu.se

Prosper Emeh, PhD student

Researcher Bio: Prosper Emeh holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Nigeria and has practiced Clinical Pharmacy for two years. He then earned a Master of Science in Nanomedicine for drug delivery from Université Paris Cité. He developed his master’s thesis at Université Catholiqué du Louvain, where he explored the use of permeation enhancers to improve oral peptide absorption in an inflammatory bowel disease context. 

Research project: Effects of molecular characteristics of macromolecular drugs and selection of permeation enhancer on oral absorption.

Project aim: To study the impact of the physicochemical characteristics of beyond-the-rule-of-5 (bRo5) drugs and that of permeation enhancers, elucidating their interactions and the interplay with gastrointestinal barriers towards improving oral bioavailability and reducing variability.

CONTACT

​Prosper Emeh, PhD studentProsper Emeh, PhD student
Department of Pharmacy
Prosper.Emeh@farmaci.uu.se

Rebekkah Hammar, PhD student

Researcher bio  Rebekkah Hammar studied Pharmaceutical Sciences and the German State Examination in Pharmacy programs at LMU Munich. Her bachelor thesis (2017) focused on theranostic inorganic nanoparticles. During her exchange semester in Umeå (2018), she studied microbial impacts on climate change and photocatalyzed synthesis of novel antibiotics. She then moved on to work with photoswitchable tubulin inhibitors in her master thesis (2020). As part of her licensing as a pharmacist, she interned at Roche in Regulatory Affairs (2021) before starting her PhD in Drug Delivery focusing on intracellular drug bioavailability in the colon.

Research project  Influence of intra- and extracellular free drug concentrations in the human colon on local and systemic drug exposure

Project aim  To create a PBPK model of drug bioavailability in the colonic environment by determining drug distribution in a) colonoids and b) microbiota models.

CONTACT

Rebekkah Hammar, PhD student
Department of Pharmacy
Rebekkah.Hammar@farmaci.uu.se

Xiguo He, PhD Student

Researcher bio  Xiguo He holds her master of science degree in pharmaceutical modelling from Uppsala University, 2021. After graduating from the in vitro, in vivo and in silico modelling background, she returned to the Drug Delivery group as a PhD student to begin the journey of engineering nanoparticles for antibiotics. The project is performed in collaboration with Uppsala Antibiotic Center.

Research project  A nanosized drug delivery platform for optimal intestinal absorption of poorly permeables with focus on oral antibiotics

Project aim  To improve the oral bioavailability of antibiotics using nanoparticles that are stable in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), efficient solubilizers of poorly soluble antibiotics and highly membrane-permeable, with the purpose to increase the drug delivery to the systemic circulation.

KONTAKT

Xiguo He, PhD Student
Department of Pharmacy
Xiguo.He@farmaci.uu.se

Shakhawath Hossain, researcher

Researcher Bio  Shakhawath Hossain holds a PhD degree from the University of Saskatchewan (2015) in modelling and simulation of in vitro tissue culture processes. He then worked as post-doctoral researcher in the Mid Sweden University (2015-2018) in the area of bio-polymer (cellulose) network mechanics. He started working at the department of pharmacy at the Uppsala University as post-doctoral researcher from 2018 and currently working there as a researcher since February 2020.

Research Project  Investigation of oral absorption of macromolecules using in silico techniques

Project aim  The primary aim of this research project is to improve the understanding of oral absorption of macromolecule using in silico modelling techniques e.g. molecular dynamics (MD). Much of the research focus was to explore the interaction of permeability enhancers (PEs) with different components of intestinal fluids and cell membrane in order to understand different PEs ability to enhance the permeability of macromolecules across the cell membrane. The interaction of macromolecules is also important for the development of an effective formulation. Therefore, the aggregation behavior of different peptide molecules is also studied in this project using the MD simulations.

CONTACT

Shakhawath Hossain, Researcher,
Department of Pharmacy,
Shakhawath.hossain@farmaci.uu.se

Rosita Kneiszl, PhD student

Researcher bio  Rosita Kneiszl holds her master of science degree in pharmacy from Uppsala University, 2016. Rosita performed her Master's degree project at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's hospital, Boston, US, autumn 2015. After graduating, she was a leadership trainee in one of Sweden's largest retail pharmacies, and worked as a quality control pharmacist. In January, 2019, Rosita returned to academia and became a PhD student at Uppsala University.

Research project  Mechanistic modeling of peptide drug permeability

Project aim  Studying the interactions between oral peptide drugs, permeation enhancers, and biological model membranes with the use of computational tools, the aim is to quantify and characterize binding and transport of peptide drugs across lipid bilayers.

Contact

Rosita Kneiszl, PhD studentRosita Kneiszl, PhD student
Department of Pharmacy
rosita.kneiszl@farmaci.uu.se

Benyamin Naranjani, PhD student

Researcher bio  Benyamin Naranjani is a PhD student in the Drug Delivery group at Uppsala University, Sweden. With an engineering background, his research interest focuses on numerical simulations of fluid flow.

Research project  Combined computational modeling at different scales to understand peptide drug and excipient co-localization

Project aim  To develop a model for multiscale analysis of intestinal motility-driven fluid transport. This method will be implemented to scrutinise improvement of biologics absorption through colocalisation with permeation enhancers.

Contact

Benyamin Naranjani, PhD student
Department of Pharmacy
benyamin.naranjani@farmaci.uu.se

Hannah Pohlit, Researcher

Researcher bio  Hannah Pohlit studied biomedical chemistry at University of Mainz before conducting her PhD project with focus on degradable and protein-loaded poly(ethylene glycol) nanocarriers for allergy therapy. Within her PhD studies she synthesized the polymer, formulated the nanoparticles and did the physical and biological characterization.

Hannah moved to Sweden and Uppsala University for a short postdoc in Jöns Hilborn’s group at the polymer chemistry division where she tailor-made hydrogels for cell cultures. In 2018, Hannah was recruited to a postdoctoral position in Maria Tenje’s group, focusing on thin hydrogel membranes for cell cultures in microfluidic devices (organ-on-chip applications). In autumn 2022 Hannah Pohlit joined SweDeliver and Alexandra Teleki’s research group.

CONTACT

Hannah Pohlit, ResearcherHannah Pohlit, Researcher
Department of Pharmacy
hannah.pohlit@farmaci.uu.se

Marco Tjakra, PhD Student

Researcher Bio  Marco Tjakra has studied Biomedical Engineering in Chongqing University, China and graduated with Master of Engineering degree in 2020. His previous research involves signalling pathway in the neurovascular unit with relation of hemodynamic force and toxicology. During bachelor study in Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia, he was investigating antimicrobial compound from essential oil to combat oral biofilm forming bacteria. He was graduated in 2016 with Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology.

Research Project  Diffusion, dissolution, and release mechanisms for dosage forms delivering drugs to the colon: Importance of colonic mucus as a barrier to drug absorption (Project performed within COLOTAN).

Project Aim  To improve the understanding of drug dissolution, diffusion, and absorption from the human colon with a focus on the role of the colonic mucus layer. The obtained results will be used to design drug delivery decision trees for colonic drug delivery as well as improved in silico models for drug absorption from the colon.

KONTAKT

Marco Tjakra, PhD Student
Department of Pharmacy
marco.tjakra@farmaci.uu.se

Mingjun Wu, PhD student

Researcher bio: Mingjun Wu received her BSc in Pharmacy from Sun Yat-sen University, followed by a MSc in Pharmaceutical Science at Uppsala University in the summer of 2022. She conducted her master’s project which focused on quality control attributes of 3D printed oral dosage forms in the Drug Delivery group. In autumn, Mingjun joined the same group as a PhD student.    

Research project: In vivo dissolution in colon of poorly soluble drug substances

Project aim: The project aims to improve the understanding of the colonic dissolution of poorly water-soluble compounds. The acquired knowledge will be used to develop physically relevant in silico and in vitro models of drug absorption.

CONTACT

Mingjun Wu, doktorandMingjun Wu, PhD student
Department of Pharmacy
Mingjun.Wu@farmaci.uu.se

Ires van der Zwaan, PhD student

Researcher bio  Irès van der Zwaan received her master degree in Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2017 from Leiden University. She started her PhD in March 2018 at Uppsala University.

Research project  Development of A Novel Pulmonary Controlled Release Drug Delivery System

Project aim  To create a new controlled release system for drug delivery in the lung by surveying and evaluating the dissolution of several promising controlled release options as well as novel systems.

Different methods will be used to evaluate existing and novel drug delivery systems such as deposition of inhalation powders using a modified Andersen cascade impactor and dissolution in a Transwell system.

Contact

Ires van der Zwaan, PhD studentIres van der Zwaan, PhD student
Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences
ires.vanderzwaan@farmbio.uu.se

Ann-Sofie Persson, Researcher

Researcher bio Ann-Sofie Persson is a pharmacist and has a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences from Uppsala University. She is currently a researcher in Pharmaceutical Technology with the main research focus on increased understanding and manufacturing of solid dosage forms.

Research project Investigation of adhesive layer microstructure of adhesive mixtures using Small Angle X-ray Scattering.

Project aim The aim of the project is four-fold with the three initial aims focusing on if Small Angle X-ray scattering technique can be used to study;

  • Porosity (microstructure) of solid powders.
  • Size and shape of inter-particulate pores (voids) in powder beds.
  • Adhesive layer microstructure of adhesive mixtures.

The fourth and final aim is to study if the information of adhesive layer microstructure can be used to understand the dispersibility of adhesive mixtures during inhalation of a pulmonary drug.

CONTACT

Ann-Sofie Persson, ResearcherAnn-Sofie Persson, Researcher
department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences
ann-sofie.persson@farmbio.uu.se

Maryam Tofiq, PhD student

Researcher bio  Maryam Tofiq received her Master of Science degree in Pharmacy at Uppsala University with a degree project in Pharmacokinetics. She started her doctoral studies at Uppsala University in September 2018.

Research project  Microstructure-property relationships of agglomerates formed by dry granulation

Project aim  With focus on how the microstructure and mechanical properties of agglomerates formed by dry granulation can be controlled by formulation measures, a central part of Maryam’s project is the assessment of the compression mechanics of agglomerates and if such compression parameters can be used to predict the tabletability of the granules.

Contact

Maryam Tofiq, PhD studentMaryam Tofiq, PhD student
Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences
maryam.tofiq@farmbio.uu.se

Anna Simonsson, PhD student

Researcher bio  Anna is a pharmacist and got her Master of Science in Pharmacy from Uppsala in 2015. Anna wrote her master thesis in pharmacognosy at the School of pharmacy in London, and has been working as a pharmacy manager in both Norway and Sweden. In October 2020 Anna joined the Pharmaceutics research group at Uppsala University, as a PhD student. 

Research project. Blend state-blend property relationships of adhesive mixtures for inhalation powders.

Aim. The aim of the project is to investigate effect of carrier morphology on blend state-blend dispersibility relationships. The aim is further to investigate the role of the mixing process for blend state and blend state-blend dispersibility relationships. Finally, the possibility to develop screening methods for assessing dispersibility and segregation will be explored.

CONTACT

Anna Simonsson, PhD student
Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences
anna.simonsson@farmbio.uu.se

Marilena Marinaki, PhD student

Researcher bio  Marilena Marinaki has a Diploma in Environmental Engineering from the Technical University of Crete. After her studies, she was working as a research assistant in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering of Uppsala University. In December 2020, she joined the Pharmaceutics research group at Uppsala University, as a PhD student. 

Research project  Understanding the compression–decompression cycle for pressure shaping of agglomerates.

Project aim  The aim of the project is to provide an understanding at the particle scale of the processes that control the structure and properties of granules formed by application and subsequent removal of pressure. The goal is to first develop protocols for analytical powder compression focusing on the unloading stage and secondly to develop contact models and modelling procedures that enable the full loading–unloading cycle to be simulated at the particle scale.

Contact

Marilena Marinaki, PhD student
Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences
marilena.marinaki@farmbio.uu.se

Mayura Talwelkar Shimpi, Postdoctoral position

Researcher bio  Mayura Talwelkar Shimpi is a researcher with experience in crystal engineering of various organic molecules, using experimental and computational approach. She conducted her PhD studies at Luleå University of Technology in the field of applied physics, before being recruited to a postdoctoral position at Prof. Anja-Verena Mudring's research group. In October 2022, Mayura Talwelkar Shimpi joined SweDeliver and Prof. Göran Frenning’s research group in Pharmaceutical physics.

Research project  Enhanced spray-dried formulations of inhaled drugs.

Project aim  Spray drying is a flexible singe-step technique for the preparation of micron-sized particles suitable for inhalation. With adequate processing parameters and excipients, spray drying is gentle enough to retain the biological activity of peptides, oligonucleotides and other biologics. Spray-dried particles can be used in carrier-free formulations, potentially enabling higher doses of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) to be delivered to the lung.

Our overall aim is to provide a solid scientific understanding of important aspects of spray-dried formulations of inhaled drugs that ultimately will enable enhanced spray-dried formulations to be developed. Of particular interest is to investigate the potential of “novel” excipients for achieving physiochemical stability of a range of API modalities, including small molecules and large biologic molecules.

CONTACT

Mayura Talwelkar Shimpi, PostdoctorMayura Talwelkar Shimpi, Postdoctoral position
Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences
mayura.talwelkarshimpi@farmbio.uu.se

Last modified: 2022-11-17