Researcher profile: Ilse Dubbelboer sees her scientific future in Uppsala

21 April 2022

Ilse Dubbelboer, researcher at Uppsala University and SweDeliver

Ilse Dubbelboer, researcher at Uppsala University and SweDeliver

With the launch of a new model to calculate optimised bioavailability of subcutaneously administered biological drugs, Ilse Dubbelboer, researcher at SweDeliver, hopes to pave the way for better treatments with injected pharmaceuticals – preferably with Uppsala as her home.

“As a young researcher, being part of SweDeliver means that you operate within a larger context, where you get feedback and input on your work from both academia and industry. It has provided me with a clearer perspective on the values ​​of my research, and that we now are finally able to take the step from online to in real life meetings will undoubtedly add yet another dimension to our center.”

Ilse Dubbelboer joined Uppsala University in 2011 after graduating from the Master of Science Programme in Pharmacy at the University of Groningen in her native Netherlands. Shortly afterwards, she began her PhD studies in Professor Hans Lennernäs' group, where she defended her dissertation just in time for the launch of the Swedish Drug Delivery Forum – the predecessor to SweDeliver.

Ilse Dubbelboer, the Faculty of Pharmacy
Ilse Dubbelboer, the Faculty of Pharmacy

“I really enjoyed my time at the Faculty of Pharmacy and prolonged my stay with a postdoctoral position at Christel Bergström’s group, a small but significant step that gave me space to try a new environment without having to leave Uppsala University and the Biomedical Center. The next three years, I worked with a focus on studying intestinal mucus and its effects on drug absorption, an interesting time where my results was of obvious scientific benefit.”

In March 2021, Ilse Dubbelboer took yet another career step when Erik Sjögren recruited her to Uppsala University's Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences. Now with the title Researcher, Ilse shifted her focus from oral to parenteral drug delivery, and recently launched the base for an in silico model with potential to calculate optimised bioavailability of subcutaneously administered biological drugs.

“Our model require continued validation, which in turn presupposes access to extensive amounts of relevant data. Therefore, we have also compiled the pharmaceutical, therapeutic and physicochemical properties of all subcutaneous administered drug products for humans and animals that are market authorised in EU, Canada, and the US. We recently published our overview, and looking at the feedback we are receiving, I hope it will generate great scientific value.”

Since the autumn of 2021, Ilse Dubbelboer divides her time between SweDeliver and a postdoctoral position at the University of Utrecht, where she is conducting research with a focus on mechanistic modelling of the blood-milk barrier in lactating animals. This combination lasts until 2023, after which her work within SweDeliver continues for another year before her career turns into a blank sheet, but after eleven years in Uppsala, Sweden provides an attractive alternative.

“What I do know for sure is that I want to continue my research and build on the network and the results I have achieved to date. Whether I do it in academia or take the step over to industry is not decisive, but I like Uppsala a lot and can definitely imagine a future here!”