Johan F Paulsson, Scandinavian Return Fellow, Novo Nordisk R&D STAR programme

Out of the lab

After my return I get to enjoy the amazing Scandinavian summer again. Being out on the sea in a kayak or sailing boat during the day and outside by the fireplace during the light Nordic nights with friends are among life’s real treats. Also, when I am not working, I like going to go skiing, and right now I am learning how to kite surf.

Johan F Paulsson

Scandinavian Return Fellow

“The STAR Programme supports bright young scientists devoted to research with the goal of treating diseases, and it is really a privilege to be part of it. I have truly returned home.”

My industry career started as a STAR fellow in 2008

Early on in my career I knew that I wanted to become a medical researcher, since then I have always found it very interesting and rewarding to work in a science lab and especially with diabetes research. I did my PhD at Linköping University, Sweden, studying protein aggregation in association with beta-cell degeneration and type 2 diabetes. After finishing my thesis in 2006, I was successful in getting a postdoctoral grant at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, USA, allowing me to continue working on protein and peptide aggregation and proteotoxicity.

Returning to Scandinavia

The STAR Scandinavian Return Fellowship was a perfect way for me to return to Scandinavia after finishing my post-doc in San Diego. Novo Nordisk is the leading diabetes pharmaceutical company in the world, and since I really wanted to do diabetes research, I browsed the Novo Nordisk homepage, when my post-doc period was almost over. To my delight I noticed the STAR return fellowship, which made it more attractive for me to return to my part of the world. The STAR programme supports bright young scientists devoted to research with the goal of treating diseases, and it is really a privilege to be part of it. I have truly returned home.

On board at Novo Nordisk R&D

After finishing my STAR Scandinavian Return Fellowship I was fortunate to get a permanent position as a research scientist in R&D, where I now investigate new ways of treating diabetes and obesity. Getting the STAR fellowship meant that I could go back to doing what interests me most, namely finding better ways to treat diabetes. My interest in type 2 diabetes started, when I was a PhD student at Linköping University, and in joining Novo Nordisk I have returned to this field. Together with my Novo Nordisk project team I use the methods I learned as a post-doc at Scripps Research Institute in the search for new scientific breakthroughs. Novo Nordisk is a great and vibrant working place with a lot of opportunities for me as a researcher. Here I get to learn new things on a daily basis, get scientifically challenged, have great colleagues and most importantly: I enjoy it!