Petra Nilsson, NordForsk PhD Fellow, Novo Nordisk R&D STAR programme

Out of the lab

In my spare time, I enjoy movies, dinners and trips with my family and friends. I also like to be active and take long walks or staying in the gym. Folk dance has been a part of my life for 20 years now, and I still dance a couple of hours every week. For me this is a perfect way to spend time and have fun with my friends.

Petra Nilsson

NordForsk PhD Fellow

“Belonging to a great lab in Sweden and a fantastic company in Denmark gives a lot of advantages. I have two groups of colleagues giving a lot of inspiration and great inputs to the projects.”

My life as a STAR fellow

When I got the question if I would like to do a NordForsk PhD at Novo Nordisk, my immediate answer was YES! And I have never for a second regretted that answer. 1.5 years have gone since I started my PhD and during this time I have gained so much knowledge and met so many fantastic people from all over the world. Being part of medical research is challenging and so much fun.

Travel across the bridge

I did my master project at Lund University in Professor William Agace’s mucosal immunology group. One day the professor got an email from Katarina Håkansson at Novo Nordisk, asking if he had a student who would like to do a NordForsk PhD. When the STAR fellowship application was approved no one was happier than me, a new adventure was waiting just across the bridge!

Two projects- One goal

Coming from a lab mainly working with intestinal T-cells to a T-cell biology lab at a pharmaceutical company I was well prepared to start working with T-cells in intestinal disease. Crohn’s disease is a chronic intestinal inflammatory disease. Even though a lot of research has been done, many questions are still to be answered. In my project we are aiming to get a better understanding of the role of the T-cells in the inflammation and get closer to a treatment that will work in these patients.

Making the most of the opportunities

Belonging to a great lab in Sweden and a fantastic company in Denmark gives a lot of advantages. I have two groups of colleagues giving a lot of inspiration and great inputs to the projects. I have been to conferences where I met scientific researchers in many different fields. Last year I went to an immunology conference in Japan which was a fantastic experience.