Hello Angelica Loskog!

Life Science Sweden would like to know more about Angelica Loskog and interviews her about her life as a researcher.

Why did you become a researcher?

My mother talked about the warriors in the immune system, and as a child, I was very obsessed with cancer and that you should not smoke. That was when my interest began.”

Name a researcher you admire.

Malcolm Brenner at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He has built an incredible centre for gene therapies. I did my postdoc at Baylor College, and Malcolm has helped us develop a similar centre here in Sweden.”

Name an entrepreneur you admire.

I still see myself mainly as a researcher, even though I run a company, and have no great entrepreneurial role models.

However, Sara Mangsbo here in Uppsala is an expert entrepreneur. She completed her doctorate degree under me, and today, she is managing several medical companies with various exciting projects.”

What is your best work tool?

My computer, which contains everything nowadays. I cut and design genes on my computer, and then I order them on the Internet from a company that can manufacture the new gene sequence. Only then do I go to the lab to test the new gene.”

And the most important tool in the lab?

The flow cytometer.”

Name your proudest moment?

That is when I see that patients in our studies are feeling better. We once had a patient in a study who had already planned his own funeral, and he then became tumour-free after receiving our CAR-T therapy. I was still working full time at the university then, and I suddenly realised that CAR-T therapy could change lives. Later, the patient died of cancer, but his life was prolonged, and he had new hope. In clinical trials with advanced therapies, we are often unsuccessful because many of the participating patients are seriously ill, so it is crucial to make good use of our successes and learn from them.”

Tell us about something you are less proud of.

Times when I have made people sad or disappointed. As a manager, I am sometimes required to make decisions that are not agreeable to one or more employees, and I sometimes handle it well, and sometimes not so well. Often, the decisions are beyond my control and just have to be made, but that does not mean that I am proud of them.”

Which researchers are part of your network?

Magnus Essand at Uppsala University and the company Elicera, and the doctors at the University Hospital’s oncology clinic who work with me on our clinical trials, especially Gunilla Enblad and Gustav Ullenhag. I also collaborate with many other researchers nationally and internationally at different levels.”

What are you going to read this summer?

There is a new book about the spy Stig Bergling. I am curious how he could decide to betray his country to the Soviet Union. I grew up in northern Norrland with Russia close by, and right now, the book feels particularly relevant, so I will read it.”

Angelica Loskog grew up in Kiruna. She trained in Uppsala and completed her postdoc in Houston, Texas in the USA. Back in Uppsala, she and her research group at Uppsala University became the first in Europe to try CAR-T therapy for cancer patients.

Until 2012, she worked full time at the university, but she was then offered a job at the then newly formed biotech company Lokon Pharma in Uppsala, and she accepted.

Today, she is CEO of the company, which is clinically developing a genetically modified oncolytic adenovirus for cancer. Currently, they have three studies with the virus of their own and one study in collaboration with the pharmaceutical company Roche.

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